The University of Texas System and Coursera today launched an expanded industry microcredential program with a goal of preparing every interested student at UT academic campuses -– as well as faculty, staff and alumni — for the state’s workforce demands at no extra cost to them. As part of the UT System’s Texas Credentials for the Future initiative, over 240,000 learners across nine UT campuses now have access to the Career Academy on Coursera, which includes more than 35 entry-level Professional Certificates from leading companies such as Google, IBM, Microsoft and Salesforce. The expanded partnership represents the most extensive industry-recognized microcredential program from a U.S. university system.
“As we continue building upon our successful Texas Credentials for the Future initiative, we are especially grateful for our partnership with Coursera and for the UT System Board of Regents’ commitment to funding this important expansion of our microcredential programs,” said UT System Chancellor James B. Milliken. “Microcredentials are a powerful and effective tool in producing graduates who are both broadly educated and specifically skilled, giving them a competitive edge in the labor market while also enhancing their overall undergraduate experience. The UT System’s continued investment in microcredential courses is critical to meeting our state’s growing workforce demands while always preparing our students for success.”
Today, more than half of Texans lack the training for jobs that require a postsecondary credential, and projections show that by 2030, more than 60 percent of jobs in Texas will require some level of higher education, such as a degree or certificate. The Texas Higher Education Board aims to close this gap with the goal of ensuring 60 percent of working-age Texans receive a degree, certificate, or postsecondary credential by 2030. Additionally, research by Strada and Gallup revealed that adults who have both a college degree and a non-degree credential found their education helped them achieve their goals and made them more attractive job candidates — and they reported this at higher rates than those who only held a college degree.
“We’re excited to partner with the University of Texas System to equip 240,000 Texans with in-demand industry skills, supporting local employment and the state’s economy,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO. “This system-wide industry microcredential program sets an innovative blueprint for the future of higher education.”
Career Academy offers UT students and alumni the opportunity to explore a wide range of in-demand career paths, such as Data Analyst, Cybersecurity Analyst, UX Designer, Application Developer, and Social Media Marketer. Hands-on projects and interactive assessments allow students to apply their skills in real-world scenarios and practice using workplace tools. They will also earn career-focused credentials to enhance their qualifications for the job market.
Participating universities -– including UT Austin, UT Arlington, UT Dallas, UT El Paso, UT Permian Basin, UT Rio Grande Valley, UT San Antonio, Stephen F. Austin State University and UT Tyler -– are integrating Professional Certificates into their curriculum and co-curriculum in innovative ways. For example, UT Tyler incorporated data analytics and project management certificates in criminal justice courses, and the UT Dallas Jindal School of Business is offering students extra credit for completion of certificates that supplement business-related degrees in high-demand positions like business analytics and IT management.
According to recent Coursera research, 86% of U.S. students said that earning an industry microcredential would help them stand out to employers and secure jobs when they graduate. U.S. employers agree: they are, on average, 75% more likely to hire a candidate who has earned both a degree and a certificate.
The University of Texas System and Coursera launched the pilot phase of this program to select students in December 2022. In the first semester, approximately 3,000 students spent 30,000 hours learning online, completing over 6,000 courses.
To learn more about Texas Credentials for the Future and the credential courses available at UT academic institutions, visit www.utsystem.edu/sites/texas-microcredentials. To learn more about Coursera for Campus, visit coursera.org/campus.
Coursera was launched in 2012 by two Stanford Computer Science professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, with a mission to provide universal access to world-class learning. It is now one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, with 124 million registered learners as of March 31, 2023. Coursera partners with over 300 leading university and industry partners to offer a broad catalog of content and credentials, including courses, Specializations, Professional Certificates, Guided Projects, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Institutions around the world use Coursera to upskill and reskill their employees, citizens, and students in fields such as data science, technology, and business. Coursera became a Delaware public benefit corporation and a B Corp in February 2021.
Source Code: COUR-IR