Eduventures 2020 Technology Landscape: Five Vendors to Watch

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Q. In the age of COVID-19, how will non-credit and micro-credentials play a role with institutions looking for new and creative ways to attract enrollments? Will these credentials remain valuable to employers?

The topic of credentials and micro-credentials come up often, especially in discussions about preparing students for the workforce. The most recent data from Eduventures’ Adult Prospect Survey (June, 2020) suggests that demand for non-degree credentials, like certificates, or micro or alternative credentials, trends higher among adults with greater concerns about the need to upskill or reskill in the wake of COVID-19.  Currently, this topic takes on an additional relevance as a way for institutions to enroll or keep students.

The critical issue with credentials and micro-credentials is their value to employers. A recent report identifies close to 740,000 unique credentials in the United States. Given the number of credentials and micro-credentials, it is challenging for employers to know which credentials show that students have the skills required in the workforce. Likewise, students might feel overwhelmed when trying to decide which credentials they should seek to get.

Schools must understand that credentials and micro-credentials are like currency: there needs to be a consensus that they are stores of value for employers, students, and institutions seeking to offer them. Therefore, all parties need to share an understanding that credentials and micro-credentials denote a set of valuable skills. Without this understanding, credentials, and micro-credentials lose their appeal.

As a result, institutions seeking to develop credentialling programs to improve enrollment or retention should accept that part of the appeal of credentials depends on how well they resonate with employers. Like Northwestern University, institutions should consider increasing the resonance of micro-credentials and credentials through the formation of partnerships with potential employers.  

Eduventures Principal Analyst at ACT | NRCCUA

Tuesday June 25, 2019 at 2PM ET/1PM CT

Most colleges and universities are defined by a physical campus in a fixed location, while online learning knows no geographical bounds. Now that fully online enrollments account for about 15% of all undergraduates, and more than 30% of graduate students, the relationship between school location and student location is changing.

A few schools have used online to become national players with large numbers of students in every state, while most institutions have a predominantly local online student body. But does the future favor national or local online markets? Which strategy—local, national, or both—is in the best interests of different types of schools and different types of students, and should policymakers and taxpayers care? The answers will either reinforce institutional locations and identities as we know them, or advance a completely different relationship between institution, student, and place.

In this webinar, we will review new Eduventures analysis of online higher education market dynamics, and the emerging terms of engagement in the battle for value.

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