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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

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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