The educational qualifications or credentials issued by colleges and universities play a defining role in the employment landscape. In fact, both relevant qualifications and adequate experience are necessary in case of gaining suitable employment opportunities.
“The newest innovations are transforming the workforce landscape at a breakneck speed. To stay updated with these changes, employers are looking for people with appropriate skills that meet the current needs of their companies as well as respective industries”, suggests Neil Peterson, an assignment help expert. On the other hand, employees are constantly looking to master new skills and stay relevant in their respective fields at every stage of their careers.
However, it has become quite common for employers to decide that a degree alone is not sufficient. A particular study conducted by Northeastern University suggests an increasing demand for job applicants to hold online certificates, and real-world professional experience, other than proper college degrees. The findings indicate that employers are recognizing the fact that lifelong learning is essential to both securing a job and remaining relevant in a 21st-century work environment.
Now let’s delve further into the elaborate study and survey carried out by the university on the changing dynamics of educational credentials in case of employment and hiring. But before that, here are some insights into the importance of educational credentials.
The Importance of Educational Credentials in Employment
Almost without exception, a candidate’s ability to gain suitable employment ultimately comes down to the quality of his/her education, and the degree of preparedness that he/she has for the role. Whether or not they have a proper understanding of what they want to do in the job, having a strong educational background is the single most significant thing. This way, the candidates can increase their employment options and their earning potential.
For decades, numerous studies have shown a large gap in income between people who don’t graduate from high school and people who do. There is an even greater disparity between people who graduate from high school and those who graduate from college. The innovations and demands of technology are changing this dynamic somewhat. However, it is still undeniable that individuals with advanced degrees, on the whole, happen to earn more and find more career success than people without degrees.
Emphasis on online learning opportunities
Online learning programs are now a part of the mainstream education process. Today’s online education landscape involves thousands of degrees and certificate offerings from different colleges, including many of the world’s most well-known and prestigious institutions. In fact, the study conducted by Northeastern University highlights that 55% of HR leaders believe qualifications earned online is equivalent to those completed in-person.
There has been relatively limited information available on the employers’ perception of online credentials. However, going by a variety of academic research projects and surveys over the years, it’s evident that employer acceptance of qualifications earned online has been slowly and steadily increasing.
The idea of education has been evolving swiftly since the arrival of massively open online courses (MOOCs). There are 19 MOOCs presented by some of the world’s most prestigious institutions into the online education market. But simultaneously, it has raised some pertinent questions about the level of rigor, assessment, and interaction between learners and teachers in terms of these online courses.
The rise of the “Microcredentials”
The rapid development of online education has resulted in a variety of new “micro-credentials”. These are short-form, sub-degree awards that represent the completion of a course, learning module, or a series of courses.
Micro-Credentials include both generic offerings like digital badges as well as proprietary credential constructs like “nano degrees” or “MicroMasters.” Considering the current trend in post-secondary education toward more targeted, affordable, and work-aligned learning, millions of students and professionals have earned these non-degree credentials in just the last few years. However, there’s very little information about HR leaders’ experiences with and perceptions of Micro-Credentials in hiring. The study highlights that 55% of HR leaders believe micro-credentials are likely to bring down the emphasis on degrees.
The micro-credential market has been governed by the rise of non-institutional education providers, operating as independent of accredited academic institutions. Consider, for example, Udacity and its “nanodegrees.” Additionally, profit-driven and non-profit entities that work with university partners – like Coursera,EdXor Udacity– present their own credentials, often endorsed by the university.
What are the indicators of quality in the eyes of employers? Is formal accreditation insignificant in terms of generating business results? What is the role of third-party endorsements or seals of approval? Many have contemplated these dynamics since “alternative” methods of learning began to boom a few years ago.
According to the Northeastern University survey, the hiring leaders tend to emphasize more on industry validation and alignment, as well as experience with previous hires and the performance results of the employees.
Industry-driven credentials and the future of hiring
The survey also enquired the hiring leaders directly about priorities that they would suggest for colleges and universities to focus while ensuring the quality and utility of online credentials in hiring. Most responses identified work-integrated learning and industry-validated curriculum as the clear highest priorities.
It’s also interesting to note that the systems to monitor the authenticity of the credential and “more rigorous” quality assurance and accreditation are also emphasized by the leaders.
Degrees still have immense value in the hiring process, but Micro-Credentials and new hiring practices have begun to alter the equation. Considering the orthodox nature of recruitment and educational credentialing procedures, the acceptance of innovative new practices is arguably occurring at an evolutionary pace instead of an overnight transformation.
However, ensuring the quality and reaching a greater level of innovations in educational credentialing will need more research and analysis. In this case, the implementation of new types of technologies, tools, and interfaces between employers and educational institutions and the hands-on approach by employers are likely towork wonders.
Author bio: Suhana is a passionate blogger and digital marketing enthusiast. Suhana Williams is one of the most talented assignment makers who also provide assignment. She enjoys the ever-evolving world of digital marketing and loves to share her opinion on every possible update with her audience. When not creating magic with her words, you can find her sky-diving or trekking in the most bizarre locations.