Degree or Certification? A question that has been around for years, if not decades. In the last few years, as I have been looking at hashtag#highered programs - and supported by our Academic Director, the clear answer is "both".
Higher Education is expensive - in the US - and is likely going to evolve into another business model, especially if universities want to remain competitive. But a good academic background is a strong point for anyone, and it's an issue of being "well-rounded" in terms of knowledge.
Having said that, the higher ed industry is being undercut by the certification and skills movement in recent years, largely driven by tech. Students think - save yourself four years - get certified, build a portfolio, and get a j-o-b. (e.g. Lambda School - which also does a lot of job prep work) We're missing key opportunities to blend these programs together. Education is a foundation, certification programs are preparation and honing a skill set. The evolution of education is the blend of both and integrated with in-depth career advice and assistance.
The evolution of such a program is not only good for students but for institutions as well. Unfortunately it seems that many institutions lack the flexibility to address the job market and changes in a timely manner. That is something that we are specifically looking at now, in our niche, and something that we believe is critical to student professional development. More to come soon!