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DeVry University Introduces New Certificate Programs

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DeVry Education Group Inc. recently added two certificate programs in website design and website development to its College of Media Arts & Technology under DeVry University.

The certificates are part of the university’s strategy to provide more technology-focused, stackable programs. Such programs help students progress from a certificate course to the next-level degree in their chosen field. The duration of the course is 10-20 months, depending on the courses opted for during a term.

In the wake of growing national workforce skill gap, students prefer short term credentials for immediate career advancement. At the same time, employers exhibit a tendency to choose individuals with such certifications. Thus, the new programs are specifically designed to address the skill gap and demand supply imbalances in the employment market. Management believes that such website design/development certificates and degrees will help students demonstrate technology proficiency, build their career skills and stay abreast in the competitive job market.

In order to deal with the deteriorating enrollment rate and intense competition from fellow industry peers like Universal Technical Institute (UTI - Free Report) , DeVry has adopted several initiatives. During fiscal 2016, the university introduced the 22 connected classroom environment, which will provide students with more flexible scheduling. The company also launched new student centric scheduling systems, which will help students choose a course according to their suitability and also encourage them to register for other courses. Thus, such initiatives can be viewed as DeVry’s strategy to drive enrollment over the long term. Again, in May 2015, DeVry University introduced medical coding and billing programs, which are in great demand among students of late.

We remind investors that DeVry Education Group’s total revenue decreased 3.5% in the latest 12 months ending Jun 30, 2016. Notably, the company’s Business, Technology and Management segment revenues (that includes DeVry University) declined 23% in fiscal 2016, primarily hurt by the weak enrollment trend at DeVry University. Hence, the university is undertaking several student-focused initiatives to return to growth.

DeVry Education Group currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Stocks to Consider

Better-ranked stocks in this industry include Lincoln Educational Services Corporation (LINC - Free Report) and Capella Education Co. (CPLA - Free Report) .

Lincoln Educational Services is expected to witness an 88% rise in fiscal 2016 earnings. The company sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here..

Capella Education carries a Zanks Rank #2 (Buy). Full-year 2016 earnings growth is projected at 3.44% for the company.

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