- Colleges and universities throughout the country have entered an agreement with EdX to offer MicroMasters: small-scale credentialing programs that can be completed in months and can apply earned credit towards a master's degree.
- Online programs are offered in supply chain management, hospitality and business and social work, among dozens of other emerging professional fields.
- Credentials can be earned at a fraction of the cost of a full master's degree, which can spur savings in student loans of out-of-pocket expenses for a full degree.
Research indicates that interest and pursuit of master's degrees is increasing over the last year, and programs like these are certain to accelerate that interest for many working professionals. The cost and value of these degrees continues to remain a high priority in many fields, unlike doctoral degrees, which outside of applied science and education, show waning interest.
From an industry and financial perspective, all institutions should prioritize job training and skills development at the undergraduate level, with an eye towards promoting advanced degrees as a high level certification that can accentuate certain credentials earned through the first four years. This places graduates in a position of bartering for higher salaries and competitive opportunities beyond entry-level work.