There has never been a greater need for more technical learning in growing sectors like computer science, healthcare, creative arts, and teaching. Increasingly, practitioners are looking to higher education to fill holes in their CV and extend their ability base. Employers are competing for workers with up-to-date training as technology progress advances quicker than before.
Nevertheless, students and employees are progressively stretched for time, and the limited global supply of physical universities suggests that higher education needs to improve. This is where micro-credential come into play.
What are Micro-Credentials?
Micro-credentials are mini-qualifications that show in a given subject field or capability skills, knowledge, and/or experience. Micro-credentials are also classified as nano degrees and tend to be narrower in breadth than conventional certificates such as diplomas or degrees. They may also, however, be broad rather than narrow in emphasis. For instance, for anything as broad as data-driven marketing, you may provide a micro-credential, then offer another micro-credential that focuses directly on how to encourage others in the workplace.
Microcredentials and programs allow you in a specialized field to undertake further research. Microcredentials, developed or approved by leading institutions, are technical qualifications designed for you to acquire career skills in demand. Programs empower you, with the ability to obtain a technical or academic certification, to deepen your understanding of a subject.
Micro-Credentials are also known to be called:
- Digital badges
- Nano degrees
- Web badges
- Mini degrees
- Open badges
How are Micro-Credentials are different from a Certificate Program?
A credential is given by a third body with authoritative authority and is indicative of the qualification or expertise of a person in a specific subject. Possessing a credential not only allows one to demonstrate expertise and skill in a particular area, but also tells one’s group and employers that the individual is qualified, well educated, and prepared to conduct his or her duties.
A certificate program is an education program that ends in a completion certificate rather than an academic degree. Certificate programs teach people about a certain area of their career and complement the previous education of a person, training him or her to work in another field.
Prior to using a professional title, most companies require professionals to have a credential. When an individual takes an advanced level test successfully and achieves the credential, they have shown that they are qualified and have the expertise, qualifications, and skills involved in earning a professional title.
No professional title is obtained when an individual completes a certificate program. Certificate programs do not offer a certificate or a degree.
What Is a Digital Badge?
A Digital Badge is an online, authenticated depiction of a talent, standard, or ability. Digital Badges can be received through a micro-credential course in a number of learning environments.
They are a new way to identify and certify the skills, expertise, strengths, and successes of individuals, and allow learners to connect with recruiters and new possibilities.
Learners can then post their digital badges on their social media sites, particularly LinkedIn, upon successful completion of a micro-credential course.
How Do You Earn a Micro-Credential?
The micro-credential learning process is a special online experience, unlike a typical course or classroom, where the learning process is sequential and time-based, where instructors develop awareness at the beginning of their basic goals and then personalize their learning to fulfill the specific criteria for achieving competence. Supported by coaching and cooperation with their colleagues, this customized, self-paced learning process allows educators power of their professional learning and results in a more genuine, meaningful experience.
Successful completion results in a digital micro-certification that educators can apply to their profile and resume to highlight their technical skills.
How long will it take me to complete a Micro-Credential?
It will vary widely in the time commitment needed to obtain a micro-credential. Some micro certificates would require you to complete tasks, attend workshops, make a presentation on the subject, pass examinations, or even perform a practical demonstration of your abilities in a work environment to receive certification.
In other ways, a micro certificate can be earned at your own time, such as an online degree. When you manage various tasks, such as a career and home, however, you have the opportunity, you can incorporate the course into your timetable. You have the option to receive the credential at an accelerated speed if your itinerary is less restrictive.
Why Do Micro-Credentials Matter?
Micro-credentials are important because both sides of a company (employer and employee) and students trying to break into a specific post-graduation industry are advantageous. As frustrating as it is, a degree might not always be enough for a particular position as a consequence of a four-year postgraduate course. This is where the micro-credentials come in. With additional mini-skills, they help to mold unique skills in a casual learning style that aligns with the needs of a sector or sub-industry.
Employers would then reap the gains as a consequence of this. In entry-level jobs, these more modernized, industry-relevant credentials would see more educated, better-equipped workers. Since most business sectors are in a continuous state of fluidity, anybody at any point of their professional career will benefit from minimal educational micro-credential courses to improve their skills to remain afloat between these shifts in technology and guidance.
This isn’t to suggest that micro-credential courses will help only students. Many that are already in the workforce will also have been subject to continuous changes, as business areas are advancing as a result of cooperation, globalization and technical developments such as automation. Present employees can tighten the ‘skills gap’ that continues to grow between them and their fast-paced business by upskilling with a micro-credential; ensuring that their professional development stays constant by staying up-to-date with appropriate and evolving trends.
Overall, in the technical landscape, micro-credentials carry authority as they allow applicants to stand out in the procurement process and improve the opportunity for employability and deliver a narrow expertise to a field of business that employers respect.
Benefits of Micro-Credentials for the learner
A micro-credentialing program delivers an oriented curriculum to address the needs of students and their employers (or prospective employers). Learners are able to gain and show the knowledge of functional abilities that are readily applicable. By gaining additional micro-credentials, they may build a set of marketable talents.
Many learners are drawn to the self-directed and on-demand side of micro-credentials. Based on their desires and preferences, they will determine what qualifications to seek, and what learning paths to follow. At any time they want, they will start out on a learning journey leading to a micro-credential.
Along with their accompanying digital certificates, micro-credentials make it easier for practitioners to explain just what talents and skills they carry to a new job or project. If the micro-credential is approved by a reputable trade or technical group, it makes a much better impact.
Benefits of Micro-Credentials for your industry
Micro-credentials help employers find job seekers who have the qualifications they need. The evidence is in your digital badge. Employers may also rely on micro-credentialing services to provide new or transitioning workers who need to develop their qualifications with the proper form of targeted instruction.
Associations normally partner with affiliates (and affiliate companies) to create systems for micro-credentialing that address problems for the workforce. Micro-credentialing systems may help prepare practitioners to meet these requirements in businesses or occupations where consistency with standards or best practices is important.
What can I do with a Micro-Credential?
Students can receive a digital badge exclusive to the individual micro-credential program after they have completed any micro-credential. This badge may be added to an online resume, LinkedIn profile, or personal page, and the badge is encrypted with metadata to display and check the validity of the learner’s credentials.