In an opinion column in Chief Learning Officer, Jobs for the Future Senior Director Josh Copus and Senior Innovation Officer Stephen Yadzinski say we need a way to measure the quality of non-degree education and training programs.
They point out that while confidence in the value of a four-year college education is waning and more Americans are considering non-degree programs as a way to gain skills and expertise, learners, workers, and employers alike lack an effective means of assessing which programs will best prepare participants for career success.
“Unfortunately, we are not prepared for this rapid growth in demand for non-degree credentials and skills training programs,” they write. “Students, employers and learning providers have little way of determining quality and they lack insight into which programs are the best fit for a learner’s aspirations. Currently, learners cannot be expected to have any more confidence in non-degree credentials than in their higher education counterparts.”
Therefore, they conclude, “We must create clearer pathways to success that allow learners to make data-driven, informed decisions about their educational and economic future.”