Survey reveals employers’ views on the benefits and concerns of microcredit – campus technology


Survey reveals employers’ views on the benefits and concerns of microcredit

Most employers today are aware of microcredit and other non-degree credentials, according to a new study by Collegis Education and UPCEA, the association for higher education professionals in online and continuing education. Of 510 organizational leaders surveyed, 95% said they were at least somewhat familiar with microcredentials, and more than two-thirds (69%) said they were very or very familiar with alternative qualifications or training.

Most survey respondents associated a number of benefits with including micro-badges on a prospective employee’s resume. These included: showing an employee’s willingness to develop their skills (cited by 76% of respondents); show initiative (63%); easy transfer of skills and abilities to employees (60%); and show that the employee stays current on certain topics (56%). In addition, 80% of respondents indicated that stackable credentials—those that can be built into a full degree—have increased the appeal of micro-credentials in general.

Concerns about microcredentials were manifold. When asked about the adverse impact microcredentials could have on the workforce, 17% of respondents cited false or irrelevant credentials and a lack of critical skills or training as their top concerns. Other concerns were the quality of training/validation of credentials (cited by 12% of respondents); lack of educational/work experience (11%); quality of work/performance (9%); and unqualified candidates for a role (8%). Still, one in five respondents said they had little to no concern about the impact of microcredit.

“UPCEA’s mission is to help colleges and universities evolve their programs to meet the evolving needs of employers and adult students,” commented Jim Fong, chief research officer at UPCEA, in a statement. “Micro evidence can play a crucial role in the new economy. Yet much like how online degrees were perceived two decades ago, some are critical of the quality of non-degree programs despite the lack of evidence of a systematic problem. Findings from the Collegis/UPCEA research show that organizational leaders value microcredentials and non-degree programming, but are often unaware of it.

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The full report, The Effect of Employer Understanding and Engagement on Non-Degree Credentials, is available for download on the Collegis Education website (registration required).

About the author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is the Editor-in-Chief of Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].