Millennials prefer credentialing programs to traditional degrees

Dive Brief:

  • A new study reveals that more than 90% of American colleges and universities offer alternative credential or badging programs for certification in industry-specific careers.  
  • The University Professional and Continuing Education Association says millennial survey respondents prefer certifications to bachelor’s degrees, and schools are responding with increased development of professional training silos.
  • More than 60% of respondents believe that credentialing is an important part of an institution’s professional development strategy.

Dive Insight:

Credentialing may be an emerging professional trend to counteract rising costs in higher education and the slow creation of jobs in several key industries, but employers in most sectors still prefer candidates who have earned degrees and demonstrated experience.

Bootcamps and other crash course offerings in coding, technology and other niche industries best suit those who have previously earned degrees. But for college executives, this data presents a more compelling case to develop training programs and credentialing initiatives to complement degree programs for experienced and entry-level workers.

Developing these programs presents opportunities to partner with corporate and government entities looking for more workers or to demonstrate positive outcomes in taxpayer investment. Additionally, they help institutions to build brands as workforce development resources with an eye towards building industrial expertise, and not just access to entry-level, on-the-job training.

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Filed Under: Higher Ed
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