Jobs nowadays highlight the changing profile of companies and workers as employment refocuses on the emerging face of an increasingly global workforce. Competency based employment progressively challenges the reality of a long time paradigm that is no longer a right fit in today’s over all job market. Unlike college graduates of the past who transitioned from commencement to the open arms of a job, today’s graduates find they lack the skills needed to fill the requirements of today’s business market. Employers are finding they need specifically qualified workers for today’s jobs, and employees are realizing they need to fill the gaps between a college education and the specific skills graduates need to increase and secure their employability. Higher education also knows it must adapt to meet the changing needs of both job seekers and employers.
In recognizing that higher education needs to adapt to the changing needs of today’s employers and job seekers, a group of leading universities in the nation – Georgia Tech Professional Education, UCLA, University of California, Davis Extension, University of California, Irvine Division of Continuing Education, University of Washington Professional and Continuing Education, and University of Wisconsin-Extension – has partnered to create University Learning Store, an accepted and respected venue to provide micro-credentials that are specific and applicable to today’s job market. These mini-credentials provide the key to filling the gaps between college graduation and the lack of essential skills students will face when looking for jobs. University Learning Store courses are affordable and priced far less than the cost of public university classes; currently most courses are $25 – $75.
David Schejbal is Dean of Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning, at University of Wisconsin-Extension, an institution seen as a leading voice for meeting ever-changing student needs. Dean Schejbal has focused not only on making education accessible, affordable, and flexible for working adults, but also centered his vision on inventing ways to reach beyond traditional higher education. Such educational insight and originality has positioned University of Wisconsin-Extension as a leading voice in driving innovative and groundbreaking online programs, such as University of Wisconsin Flexible Option, the first competency-based degree in the nation’s public university systems, in addition to the University Learning Store.
According to the University Learning Store, here is how to maximize your success with micro-credentials as you launch your careers:
- As a new college grad, focus on the power skills (no longer considered soft skills) early on in your career. Those universally sought skills will increase your value across the job market. As you progress in your career, transition to the technical skills specific to your role.
- As an experienced professional, you can propel your career by recognizing a skills gap that’s holding you back and proactively shopping for the targeted credentials that can close that gap.
- Seek micro-credentials verified by business professionals to be sure the courses are job-relevant and valued in your workplace.
Follow this link for FAQ at the University Learning Store.
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