August 1, 2023 – Future of Work

Jobs for the Future, edX launch no-cost MicroBachelors program to prepare people for meaningful work


A postsecondary education program that efficiently prepares adult learners for meaningful work — and comes with no price tag? 

It is not a pipe dream. 

Jobs for the Future (JFF) and edX, a leading global online learning platform, have launched the edX MicroBachelors® Program Pathway Initiative, which will connect up to 500 adults with edX’s MicroBachelors programs at no cost. 

What is a microbachelors program and how can it help adult learners?

Launched in 2020, edX’s MicroBachelors programs provide a path toward a bachelor’s degree while making sure workers are job-ready today and credentialed along the way. The open admission, credential programs are offered by leading companies and nonprofit universities on the edX site for any person who wants to gain industry-relevant skills in high-demand and emerging industries. 

For learners who want to extend their studies, MicroBachelors program credentials can be stacked into full online degrees from leading universities. For companies, they are a way to source talent.

The MicroBachelors® Program Pathway Initiative will be open to anyone without a bachelor’s degree who wants to train for an entry or mid-level role that requires fundamental technology or business skills. The following programs will open on July 1, 2023:

  • Statistics Fundamentals and Mathematics and Statistics Fundamentals from The London School of Economics
  • Marketing Essentials from Doane University
  • Introduction to Information Technology from Western Governors University
  • Full Stack Application Development from IBM

JFF will source and evaluate adult learners for the MicroBachelors program. 

MicroBachelors programs prepare learners for fulfilling careers faster

Adult learners who enroll in the MicroBachelors® Program Pathway Initiative will receive tutoring, personalized, one-to-one career coaching, and the opportunity to interview at a company that is seeking qualified candidates for roles that do not require a traditional two or four-year degree. Access to these tools will provide tremendous benefit to both workers looking for meaningful work and employers seeking to fill open positions.

The Charles Koch Foundation has provided support for the JFF/edX partnership and will provide resources for JFF to develop a longitudinal efficacy study to measure the efficacy and efficiency of using MicroBachelors program credentials as criteria for recruitment. 

“Innovation in the higher learning space provides tremendous value for learners, employers, and academia,” said CKF Executive Director Ryan Stowers. “We are very excited about our partnership with Jobs for the Future and their work with edX to develop and launch this MicroBachelors program. This program will help prepare students for fulfilling careers faster, while giving employers access to a more motivated and better matched workforce.”

Read the full announcement from edX and JFF.