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UT System and Coursera launch the most comprehensive industry-recognized microcredential program in the country
AUSTIN, TX - The University of Texas (UT) 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,” UT System Chancellor James B. Milliken said. “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 Texas jobs 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 Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda. “This systemwide 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 various 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.
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. With more than 35 course topics to choose from, students enrolled and completed more than 6,000 courses overall.
According to recent Coursera research, 86 percent 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 percent more likely to hire a candidate who has earned both a degree and a certificate.
To learn more about Texas Credentials for the Future and the credential courses available at UT academic institutions, visit utsystem.edu/sites/texas-microcredentials. To learn more about Coursera for Campus, visit coursera.org/campus.
About The University of Texas System
For nearly 140 years, The University of Texas System has improved the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 13 institutions that enroll more than 243,000 students collectively, the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce more than 64,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of undergraduate degrees in Texas and more than 60% of the state’s medical degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics account for more than 10 million outpatient visits and more than 2 million hospital days each year. UT institutions are among the most innovative in the world, ranking No. 1 in Texas and No. 2 in the nation for federal research expenditures. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas – employing more than 116,000 faculty, health care professionals, support staff and student workers – and has an operating budget of $25.2 billion for fiscal year 2023.