- Institutions should strive to grow their market share in the microcredential space
- Empowering non-traditional learners with microcredentials
- Workforce training, upskilling in demand among younger adults
- For more news on microcredentials, see eCN’s Teaching & Learning page
Companies partnering externally to provide training or professional development to employees increased by 26 percent (nearly 15 percentage points) between 2022 and 2023, according to a new study from Collegis Education and UPCEA, the online and professional education association.
In addition, the report, Unveiling the Employer’s View: An Employer-Centric Approach to Higher Education Partnerships, revealed that more than 61 percent of companies without external training partnerships are interested in developing them.
In the second year of an ongoing research series, Collegis partnered with UPCEA to survey more than 500 employers to better understand their perceptions of collaborating with higher ed on professional development programs and microcredentials.
While opportunities to partner with employers on microcredentials are growing, higher ed is losing ground to private providers. Companies working with four-year colleges to provide employee training and professional development dropped by nearly 10 percent between 2022 and 2023, and community colleges also saw a decrease of 7 percent in training partnerships.
Meanwhile, the number of companies turning to professional organizations and for-profit companies, such as LinkedIn Learning, for employee professional development is on the rise. Nearly 40 percent of company leaders cited “expense” as the main barrier to partnering with colleges and universities.
“In just the second year of our research partnership with Collegis, our study finds that an increasing number of companies are turning to external resources for microcredentials and other alternative credential programs,” said Jim Fong, Chief Research Officer, UPCEA. “Through strong collaborations with corporate partners to develop microcredential offerings, colleges and universities have an unprecedented opportunity to diversify their enrollment and open up new revenue streams.”
Those companies with higher education partnerships reported high levels of satisfaction. Nearly 100 percent of employers who currently work with a higher education partner plan to continue, due to the school meeting the employer’s needs (77 percent), positive employee feedback (71 percent), and improved job performance (68 percent).
“This year’s study demonstrates that higher education institutions who develop custom programs to meet corporate training and professional development needs have forged successful partnerships and achieved enrollment at scale,” said Tracy A. Chapman, Ph.D., Chief Academic Officer at Collegis.
“However, the decline in employer-institution partnerships shows that colleges and universities are not just competing against each other, but also private providers that have established themselves as formidable competitors. Partnership opportunities are on the rise. However, colleges and universities must act now to retain and grow their market share in the microcredential space.”
This press release originally appeared online.
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