US: New White Paper from Express—The Big Rewards of Microcredentials

Express Employment Professionals has released a new white paper focusing on how shorter, more customizable learning opportunities can help job seekers and existing employees secure in-demand jobs and upskill without committing to a much longer traditional degree program. 

With 9.6 million job openings nationwide resulting in less than one unemployed person per position, America is experiencing a unique labor shortage that defies historical expectations. Retiring baby boomers, a low labor force participation rate, and a lack of skilled workers add up to a deficit of employees that’s not likely to ease anytime soon. 

One likely solution is the rise in microcredentials, also known as microdegrees.  

According to the State University of New York, “Microcredentials are short, focused credentials designed to provide in-demand skills, know-how, and experience. Stackable microcredentials can also provide a pathway to a certificate or full degree, now or when you are ready.”  

While these credentials have been around for many years, offerings have ballooned more recently as interest from employers and prospective employees has increased. 

The new white paper, titled “The Big Rewards of Microcredentials,” shows that employers value these abbreviated educational building blocks: 

  • 77% of U.S. hiring managers say microcredentials are just as valuable as (39%) or more valuable than (38%) traditional degrees.  
  • 81% of hiring decision-makers agree microcredentials provide the workforce with skilled workers in a timely manner. 

And job seekers agree:  

  • 86% agree that microcredentials are a valuable way for established employees to grow their skill sets and knowledge. 
  • 79% say microcredentials will help close the workforce shortage. 

Drawing from real-life experiences of Express Employment Professionals franchise owners and the companies they serve, as well as exclusive survey data prepared by The Harris Poll for Express, and recent economic data, this paper examines what microcredentials are, which institutions offer them, how to verify their legitimacy, and their role in the future labor force.   

Every aspect of our lives is becoming customizable on demand, according to Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller.  

“Why shouldn’t education follow suit?” he added. “Microcredentials—or microdegrees—are proliferating as a cost-effective way for job seekers and employees to develop their skills and prove their talents on their own schedules.” 

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