The shift in postsecondary credentialing and the needs of the 21st-century workforce will revolutionize higher education. Colleges and universities have vast potential to be positive agents of this change.
While the modern technology revolution has reshaped nearly every sector of society, higher education has managed to retain its fundamental structure from centuries ago. The U.S. postsecondary landscape is still largely dominated by brick-and-mortar colleges and universities where progress is marked by time spent in a classroom and is denoted by highly simplified transcripts controlled by the institutions awarding them.
That's all starting to change. A powerful shift in postsecondary credentialing has taken place over the last few decades, with an explosion in the number of pathways to an education beyond high school. As a result, today's job-seekers can possess not just four-year college degrees but everything from associate's degrees and apprenticeships to occupational licenses and education certificates, all the way to digital badges and employer-based certifications.