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Coursera Survey: Student and Employer Demand for Microcredentials Is High

According to a global survey from Coursera, employers and students alike see value in microcredentials that document job-relevant skills and experience. The online learning provider commissioned research firm Dynata to poll 3,600 students and employers across eight countries — Australia, India, France, Germany, Mexico, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States — about the motivations, needs, and challenges of both students pursuing a degree and employers hiring them.

Globally, 89% of students in the survey agreed or strongly agreed that earning an entry-level professional certificate or microcredential will help them stand out to employers and secure jobs when they graduate. For their part, 92% of employers agreed or strongly agreed that a professional certificate strengthens a candidate's job application, and on average, employers were 76% more likely to hire a candidate who has earned an industry microcredential.

The findings are similar within the United States. Out of the 306 U.S. students surveyed, 86% agreed that earning an industry microcredential will help them stand out to employers and get a job after graduation, and 81% said microcredentials will help them succeed in their job. Among the 150 U.S. employers surveyed, 86% agreed that earning an industry microcredential strengthens a candidate's job application, and 74% said they believe microcredentials improve a candidate's ability to perform in an entry-level position.

U.S. students also expressed interest in pursuing microcredentials as part of their degree pathway. Seventy-four percent of the survey respondents said that the inclusion of relevant microcredentials would influence their choice of a degree program at their university, and 66% said having a credential count as credit toward a degree was their highest motivating factor in choosing that type of skills training.

"By linking skills-based learning to skills-based hiring, higher education institutions can fill gaps in their curricula and build a bridge between their degree programs and the demands of today's employers," noted Scott Shireman, global head of Coursera for Campus, in a company blog post, "while employers can diversify their hiring pipelines while being assured that their new hires are job-ready." 

Read more about the survey results on the Cousera blog here.

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].

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