We’re saying “good bye” to a very exciting 2018 at Cengage. This past year marked the launch of Cengage Unlimited, the industry’s first-ever digital subscription for college course materials. Cengage Unlimited cuts the cost of materials, relieving a top financial stressor for students.

Within a few weeks of becoming commercially available this year, more than 500,000 students subscribed to Cengage Unlimited—and it’s expected to save U.S. college students $60 million this academic year.

We can’t wait to further our impact and continue this momentum in 2019. Cengage executives are also looking ahead to the new year, and a few have shared their thoughts and predictions for 2019.

Continued Push for Affordability and Pressure on Enrollments

“There will be a continued push for more affordable, digital content and course solutions as well as more pressure on enrollments as alternative education paths, such as boot camps and certifications become more viable. Education players beyond the traditional publishers, such as channel partners, LMS providers, Google and others, will increasingly try to secure a piece of the value chain as it evolves. This will continue to blur the lines of competition. Staying customer-focused, having in-depth clarity on the value chain, being nimble, securing the right partnerships and having the analytical capabilities to determine the best risk-weighted options, will be key in this ‘new-normal.’” – Todd Markson, Chief Strategy Officer, Cengage

Learners as Consumers

“The power of the learner as a consumer will continue to rise, forcing institutions and individual faculty to put increased focus on the quality and value of the academic experience they deliver. This will force increased partnerships between institutions and employers, solidifying very clear pathways from higher education to a job. Institutions will work with employers to build specialized certificates. Employers will agree to wipe out student loans if they show up with desired skills for the job.” – Chris Cummings, VP of Learning, Cengage

Cyber-Attacks, IT Tech and Security Work Shortage

“Hacking continues to get easier. Complex work with malicious intent is created by a few and used by many as attacks for income become mainstream. IT tech & security worker shortage grows worldwide creating a fundamental shift in how people prepare for these jobs. We will see an emergence of apprenticeships, skills-specific training in technologies that companies need. Cyber-attacks will begin to focus beyond businesses and target cities, grid systems and transportation.” – Jim Chilton, CIO, Cengage

Competencies as Currency

“In today’s knowledge economy, good jobs and career progression require ever-higher levels of rapidly changing skills. Most people can expect numerous career transitions that will require frequent up-skilling and professional development. As job requirements evolve quickly in the new world of work, the complexities of achieving and demonstrating relevant competencies are increasing. In this context, large, monolithic credentials can be outdated by the time a graduate finishes their coursework.

Increasingly, we will see learners, education providers and employers need to produce and exchange evidence of competencies as a ‘currency’ that is more valuable than traditional degree-level credentials. This will present challenges not only for individuals trying to navigate career progression, but also for educational institutions that are struggling to adapt their curriculum to include clearly defined competencies that are in demand by employers. More modular and transparent digital credentials, such as badges, will provide new opportunities to communicate competencies and make them searchable on the web for connections to the best jobs.” – Dr. Deborah Everhart, VP Design and Innovation, Cengage

The Quest for “Career-Ready”

“There will be an increased emphasis in education on ensuring students not just get a meaningful credential, but more importantly, on becoming career-ready. We heard from students that getting support so they can enter the workforce is a major pain point, which is why we’re looking to provide resources through Cengage Unlimited and across Cengage to help students improve their employability.” – Jonathan Lau, Senior Vice President for Skills, Cengage

 

Happy New Year!