The Future of University Credentials

The Future of University Credentials New Developments at the Intersection of Higher Education and Hiring

Sean R. Gallagher, Foreword by Diana G. Oblinger
paper, 272 Pages
Pub. Date: September 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-967-9
Price: $32.00

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Pub. Date: September 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-969-3

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2017 Phillip E. Frandson Award for Literature in the Field of Professional, Continuing, and/or Online Education, University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA)

The Future of University Credentials offers a thorough and urgently needed overview of the burgeoning world of university degrees and credentials. At a time of heightened attention to how universities and colleges are preparing young people for the working world, questions about the meaning and value of university credentials have become especially prominent. Sean Gallagher guides us through this fast-changing terrain, providing much-needed context, details, and insights.


Sean Gallagher provides a thoroughly researched and deeply insightful journey through the past, present, and potential futures of university credentialing. His separation of hype from reality should provide both comfort and a sense of urgency to proponents of disruptive change and supporters of the status quo alike. This is an invaluable resource for anyone thinking seriously about the future of higher education. — Lloyd Armstrong, provost emeritus, University of Southern California

The Future of University Credentials is an excellent overview of the history and current state of academic and professional credentials. Our world is undergoing widespread and rapid change, and all of us in higher education and business need to understand the shift toward online credentials, badges, and many new forms of professional certification. I applaud Sean Gallagher for describing and exploring this sector in a clear and useful way, so that people can quickly learn what’s going on, and so that they can understand and anticipate the disruptive changes ahead. — Josh Bersin, industry analyst and researcher, and principal and founder, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Gallagher provides a well-researched chronicle of the past, present, and future possibilities connected to this complex subject matter…This is a great read for those wishing to take a deeper dive into this topic and consider proactive steps to support a continued positive relationship between higher education and a skilled career-ready work force. — Kristin Nisbet-White, NACE Journal

Gallagher’s work serves as an important first step in providing the empirical research for a topic that stands integral to the future shape of American higher education. — Michael S. Harris & Molly K. Ellis, Teachers College Record

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About the Author

Sean R. Gallagher is the Chief Strategy Officer for Northeastern University’s Global Network. Sean is a nationally recognized expert on strategy and innovation in higher education, with more than fifteen years of experience as a consultant, manager, and administrator. Since joining Northeastern in 2009, Sean has built a central strategy function unique among major US universities, working across colleges and academic domains to catalyze and launch new programs and initiatives and enter new geographic markets. Prior to Northeastern, Sean worked for nearly ten years at research/consulting firm Eduventures, where he played an instrumental role in growing the company by launching and leading many of its research practices while advising top industry executives and investors. Sean is frequently invited to speak at conferences and events, and his analysis and commentary have been featured in leading media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, CBS Television, and the New York Times. Sean’s research has been cited in numerous academic papers and books. Sean also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Bay State College, and holds a lecturer appointment in Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies. He holds a Doctor of Education (EdD) degree from Northeastern University, an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology, and a BS in Marketing from Northeastern.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Diana G. Oblinger



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