[Update] General Assembly Partners With Businesses To Offer Credentialing Programs

General Assembly, the vocational training program provider for the white collar (and black turtlenecked) crowd, is now offering credentialed curricula with a consortium of industry partners.

The New York-based company says that it will develop competency-based credentials for its students in technology, business, and design-related classes.

The credentials are being developed with companies like General Electric, PayPal and Elance-oDesk. According to the company, the goal of the consortium is to provide transparency in job requirements, and help employers understand the proficiencies of a company’s employees in programming and other skills taught by web development schools and programming bootcamps (General Assembly has one called the WebDevelopment Immersive).

For General Assembly, the idea is to match the curricula that General Assembly teaches with the skills that employers actually want.

“By setting standards that are recognized by some of the world’s largest and most prestigious companies, we are more clearly defining what skills are valuable and how they translate to future employment opportunities,” said General Assembly co-founder and chief executive, Jake Schwartz in a statement.

Students in General Assembly classes will earn credentials after completing a series of tests around problem-solving and general knowledge. In web design, for instance, the challenge will require a practical knowledge of open-source technologies like CSS, HTML, and Javascript.

While General Assembly will teach to the credentials, anyone who wishes can take the tests to become credentialed in a particular field.

“Industries are being re-imagined around us and forward thinking companies,” said Jamie Miller, Senior Vice President and CIO, General Electric, in a statement. “At GE, [information technology] is a catalyst for shaping strategy and at the center of driving business transformation.”

Credentials will be available to students and employers in early 2015.