Microcredentials in higher education

The 4-year degree is losing steam

Certificate icon

Lifelong learning has shifted from an aspirational goal into a career necessity. A World Economic Forum survey of companies predicts that 44% of workers’ skills will be disrupted in the coming five years. And a large-scale Citrix survey reveals that 62% of HR directors say that workers will need to reskill or upskill at least once a year to maintain a competitive advantage.

Clearly, alternatives to the traditional degree path present a promising opportunity for growth. Is your school equipped to meet adult learners’ demands for these programs?

bullet pointEmployers want higher ed to make the first move

Employers have a strong interest in partnering with colleges and universities to design and deliver non-degree programs. So does higher ed, with the microcredentialing market forecasted to grow to $20 billion by 2025.

The answer: Collegis research with UPCEA shows there are specific strategies to secure employer partnerships: affordable rates, practical content applications, dedicated staff, and consistent content quality.

bullet pointPrivate providers are elbowing in

Employers partnering with external organizations increased 26% from 2022 to 2023, but colleges and universities are losing ground to private providers like LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, and Khan Academy.

The answer: Higher ed programs succeed! Almost all employers (98%) who currently work with a higher education partner plan to continue the partnership.

bullet pointWorking adults need easier experiences

Adult learners with busy lives face barriers to enrollment like transcript requirements, deposit fees, entry exams, and residency requirements.

The answer: Remove the barriers and reveal the demand. Our research found that 70% of the adult learner market is made up of highly career-focused individuals.

bullet pointDemand for employee upskilling and reskilling

Traditional degree programs focus on the technical skills needed to perform in a profession. Adult learners need short-term, stackable learning that helps them succeed beyond basic job duties.

The answer: Certificates built upon competencies, such as a proficiency in problem-solving, communication, or project management, are attractive to employers and career-minded employees.