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Redefining the ROI of Credentials During Economic Downturns

by NSC Blog | Jun 9, 2020 | Interoperable Learner Record, Learning Employment Records, Myhub |

Amid the economic downturn our nation presently faces, career pathways and education strategies are among those most disrupted. With affordability and the uncertainties of career outcomes top of mind for many learners, tuition costs and shorter time frames have taken precedence in determining career goal priorities during these changing times.

During past economic downturns, credential programs and two-year community colleges experienced an influx of students seeking alternatives to traditional four-year degree programs.

Moreover, as tuition costs, financial aid eligibility, stimulus bills, and graduation time frames become a fast-growing consideration for learners amid future employment or business ownership uncertainties, the ROI on education programs must be redefined.

During more stable economic times, the long-term value and success of credential programs is generally measured using ROI calculation tools and formulas, which include many beneficial factors, such as:

  • Lower cost of attendance
  • Shorter time frame needed to complete and graduate
  • Extended choice of programs (online or on-campus)
  • Type of credential attained
  • Student debt ratios

Unfortunately, the information available today to institutions and researchers is insufficient for understanding the accurate value of many credential programs.

Why Reassess Your Programs

It has become clear: students need accurate, real-time data to help support their long-term education and career decisions — and institutions must reassess the present value of their credential programs as students begin to explore more cost-effective, fast-track education options.

Alternative credentials — also referred to as certificates, industry-recognized certifications, licenses, micro-credentials, badges, and nanodegrees — demonstrate their own unique ROI methodology in the shadow of professional degrees.

Right now, higher education experts and fast-track education institutions alike must ask the question: “How will our credential programs prosper in this new environment — and how can we transparently convey its potential outcomes?”

Students and those in the workforce are swiftly shifting gears and reinventing themselves in response to the changing economy, temporary job market displacements, and the evolution of technology. There is no better time than now for every educational institution to reevaluate:

  • Credential program initiatives
  • Program categorizations for financial aid eligibility
  • Completion time frames
  • Online accessibility during social distancing
  • Total costs

Before launching data and dispersing a plethora of tools to this new wave of credential-seeking students, each institution must first reassess how their programs compare to the traditional degrees offered.

Convert Learner Data to Learner Success

For an industry already faced with college closures and decreased enrollment, the COVID-19 crisis has prompted higher education professionals to quickly navigate enrollment and marketing hurdles during these changing times.

Fortunately, mitigating these risks through the power of online student portal services can add value to your institution — and leverage your students’ success. Empowering learners to make smart decisions about investing in their credentials and lifelong learning will pay off not only financially but also help them pursue their ambitions.

To assist institutions and all learners, our new service — Myhub — provides information about the knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies learners will need to be competitive candidates in their chosen career field, along with helpful career outlook information. Myhub brings together all of an individual’s verified academic records and achievements, as well as credentials earned through online or workplace-based learning, in one place.

To learn more about how your institution can help students further succeed, contact us today.

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