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Institutions must broaden the array of programs and credentials they offer to their diverse constituent base. This report outlines the new degree and credential alternatives that can increase professional development and solve the skills gap problem.


  • Implementing alternative degrees and credentials can expand the efficacy and use-value of college experience to a greater array of constituents, while being more cost- and time-effective than traditional programs and models.

Features and Benefits

  • Discusses recent political developments in the UK and US impacting alternative degree and credit offerings.
  • Identifies major alternative degree and credit offerings in higher education.

Key questions answered

  • How can higher education institutions close the skills gap of their graduates?
  • What are some of the degree alternatives in higher ed, and what technology is necessary to implement them on campus?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for institutions
  • Recommendations for vendors

Two degree models presenting an alternative to the four-year or credit-based degree

  • Is there a demand for the UK's accelerated two-year undergraduate degree?
  • Competency-based education: an alternative to credit-hour measurements

Microcredentials: faster time to completion, clearer connection to career credentials

  • Certificates
  • Digital badges


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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