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Retraining Employees is Now a Top Priority. Are You Prepared for Them?

The business leaders of the world have spoken: Reskilling and upskilling their employees is now an essential business practice. And they’re more willing than ever to pay institutions for it.  

A survey of more than 1,000 C-suite executives showed that the labor market is finally crossing the threshold it has been toeing for years now, with most respondents saying they’re likely to direct resources towards training and retraining workers. 

Many leaders point to the pandemic as the reason for the change, but most data suggests the need to upskill/reskill has been mounting for many years now; more than half the world’s workforce will need reskilling by 2025. 

Your Institution Can Fill the Skills Gap

Employers are experiencing a skills gap that leaves them less competitive in a challenging labor market. Many feel their workers don’t have the right skills for the job or that those skills are being outpaced by industry-wide changes. 

This is why businesses are looking to Continuing Education and Workforce Development units like yours: The more programming you offer that speaks to their need for flexible, as-needed learning that lets them build on or develop new competencies, the more attractive you are as a potential partner. 

Executives Want Microcredentials

Alternative and bite-size credentials (AKA microcredentials) are a perfect fit to close the skills gap facing many businesses today. Highly flexible, less expensive and quick to launch; microcredentials are precisely what these executives are looking for. 

These credentials are gaining momentum with learners for similar reasons. Where degree-based learning can be too time-consuming and expensive for many students, microcredentials offer them an alternative path to career success. 

50% of Institutions Aren’t Ready to Offer Microcredentials

Although the overwhelming majority of higher education leaders agree that microcredentials are an excellent means of supporting the labor market and their own revenue goals, 50% say their institutions aren’t getting behind them.  

Research from UPCEA, Modern Campus and The EvoLLLution found that nine out of ten higher ed leaders say microcredentials keep them competitive against emerging entities (like bootcamps), while 71% of higher education leaders say alternative credentials will help them achieve institutional revenue and enrollment goals. Despite this, only half of these leaders say their institutions are embracing alternative credentials.  

Lack of Microcredentialing Hurts Learners, Employers and Higher Ed Alike

When schools focus on traditional delivery models as the pinnacle of higher learning, they don’t just detract from their own goals: They hurt their learners’ chances of landing and retaining good jobs.  

Their degrees and diplomas show general understanding of their given field, but the specific, job-based competencies that make them stand out from candidate #204359 are nowhere to be found. The most they can do in an interview is lean on their evidently broad knowledge base—without any such credential to prove it. 

The labor market suffers as well. The “talent war” is well underway, and employers are eager to find workers who can help them right their ship in a sea of equally eager competition.  

Prioritize Microcredentials Alongside Traditional Credentials 

The demands of learners and the labor market are changing, and the average employer’s checklist is being redrawn. The ideal employee is one whose record shows evidence of the specific capabilities they’re looking for; which means the ideal training partner is one whose technological infrastructure is built to effectively build and distribute credentials that showcase them. 

The credential is key here. If your institution’s credentialing models can meaningfully support skill-based competencies, it’ll show the legions of willing employers that partnering with you is a worthy investment. 

Shifting Paradigms: Understanding Institutional Perspectives on Microcredentialing

Credentialing Enrollment Growth

Last updated: March 4, 2022


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