By Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO
The job market is changing rapidly, and to meet new employer and student demands, universities must also evolve. Today, I’m excited to announce that Coursera and the University of Texas System (UT) have launched a new industry micro-credential program with a goal to prepare every UT campus student, faculty, staff, and alumni for the state’s workforce demands, at no cost to them. This innovative new program shows where the future of higher education is headed.
Through this expanded partnership, over 246,000 students, faculty, and staff across nine UT campuses now have access to Career Academy on Coursera, which includes more than 35 Professional Certificates from leading companies such as Google, IBM, and Salesforce. UT and Coursera have also made the program available to 246,000 alumni to encourage lifelong learning. The expanded partnership represents the most extensive industry-recognized micro-credential program in terms of reach 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.”
With the Texas population expected to double by 2050, and Texas projected to have the highest net job growth of any state by 2030, the UT System has made an investment to prepare a large part of the population for fast-changing workforce demands.
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, and Application Developer. Hands-on projects and interactive assessments allow students to apply their skills in real-world scenarios and practice using workplace tools. At the end of the program, they will also earn career-focused credentials to enhance their job qualifications. According to Coursera’s recent Learner Outcomes Report, 1 in 4 learners who completed an Entry Level professional certificate course secured a new job.
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 rolled out 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, completing over 6,000 courses. Top skills included project management, data analysis, and coding and top courses underscored interest in fields such as data analytics, business, and information technology.
We’re proud to partner with the University of Texas System to help hundreds of thousands of Texans develop critical workforce skills to boost employment and accelerate the local economy.
To learn more about Texas Credentials for the Future and the credential courses available at UT academic institutions, visit www.utsystem.edu/sites/texas-microcredentials. To learn more about Coursera for Campus, visit coursera.org/campus.