While degrees, diplomas, and certificates
can do wonders for job-seekers on the market, there are certain industry roles that require an even more focused, unique expertise. To build themselves the specific technical or soft skills they’re after (without undertaking entirely new qualifications altogether), some may choose to pursue “micro credentials”
relevant to their field.
Cost-effective, flexible, and equipped with job-ready skills, micro-credentials are a popular tool for anyone looking to advance their career.
Below, we break down the details of micro-credentials, their multiple benefits, and how to kickstart your training with Upskilled today.
What are micro-credentials?
function as mini-qualifications, offering professionals a quick and affordable way of building industry-relevant skills. As they often comprise units taken from (or similar to those in) full-blown degrees, diplomas, or certificate courses in the same area, students are also given a brief taste of what a fully-fledged qualification would be like.
Micro-credentials can be found across varying industries, and offer both narrow, targeted training or studies broad in scope.
A micro-credential course can focus on a field generally as project management, while another may specifically focus on Facebook marketing. These programs also concentrate on both the technical, hard skills of a specific sector, or general soft skills for any industry.
Given their duration and affordability, these qualifications are an often-common solution for those looking to climb the career ladder.
What are the benefits of micro-credentials?
1. Career progression (and recognition).
Firstly (and most importantly), micro-credentials are effective stepping-stones for those who wish to advance their career. They allow existing professionals to incrementally build their industry skills while working on-the-job, helping them train for promotions, greater workplace responsibilities, or more complex roles.
These courses also offer a more structured and easily measurable approach to learning as an employee. Though you’ll naturally develop your skills in the workplace, this often goes unrecognised and unrecorded. Micro-credentials function as clear, quantifiable achievements in one’s career journey, helping employees demonstrate their skills growth and knowledge over time.
Despite their brevity and small-scale training, these courses nevertheless result in digital badges or certificates of attainment – helping verify your value and skills on the job market.
2. Personalised training.
With the focused, bite-sized training micro-credentials offer, employers can now provide their workers with highly customisable training programs. Rather than implementing a broad, uniform program for all employees, workers can pursue a highly-tailored combination of micro-credentials suited to their specific needs, interests, and career goals.
On the flipside, employers can also enjoy the flexibility of crafting training or assessment programs closely fit to the needs and demands of their organisation. You may be experiencing a skills gap unique to your specific business; in which case, a unique combination of micro-credentials may be the ideal solution.
With skills development linked to greater mental health benefits
and career fulfillment, the personalised training experience micro-credentials offer can result in greater employee satisfaction and engagement. This, in turn, can lead to greater productivity and overall business profits.
3. Flexible, scalable learning.
The short duration of micro-credentials makes them an ideal tool for professional development, helping workers flexibly upskill
in a brief period of time. What’s more – with many now offered online (such as those provided by Upskilled) employees have even greater leeway to train around their current commitments.
An online micro-credential course grants students the freedom of studying at a time, place, and pace of their choosing. Couple this with their brisk timeframe, and professionals can quickly advance their skill sets on a schedule that best suits them. This ability to not only learn specific, targeted skills – but to also learn on their own time, is what makes online micro-credential courses a popular training pathway for current workers.
Additionally, the customisability of micro-credential courses lets employers easily scale up (or scale down) their training resources as necessary. Employees are able to build their skills at a more incremental pace, rather than committing to a large-scale training program. This allows managers to assess the effectiveness of specific micro-credential courses to eliminate the unnecessary ones and add new ones to improve their training opportunities.
4. Opportunity to explore new roles and skill sets.
Lastly, micro-credentials grant you the opportunity of dabbling into new skills or industry areas. As they typically provide a quick taste of what a certain role or field has to offer, one can “test-drive” new trades or sectors without the commitment of a fully-fledged degree.
This thus functions as an affordable, flexible way of broadening your professional horizons and exploring new, emerging specialties.
As such, these courses are notably effective in helping bridge widening skills gaps. You can start pursuing new roles and opportunities across emerging sectors by quickly arming yourself with the up-to-date, specialised training of specific micro-credentials.
With the post-COVID-19 landscape demanding new skill sets
to meet critical workforce needs, micro-credentials have all the more become a valuable pathway to quickly grasp new job roles and opportunities.
How to enrol in a micro-credential course
Enrolment in micro-credential courses may depend on your education provider, though those provided by Upskilled have little to no prerequisites. Those interested will simply need to have completed education at a Year 10 (or Certificate III) or Year 12 (or Diploma) level.
However, even those who haven’t completed their high school studies can provide equivalent workplace experience as an alternative.
Once you’ve found your desired course, our education consultants can then get in touch to advise you on how online short courses
can advance your career.
So, ready to give yourself a skills boost?
As discussed, micro-credentials offer a wide variety of educational and professional benefits – helping you flexibly train for the career you want.
Upskilled currently offers a generous selection of short/micro-credential courses, from programs in general business to specialised training in social media marketing. Best of all, each is delivered online, granting you the freedom of training on a schedule that suits you best.
Ana Isabel Alonsagay
Ana Isabel Alonsagay freelance writer and founder of anaisabel.org, a blog on lifestyle, culture, and entertainment. When she isn't pinned to her keyboard, you can find her at your local cinema, blasting Broadway soundtracks or attending cosplay conventions.