Students can complete programs, with courses endorsed by the American Council on Education as worthy of college credit, in under a year
Irvine and San Francisco CA — Perspectives on work are changing – polling shows that whatever people thought about remote work at the onset of the pandemic, many Americans want to continue working from home. Employers’ views are also shifting, as business leaders are now more likely to look favorably upon academic credentials that prospective and current employees acquire via online learning.
Telecommuting helps professionals achieve work-life balance but can also pose challenges for people who want to begin new jobs. Employers are realizing that remote work is eliminating geographic barriers between open positions and talent, so job seekers can look forward to swimming in an increasingly large pool of applicants. When employers can recruit from coast to coast – or even globally – many professionals will need to upgrade their skill sets to ensure they get noticed.
Now, a partnership between University of Massachusetts Global and Foundry College will help even more people develop marketable skills in the fields of customer relationship management or project management. Foundry College and UMass Global are fortifying the former institution’s Salesforce Administrator and Project Management certificates by offering students who complete either program a streamlined pathway to UMass Global degrees, including a Bachelor of Business Administration.
“If anything is clear after nearly two full years of working through the pandemic, it’s that working people want flexibility and options both at work and in college,” UMass Global Chancellor Gary Brahm said. “By offering stackable certificates, we’re helping students build marketable skills over the short and long terms. The college-credit aspect of these certificates is an invaluable offering. Students can rest easy that their investment in their studies today will count toward a college degree in their future should they opt to continue to grow through education in the years to come.”
Foundry courses are taught online and in real-time, with students assembling virtually for lectures and group activities. The Salesforce Administrator and Project Management certificates each require the completion of six courses, which can be accomplished in under a year. Four courses are common to both programs, so students who want both certificates can achieve their goal in about 15 months.
Both certificate programs prepare completers to qualify for third-party certifications validating newly learned skills. Students may also claim transfer credit by completing any of the four courses common to the two programs if they later enroll with institutions granting credit based on American Council for Education evaluations. This quartet of courses confers essential business skills, such as communication, problem-solving, and team building.
The Foundry-UMass Global partnership is adding value to both certificate programs since all courses leading to either award now articulate to credit-bearing UMass Global courses. Certificate holders who go on to pursue a UMass Global degree can do so with at least 18 credits to their names.
“Foundry College is dedicated to educating humans in a human way by upskilling people for better lives through active learning, with active teachers and active coaches,” Foundry Chief Executive Officer and President Dr. Akiba Covitz said. “That’s what makes this agreement with UMass Global such a great fit for our learners. Because they’ve learned important skills for a changing world, they will be well prepared for the duration of their careers and for the betterment of their lives.”
U.S. employers are warming up to the prospect of hiring candidates who have earned online credentials. A December 2021 study from the Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy at Northeastern University found 71% of the more than 1,000 C-Suite leaders surveyed in spring 2021 rated credentials earned via online learning as being of equal quality, or even better, than educational credentials obtained through in-person programs. This, according to the study, tracks with nearly a decade’s worth of progression in which U.S. executives have developed more positive views of online learning.
The pandemic and its accompanying disruptions to labor markets and the shift to remote work have added new competitive dimensions to the hiring process. Nearly 60% of executives whose opinions shaped the above-mentioned study predicted employers will demand more highly qualified job applicants in the post-pandemic economy. Also, 62% of executives plan to take advantage of remote work to attract greater numbers of applicants to open positions.
Although remote work will likely result in more competition for job seekers, many people want the option of working from home. Gallup discovered after polling roughly 4,000 employed U.S. adults in mid-September that 45% of Americans who were then employed on a full-time basis were working remotely for at least a portion of their working time. This report followed a Gallup survey of 9,000-plus Americans, conducted in May and June of 2021, that revealed 91% of Americans then assigned to remote work wanted either hybrid schedules – favored by more than 54% of workers – or full-time remote work – the choice of 37% of workers. A mere 9% favored going back to the pre-pandemic status quo of spending five days a week at the workplace.
“Remote work and online learning are the wave of the future,” Chancellor Brahm said. “We’ve seen just how productive we can be while working on fully- remote or hybrid schedules. Let’s make the most of this emerging opportunity to identify the professions where people can continue to be collaborative and productive members of their organizations while working from home. After all, our jobs are supposed to be about getting things done, not sitting in traffic.”
About University of Massachusetts Global
University of Massachusetts Global, formerly Brandman University, is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The university offers undergraduate, graduate, credential, and certificate programs designed to be relevant to more than 90 career paths. UMass Global serves nearly 23,000 students, about 16,000 of whom are enrolled in academic credit programs, at 25 physical campuses in California and Washington, as well as online. UMass Global offers fully online courses for students anywhere in the United States and for military personnel serving abroad. For more information, visit the university’s website.
About Foundry College
Foundry College is a new kind of college that offers live, face-to-face classes in an online environment that promotes the community of a traditional classroom experience. Every class combines live, instructor-led lectures with small-group active learning sessions to ensure that new skills and knowledge are effectively integrated, retained, and can be put into immediate practice. Foundry College’s proprietary learning management system, the Forge, can host up to 200 students per session and uses performance data to facilitate student learning and success. Created by a team led by President Emeritus and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Stephen M. Kosslyn, Foundry College launched in 2018 and is headquartered in San Francisco. Foundry College was recently named a Top 100 Ed Tech company in North America by HolonIQ. https://foundrycollege.org