Microcredentials – Higher Education’s Path To Remaining Relevant For The Long Haul? – O'Donnell Learn

Microcredentials – Higher Education’s Path To Remaining Relevant For The Long Haul?

Published by Carrie O'Donnell
on Jul 24, 2019

According to Berson by Deloitte, a leading workforce and talent development consultancy, 57% of jobs are vulnerable to automation and 70% of business leaders believe they need a new mix of talent and skills. Clearly, new skills will be needed in the future for jobs that aren’t even on the horizon today.

For colleges and universities to stay relevant – and for some, to survive – they’ll need to innovate solutions not only around building better degrees, but also around building lifelong relationships with the students they serve.

The expectation of graduating students is that their education has fully prepared them to land a job in their chosen field and equipped them with the skills needed to grow and advance in their career. However, “Leveling Up: How To Win In the Skills Economy”, a 2016 report produced by Payscale, a provider of on-demand compensation data and software, revealed many college graduates are lacking in key hard and soft skills hiring managers feel are critical for success.

At the top of list? Nearly half of all hiring managers surveyed indicated critical thinking/problem solving, communication and leadership are missing in recent graduates’ soft skills repertoires; and 44% felt new graduates lack writing proficiency. Other hard skill deficiencies include data analysis, public speaking and SEO/SEM marketing.

The report also shared the top three skills across 16 major job groups that would garner significant pay boosts for the employee that possessed them. For example, in management occupations, employees with skills in IT risk, SAP Business Intelligence and mergers and acquisitions could see pay increases of 15.8%, 16.1% and 16.5% respectively.

This data represents huge opportunities for higher education. Instead of viewing a degree as an end point in the higher education path, degrees should now be seen as foundational building blocks upon which rich, career-advancing experiences are added. Stackable microcredentials and professional certificate programs are excellent options for former students to continue to evolve their degree and viability in the workforce. From day one, set the expectation that an education should grow with one’s career and then cultivate an environment (and relationship) that fosters this.

Additionally, microcredentials and professional certificate programs help higher education reach beyond the physical campus. Forward-thinking colleges and universities recognize that online learning opens up the door to career-building education with corporations, business organizations and individuals anywhere in the world. Building relationships for the long-term now, means that when the need to upskill, reskill or deep skill in a specific field arises in the future, former and potential students will already know what you offer and can seek out your solutions.

The reality of remaining relevant to a student’s future career is already here and the needs will be great. The question then is will you be ready to meet them?


Purposeful Learning DesignTM – Why People are at the Center of Everything We Do

Published By Carrie O'Donnell
on Jan 15, 2021

I’m often asked why our company is so good at collaborating with  faculty. The first time I heard this question, I didn’t realize clients found this unique to O’Donnell Learn. We’ve always been great partners  because people are at the heart of everything we do. In fact, our entire design philosophy - Purposeful Learning DesignTM - is anchored around people.  It starts with this truth: learning is for people. As such, learning design should be grounded in empathy and it should promote success for both learners and faculty. Purposeful Learning Design is the philosophy we embrace to ensure we never lose sight of this truth. It is comprised of six key considerations.

2020 Reflective: Breathe Deep and Stay Agile

Published By Joana Jebsen
on Dec 22, 2020

While end-of-year survey results are still to come for how enrolled students are evaluating their 2020 college experience, I queried two of our staff, both students, about their overall experience and considered how these compared to what I was seeing with O’Donnell Learn clients. Kellie, our graphic design intern, just completed her Associates Degree in Graphic design. Prior to 2020, all of her courses met on campus. Cathryn, a Learning Design Associate is currently enrolled in an online Master of Education program in eLearning and Instructional Design. As this program was conceived as online delivery, it serves as a benchmark to compare against courses that were forced by COVID to switch delivery modes.

Evolving Our Project Management to Advance Client Results

Published By Craig Leonard
on Dec 16, 2020

If you were to talk to anyone in our organization, you’d quickly discover that we are all truly passionate about learning. So much so, that always learning is one of our core values. Learning from our successes, failures and each other is integral to how we operate and how we’ve grown into the agile company we are today.