There’s a huge difference between a 17-year-old entering college for the first time and a 30-something returning to school after having already been in the workforce. As a teen straight out of high school, college is a full-time job. The lecture and learn model of traditional higher education works just fine (although there are studies that suggest the lecture and listen model is ineffective) for students whose sole responsibility is to learn, but what about the students who are well into adulthood and need higher education to fit into their lives and schedules?
The modern workforce, especially in sectors that deal with rapidly evolving technology, need employees who are constantly learning. Shifting to a skills-based hiring model is not only great to identify existing competency, but it allows an employer to be granular about what a successful hire looks like--a move that ultimately saves time and money. Higher education that focuses on degrees instead of skills doesn’t work for many industries that evolve quicker than students graduate.
Higher education enrollment is on the decline, largely because of the increasingly-expensive price tag that comes along with traditional four-year education. With many more people entering the workforce straight out of high school instead of matriculating into college, it's a wake-up call for higher ed institutions.
What can universities do to adapt to meet the needs of today’s students? They need to issue digital credentials. A diploma is great, but verified proof of learning specific skills is better. Students want to know that if they do accumulate student debt, that they have the actual skills needed to get a job after graduation to pay those loans back. Digital credentials can be issued at a university regardless of the field of study. From humanities to biopharmaceuticals, there are skills that can be proven at the university level that will translate to real-world skills.
If you’re interested in learning more about how your institution can make the shift towards 21st-century demands through digital credentials, view our webinar where we cover how to get buy-in from decision-makers to implement a credentialing program.