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When a College Degree Isn’t Enough

The Atlantic, April 27, 2017

By Laura Pappano

24541877102 8ccec6c5b7 zThe job market in the United States has entered a new era, in which skills, rather than degrees, are currency. Many adults with college degrees are obtaining additional licenses and certifications; the most recent estimate says that in 2012, one quarter of adults had licenses, certifications, or educational certificates. However, within the past five years, the offerings of short-term online educational opportunities has risen rapidly. According to Anant Agarwal, founder of the edX MicroMasters program, the job culture is moving away from valuing traditional master’s degrees and “is moving to smaller and smaller credentials and continuous education.”

The author of this article, Laura Pappano, writer-in-residence at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW), describes this phenomenon as an “explosion of credentialing.” She details the possibilities and problems that this phenomenon imposes for students, workers, and employers, and the framework that a group called Credential Transparency Initiative has drafted to identify the meaning behind credentials from badges to doctorate degrees.

Read the full article on the Atlantic.