University of New Hampshire partners with companies to teach critical job skills, says the Department of Business & Economic Affairs.

CONCORD, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) new micro-credential program is helping to close the workforce skills gap, announced the N.H. Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA). UNH offers more than 250 micro-credential courses and 26 certificate programs in areas ranging from computer science and cryptocurrency to business management and law. Since the program began 18 months ago, about 2,000 learners per semester enroll in professional education programs focused on work ready skills, with over 6,000 digital badges issued to date.

Courses – which start as low as $50 and are open to all individuals regardless of enrollment status – range from one-day training programs to intensive, month-long certificate programs and credited options. Upon completion, students can present their achievements to potential employers through digital badges that describe specific knowledge and skills obtained. Select micro-credentials can be “stacked” or combined with others to count towards mastery certificates.

“It’s a win-win for both students and employers in our region,” said Ken La Valley, Vice Provost of Outreach and Engagement and Director of UNH Extension. “The program provides job seekers the opportunity to advance their knowledge and promote work ready skills that supplement a traditional degree, and it offers employers an upscaled workforce, allowing them to retain employees.”

Courses are taught in person and online by professors and business professionals. UNH partners with more than 5,000 New Hampshire businesses to provide training programs for existing employees and new graduates who have obtained relevant micro-credential competencies.

“Our state’s micro-credential programs give individuals a cost-efficient option to higher education that allows them to obtain and showcase ‘work ready’ skills,” said BEA Commissioner Taylor Caswell. “It’s an interesting turning point in our higher-education system that will shape the future of the state’s workforce as a whole – benefitting thousands of companies.”

In addition to UNH, several other micro-credential programs are implemented throughout the state’s Community College System (CCSNH), including a credited program at New Hampshire Technical Institute (NHTI), where all micro-credentials lead to an NHTI certificate and/or degree program. There is no formal college admissions process to enroll in NHTI’s credited micro-credential courses and most courses can be completed in eight weeks of virtual learning.

A similar virtual academy, facilitated by New Hampshire Public School District, is also being considered for high school students.

Those interested in the UNH program can learn more here, www.learn.unh.edu.

About the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA)
The Department of Business and Economic Affairs is dedicated to enhancing the economic vitality of the State of New Hampshire while promoting it as a destination for domestic and international visitors. For more information visit www.nheconomy.com or www.choosenh.com.

About the University of New Hampshire
The University of New Hampshire inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top-ranked programs in business, engineering, law, health and human services, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. A Carnegie Classification R1 institution, UNH partners with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, and received $260 million in competitive external funding in FY21 to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space.

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