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Takeaways from the Saylor Summit Panel on Postsecondary Awards

Takeaways from the Saylor Summit Panel on Postsecondary Awards
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Posted in category Did You Know? by

Sitting on a panel discussion at the recent Saylor Summit was a very rewarding experience. Sharing the stage with such well-respected minds as Katie Hall who moderated and is the Director of Communications for Corporation for a Skilled Workforce as well as Stephanie Krauss who is the Director of Special Projects for Jobs for the Future made for an enjoyable panel.

So many organizations are working from multiple angles to fix what is broken in traditional higher education while also creating new tools and pathways to fill the widening jobs gap between those with only a high school diploma and those with a bachelor's degree. The BLS (Bureau of Labor and Statistics) estimates that by 2024 the US will have at least 2.5 million new jobs that require more than a high school degree but less than a bachelor's degree just in medical coding and nursing assistant job roles alone. These are high-wage, high-growth job roles. Emerging tools such as Connecting Credentials are working diligently to help map how credentials fit together to help people understand how their skills can translate laterally into new pathways or upward into job role growth to help fill these gaps.

It can be confusing to navigate and understand what these things mean. When you are thinking about obtaining education you need to focus on three important things:

  1. Learner control - Can the student initiate changes to suit their needs?
  2. Portability - If the student doesn't finish can the work completed transfer elsewhere?
  3. Verification - What kind of verification of learning does the student get and what does that mean to employers?

If a student focuses on these things then they can best understand what the value of that education may be.

When choosing a credential it is most important to think about the jobs that credential prepares you for. As the world changes so too does higher education need to change to address evolving needs. 'New collar' is a new term to describe jobs somewhere in between blue collar and white collar. IBM's CEO Gina Rometty recently penned a letter to the POTUS and an op-ed for USAToday that speaks to the same growing number of jobs that need specific skills but not a bachelor's degree. even includes career advice that helps to sell these 'new collar' jobs.

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Description of some major points made during a panel discussion on alternative credentials at the Saylor Higher Education Summit.

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certificate vs degree
Saylor Higher Education Summit
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alternative credentials
competency-based education
competency-based learning
new collar jobs
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