When it comes to education, 2-year and 4-year degrees have historically been the standard by which most employers measure applicants, but this is beginning to shift. A traditional degree is no longer considered the only viable form of education, and many employers want applicants to have hard skills and experience to hit the ground running. As a result, professional certifications continue to rise in importance, especially in some of the fastest-growing job sectors today, including technology, healthcare, project management, support, and paralegal—to name a few.
Traditional college programs are great options for some, but they are not for everyone. The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) published results from a Strada Education Network survey that showed adult students have concerns about the value of education. 2020 vs. 2019 comparisons of adults contemplating college show they are 18 percent less likely to believe it will be worth the cost and 25 percent less likely to think that additional education will help them land a good job. These same surveys indicated that more than 66 percent of respondents preferred non-degree education pathways (up from 50 percent the previous year). ed2go can help you add courses to your online education program that will allow you to reach more students.
Stackable certifications could be the answer
Stackable credentials and industry certifications offer several advantages, especially for non-traditional students who want to find employment, move up in their careers, or into an entirely different career. Some benefits include:
1. Quicker career launch opportunities
When it comes to stackable credentials and industry certifications, they are often obtained relatively quickly compared to traditional degree programs. For example, a student can gain skills relevant to a role in IT as a Help Desk Analyst: Tier 1 Support Specialist, in project management with Project Management Essentials with CAPM Prep, in healthcare with ICD-10 Medical Coding, and many other areas that will prepare them for a job in around six months. In addition, these types of programs allow students to test the waters quickly and design a customized career path that is unique to their individual goals.
2. A more affordable solution
Because stackable credentials can be completed more quickly than traditional degree programs, professionals can land a job and start earning a good salary in their chosen field. This can be done while they continue to work their way up by earning more and more certifications and potentially even a degree to help them advance in their position. These stackable credentials and industry certifications are also much more affordable. Educationdata.org reports that the average cost of college in the United States has tripled in the last 20 years and now sits at $35,720 per student, per year on average. When you factor in student loan interest and loss of income, the total cost of earning a degree may be higher than $400,000.
There are an estimated 7.4 million job openings in America, with unemployment data showing 9.7 million people out of work. This is because people do not currently have the skills they need to land in-demand jobs quickly and affordably. We are trying to bridge this gap with affordable training that can be completed in a fraction of the time it takes to earn a traditional degree. For example, most Advanced Career Training Programs from ed2go can be completed for under $2,500, and many include vouchers to sit for industry-leading certification exams at no additional cost to the student. These programs also often qualify for workforce grants that can help students pay for their education because they provide in-demand job training and skills currently needed in the workforce. ed2go can even offer support in grant identification and application.
3. Increased course flexibility
All of ed2go’s stackable credentials and certification prep programs are available in online learning environments. Online learning allows students to log in and complete coursework as it fits their schedule. They can even continue working and balancing family responsibilities while gaining experience or going through a traditional education program and earning their new credential. These types of credentials are even conducive to a military lifestyle—whether active military or a military spouse—because they can be completed from anywhere in the world.
4. Better preparation for future employment with in-demand skills and knowledge
Stackable credentials and certifications can be aligned directly with employer needs and industry trends. These programs do not lock students into a lengthy program before getting their feet wet, and they are continuously and quickly revised to meet the demands of new jobs and technologies.
Students can complete courses and earn certifications to prove mastery of specific skill sets required by employers, which will help them qualify for jobs and promotions. Many professionals even use these stackable credentials as a springboard into an industry and go on to complete traditional associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs. The University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) reports that several organizations are now coming together to help people earn industry-specific certifications, regardless of educational background, and guaranteeing jobs for those who do.
Why should this matter to you?
More and more companies are seeing the value in stackable credentials and certifications, and they are quickly making changes in the way they hire.
ed2go has helped other organizations expand their course offerings and increase enrollments for over 15 years. You can bypass development costs for creating and administering cutting-edge, in-demand Advanced Career Training Programs by relying on us to continuously provide: an updated catalog of courses, marketing materials for these programs, a fully-staffed Admissions Team to handle enrollments, and detailed tracking capabilities to view student progress.
You provide the soft skills and career readiness education through your current programs while we help you deliver the industry-specific hard skills that will put your students one step ahead in any job market.
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