- Salesforce announced Thursday it will partner with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) to allow users of its Trailhead online training platform to earn college credit.
- Launched in 2014, Trailhead has trained more than 1.5 million users, Salesforce said. Users interested in earning college credit may apply to SNHU, after which their credentials earned through Trailhead will be evaluated for credit toward one of the school's more than 100 undergrad degree programs. Any collection of Trailhead learning modules in Salesforce's developer and admin programs, in addition to Salesforce credentials called "Superbadges," may count toward a three-credit experiential learning course at SNHU, the university's president, Paul LeBlanc, said in a statement.
- Salesforce is aiming to provide pathways to professions in a new economy, the company's executive vice president and general manager of platform, trailhead and developers, Sarah Franklin, said in a statement. "It's the joint responsibility of industry and higher ed to create pathways to these careers and leverage technology — like Trailhead — to bring people forward into this new world," Franklin said.
Recent years have seen the emergence of several online-based learning initiatives aimed at training working learners both for the jobs they have and those they may have in the future. To that end, individual employers have also former partnerships with educational institutions. Walmart, for example, provides workers access to several online degree programs at schools including the University of Florida, Brandman University and Bellevue University.
Physical, in-person learning hasn't gone away completely, though. Boot camp models have proven popular in some cases, with Johns Hopkins University recently announcing a coding boot camp partnership that will service adult learners in the Baltimore, Maryland, area.
These developments come as HR departments are working on a wide scale to form partnerships that help employers prepare for digital transformation, according to research by Information Services Group. The group's report found employers are looking to business services providers and other entities to help tackle areas of focus including agile software development and lean project management.
Whichever type of partnership HR leaders choose, experts have previously told HR Dive that keeping track of how development affects learners is key. Employers can do so by collaborating with educators to provide needed teaching resources and help guide curriculum development depending on the nature of the partnership. Employers may also want to focus on learning outreach efforts for diverse demographic groups if expanding talent pools is a priority.