The Learning House has released a report which discusses a number of opportunities for growth that the company feels universities should take into consideration as employer needs and student demands continue to change.
The report, "Growth Opportunities in Higher Education: Degrees and Alternate Pathways," finds specific higher education offerings to hold the greatest potential for future use.
Authors suggest that as costs associated with higher education continue to rise, different types of education are becoming even more important. They go on to say that such alternative methods will continue to offer value to students in terms of meeting market demands, not only for both lifelong learning and in terms of having a successful career, but by allowing students the ability to demonstrate competency in a number of areas over shorter periods of time.
The report lists a number of these alternative pathways that they feel will continue to be important in the future. These include Competency-Based Education (CBE), Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Bootcamps and Microdegrees, Badges, Enterprise Partnerships, Stackable Certificate, "1 + 3" early college enrollment programs, Curated Degrees, Digital Transcripts, and Lifelong Learning.
In addition, they say that colleges and universities need to determine various pathways that will keep them relevant for the student of today. The report suggests that if schools expand access and reduce associated costs, they will see an increase in a more educated workforce.
"This research underscores that for higher education institutions to thrive, it's critical that they're flexible in how, where and what they offer to students," said Todd Zipper, the CEO of The Learning House. "This includes ensuring that universities are offering the right educational products, as students will otherwise seek out these opportunities elsewhere. Now more than ever, universities must evolve to meet the demands of the 21st century economy."
The report suggests a number of online degrees will remain important in the future. These include a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Health Information Management, Market Research, Digital Marketing, and both bachelor's and master's programs in Data Science.
Researchers looked into the importance of both tracking and quantifying learning, while at the same time considering new models that could support those endeavors. They find that as students continue to make use of both traditional methods of education and methods outside of this realm, all learning needs to be quantified for the benefit of employers. They suggest that colleges and universities learn to be flexible when designing new programs and policies in order to allow for the verification and credentialing of outside learning.
The report found external forces to have created a need for such alternative methods of learning, and suggest that these forces will continue to do so in the future as they offer various methods for students to gain an education without the need to attend a traditional college or university.
The Learning House is a leading technology provider of solutions that allow universities to succeed in the increasingly competitive landscape present today.