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Bridging the Skills Gap for Frontline Employees

Article by edX For Business

Your industry is evolving, your business needs are changing, and your talent pool is shrinking. With rapid innovation comes an ever expanding need to stay up to speed in areas that keep your business competitive, and nowhere is that more evident than in IT management and computer science. Even at the most junior, entry-level positions, there is a growing skills gap that makes it increasingly difficult to find qualified candidates, and even harder (and more expensive) to hire them.

But what if the employees you need already exist among your workforce? They know your brand, are motivated to stay at your company, and want to play a larger role. Armed with the ability to build the types of skills you're looking for, can this group provide a solution that’s more effective, timely, and affordable?

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Watch the video to hear edX founder and CEO Anant Agarwal and president and co-CEO Adam Medros introduce an innovative new credential to upskill and reskill some of your most motivated employees: MicroBachelors® programs.

Your Next Great Hire Already Works for You

In all types of companies, many frontline workers—whether that be those directly interfacing with customers in a call center or working behind the scenes in a warehouse—are facing job security risks in the face of automation and looking for opportunities to play a larger role. This pool of workers is an untapped resource with the motivation and potential to upskill and reskill into the types of positions you need, but to date have been barred by lack of a bachelor’s degree, often a prerequisite for opportunities to take the next step and make a larger impact.

This insight alone can be a lightbulb moment, but acting on it hasn’t always been easy. Many learning and development professionals have struggled to find educational programs that are appropriate for this workforce, flexible to fit with employee schedules, priced at the right level, and able to adequately skill employees enough to successfully take on new roles.

How can you offer these employees a learning pathway that’s both impactful for individuals and fills your open positions? To find a solution, edX partnered with top colleges, universities, and Fortune 1000 corporations to bridge this skills gap. 

MicroBachelors® Programs: a Pathway to In-Demand, Immediately Transferable Skills

MicroBachelors® programs are stand-alone, credit-backed credentials designed to deliver immediately transferable skills to meet the real-world needs of employers. They are specifically designed for the 65% of adults in the U.S. who do not have a bachelor’s degree and may or may not have some undergraduate experience, but are members of the workforce most at risk to be displaced by automation and other changes in the workplace.

MicroBachelors programs consist of multiple college modules, packaged together around specific themes, that are fully online, allowing working adults to complete coursework on their own schedules. Each program ranges from three to six months in length, equipping learners with immediately relevant job skills in months instead of years.

“We need newer credentials that are smaller than a degree; smaller modular credentials that are innovative and enable you to upskill your employees in exactly those areas where you want them to be upskilled,” said edX founder and CEO Anant Agarwal.

MicroBachelors programs will deliver skills in IT management, computer science, business management, and data science, beginning with IT Career Framework from Western Governors University and Computer Science Fundamentals from New York University.

“These programs are a significant step towards making a key academic milestone—the bachelor’s degree—accessible and doing so in a way that positively impacts the members of our workforce most at risk to be displaced by automation and other changes in the workplace,” Agarwal said.

Built By and For the Future of Work

MicroBachelors programs are directly influenced by industry needs. Throughout the program design process, we worked hand-in-hand with companies and academia to ensure that MicroBachelors programs are tailored to deliver learning for the kinds of jobs that are available and in demand, and that the material would provide the most opportunity to the most workers possible.

“We involved our Corporate Advisory Board from the get go. Our Corporate Advisory Board is made up of companies across industries who all share a belief that education is critical to their success, in growing their workforce and skilling their workforce, and in the success ultimately of their companies,” said edX president and co-CEO Adam Medros.

Leverage MicroBachelors Programs at Your Company

As the first credit-backed stackable credential, edX MicroBachelors™ programs mark a significant milestone in online learning.

Learn more about investing in your workers’ employability with this high quality, credit-backed credential.

Learn More About MicroBachelors Programs