There's various MOOCs such as Coursera, edX and Udacity making all sorts of claims about how valuable their certifications are. They often use the names of big universities to give them some legitimacy such as edX suggesting this on their XSeries program:
Created by world-renowned experts and top universities, XSeries programs provide a deep understanding of exciting and in-demand fields. Earn a professional certificate of achievement stamped by the institution providing the program including Harvard, MIT and more.
and Udacity suggesting that their credentials are valued by industry leaders:
Learn skills taught by industry leaders, and earn a credential recognized by industry leaders
Udacity goes even further and seems to be positioning itself as competitive to a college education by branding its program as a nanodegree and even straight up guaranteeing an entry-level job after completing the course.
I can totally see how a high school student might look at these offerings and see them as a possible or even attractive alternative to paying for a traditional 4 year degree. Would doing this be viable for a long term career path?
Said another way: If a job opening asked for a college degree, would a resume be universally tossed out if it only included a nanodegree as a credential?*
What are the long term career implications of using these programs as an alternative to college?
*I have a non-computer science degree and have gotten interviews with companies that list one as a requirement. I recognize that a degree that's not in computer science is quite different from a MOOC credential, but it goes to show that companies are at least a little flexible when it comes to the requirement.