This week showed how businesses are attempting to reshape higher education for a workforce that desperately needs advanced degrees.
To keep up with changing industries and changing technologies, the American workforce needs job training and further education in order to compete. But education is expensive, and traditional degrees on a physical campus are just not realistic or practical for many full-time workers.
To combat this problem in the tech field, online education provider Udacity partnered with AT&T to create a new kind of college degree that takes less time and less money than a master's degree. It's called a "nanodegree."
The nanodegree is designed for people who work in software development. Without having to take time off, students can earn these certificates in front- and back-end Web development, iOS and Android mobile development, and data analysis. The nanodegree is designed to be stackable, earning you more as your career progresses, complementing whatever degree you've already earned. Industries, especially digital ones, change significantly year by year. A master's degree earned in 2009 might be irrelevant by 2014.
Udacity will start offering the courses, which will cost around $200 per month, in the fall. The programs will take between six and 12 months to complete.