UM Leads Career Readiness with New Partnership

UM students and the broader public now have access to Kaplan Credegree programs.

MISSOULA – The University of Montana has contracted with Kaplan, a global educational services provider, to offer students Kaplan Credegree, a program designed to enhance the job readiness and marketability of college students by partnering traditional four-year degrees with Kaplan’s educational programs. The partnership allows students to complete their degree while earning industry-recognized credentials valued by employers.

UM is one of a small but growing number of educational institutions that are making a major investment in alternative credentialing programs. More than 70% of respondents in a 2019 Quest Research Group survey, agreed that an in-demand industry credential combined with a traditional degree would help college students have a more well-rounded education and overall skill set.

Kaplan Credegree will be offered to UM students, alumni and members of the public looking to upskill in 30 tech fields, including high-demand skill sets like cybersecurity, data science, data literacy and digital marketing. Such skills are in particular demand in Montana where the high-tech sector is growing faster than any other part of the state’s economy, according to a study by UM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research for The Montana High Tech Business Alliance.

“The University of Montana is expanding the scale and scope of career-related experiential learning, and the new Kaplan offerings will enhance these efforts,” UM President Seth Bodnar said. “They will help us expand the breadth of opportunity available at a flagship university with the intensely personal ways we engage with our students to ensure every graduate leaves our campus with robust work-based experience. We are creating a distinctive undergraduate experience that is academically rigorous and personally engaging – designed specifically to ensure every student is prepared to succeed in life and in their chosen career – all in the context of a vibrant experience on and off campus.”

To graduate both broadly educated and specifically skilled is the ultimate goal now, said Brandon Busteed, president of University Partners and Global Head, Learn-Work Innovation at Kaplan.

“The University of Montana is taking a real leadership role in this effort,” Busteed said. “It is well-known for providing its students with a world-class liberal arts education. Coupled with Kaplan’s Credegree programs, students will be even better equipped to close the skills gap and thrive in the world of work.”

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Contact: Andrea Vernon, executive director, UM Experimental Learning and Career Success, 406-243-5159, andrea.vernon@umontana.edu.