3 Research Questions for Degreed

Degreed is the leading aggregator of alternative credentials. Their intent is to “jailbreak the degree,” or displace the traditional 4 year bachelor’s education. Section I outlines proposed research questions, emphasizing my preferred question. Section II describes a few possible research designs. Section III notes a collection of related things I have previously written.

Section I: 3 Research Questions for Degreed

  1. How well do Degreed points explain employment outcomes?*
    1. Employment Status
    2. Salary
  2. Does enterprise utilization of Degreed improve outcomes?
    1. Employee Retainment
    2. Employee Satisfaction
    3. Productivity (individual level via learning or project level via better matching task to skill)
  3. What role does Degreed play for enterprise?
    1. Hiring decisions
    2. Continuous learning
    3. Skill identification
    4. Onboarding and knowledge management

*I would be mainly interested in question 1. Employment status information can be inferred from Degreed user data.

Salary currently would need to be surveyed or provided by the employer, but I am interested to see whether Degreed would consider adding a salary field to their Experience user items.

Another approach would be to map estimated salary based on position title and other factors from something like PayScale.

A key thing I would like to test is whether weighting user items differently improves the correlation of points to salary.

Section II: Possible Designs

  1. Ideally, individual-level salary would be regressed on Degreed points. Any other available factors would be added as covariates. It appears salary is not part of the Degreed platform as-is. This means that either:
    1. Degreed would need to augment their platform to permit self-reported salary.
    2. Individual-level employment status (employed or unemployed) is regressed on Degreed points instead of salary. Degreed already has user “Experience” data items. These indicate employment information and include a checkbox for “This is my current position.”
  2. If data extraction from the Degreed database is an unwieldy option, a second approach would be to generate a survey which Degreed sends out to its users.
  3. Case Study Design: Degreed’s enterprise clients have extensive individual-level employment and performance data which exceeds the scope of the Degreed platform alone. A case study design would require a single enterprise user to cooperate and share that larger data set, allowing deeper analysis into things like employee satisfaction and productivity. It would also allow for salary and employment data in a way that is more reliable than survey.

Section III: Recollecting Prior Articles on Degreed and Alternative Education

In reverse chronological order.

  1. Advancing Human Capital Evaluation
    1. PluralSight acquired Smarterer and Code School, as well as some other firms.
  2. Degreed Update – DLM Beta and More!
  3. Another Improvement for Degreed: Material Detection
  4. Another Improvement to Degreed: Retainment
  5. Duplication in Degreed
  6. 3 Ways to Improve Degreed
  7. Degreed Continues the Evolution of Education
  8. Useful Badge Sites

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