Short-Term Credentials Are Booming in Texas. Are Employers Hiring? (Work Shift)

January 12, 2024

In Texas, money is flowing for short-term credentials. The state’s new funding formula, signed by the governor in June, is allocating dollars to community colleges in part based on how many credentials of value they award. 

It would appear that there is no better time to invest in alternative credentials. Interest rates on student loans are the highest they’ve been in a decade. Employers are loosening degree requirements for jobs, in the midst of advocacy campaigns and a still-tight labor market. 

The big idea: If Texas can stick the landing—getting citizens without a college education into short-term programs and subsequently into well-paying jobs—it could be a model of upward mobility for others around the country. 


What employers say: A recent national survey of over 1K full-time hiring managers found that about two thirds said their organization still relies on a four-year degree as the primary measure of whether an employee can perform. 

“There’s still a good bit of gatekeeping with the four-year degree, as this is what you need to enter the kingdom,” says Bruce Etter, senior director of research and consulting at the UPCEA, the online and professional education association, which conducted the survey along with InsideTrack.

“To advance throughout the ranks, microcredentials or non-degree credentials can help do that,” he says.

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