Micro credentials help validate skills that go beyond a degree or training. It is a way to show potential clients and employers that you have studied a skill that might be useful to them — with the credentials to prove it. So, what could micro credentials do for you?
What Are Micro Credentials?
Micro credentials allow you to both learn and validate a skill set. They are assessment-based records that prove focused learning achievements that may be stand-alone or part of a larger study program.
- Are a record of focused learning
- Are assessment-based
- Come from a competent organization
- Offer stand-alone value
- Define a skill or educational goal
- Require the learner to prove competence in the skill
To make the course of study an effective micro credential opportunity, it will ideally come from a university or industry leader. This educational design works well for schools because they can connect with employers to help develop opportunities that benefit both the company and the credentialed employee.
Since micro credentials are bite-sized chunks of learning, they take less time. They also often offer flexible learning environments, such as online courses. After completing the study, you receive a digital badge, micro-award, or another way to prove the accomplishment.
Using Micro Credentials to Build Skills
The internet provides learning options for students of all ages and has value to clients and employers.
Micro Credential Opportunities
Micro credentials are a way to build skills one micro-step at a time. This is useful in many ways as you plan your career path.
Stand Out in a Sea of Job Applicants
Micro credentialing is one way to stand out as you look for the right job. Employers often have hundreds of applications in today’s market. Therefore, they need a way to bubble the most promising talent to the top. To accomplish that, they may look at individual skill sets and training.
Get Career-Specific Training
Micro credentials can augment a degree to make you a more specialized job candidate. For example, a graphic designer would have more value when proving they have mastered top graphics programs like Photoshop or Illustrator.
Companies often look for applicants with individualized training in a skill necessary for the job, such as proficiency in a specific piece of software or business direction. For example, someone with healthcare marketing micro credentials may be a better candidate for a hospital than a person with a general marketing degree.
Stay Relevant in an Industry
Micro credentials are good options for career professionals, too. They are a way to stay relevant with the latest industry tools. When developing micro credential opportunities, schools and industry leaders will identify a critical skill necessary or helpful in the workforce. Then, once they have data suggesting it makes sense to offer a stand-alone learning option for that skill, they can offer micro credentials aligned with those needs.
For example, a designer is only as good as the most current software they master. Even an experienced and degreed designer can use micro credentials to show they are current on the leading software programs.
Micro credentials are excellent re-skilling opportunities for those out of the job force for a while. For example, suppose you have a degree in business management but have not worked in the field for several years. In that case, micro credentials show you have taken the initiative to re-skill in this area without going back to school to get a second degree.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Micro Credentials
Of course, there are things you should look for when choosing a micro credential program.
DO Get Your Micro Credentials from a Valid Educational Institution or Industry Leader.
Potential employers will want to see that you obtained your micro credentials from a valid source. For example, taking an art class you found on a blog is not an effective micro credential. However, if you take a course from a university, it will carry more weight.
DON’T Look for a One-Size-Fits-All Approach.
One of the reasons micro credentials are effective is that they specialize in a vital skill set. Online nursing courses are not micro credentials. A class teaching the use of intravenous drug administration would be a course a licensed practical nurse might take to develop a new skill set.
DO Make Your Micro Credential Courses Stackable.
Keep your courses stackable and focused on a specific field or industry. For instance, a nurse might not benefit from a micro credential in coding as much as one in intravenous drug administration or nutrition for disease prevention. The latter two courses related directly to previous education.
DON’T Choose a Course that Will Not Offer a Quality Assessment.
Just completing the class is not enough. Look for micro credential courses that require you to demonstrate your skills. Quality assessment is typically done by peer or industry review. Your goal is to earn something that indicates you mastered the skill, such as a digital badge. Universities offering micro credential opportunities usually provide the proper quality assessment.
Micro Credentials Examples
There are many micro credential programs out there, typically industry-specific or focused. Some examples include:
- Effective Business Writing
- Principles of Public Relations
- Introduction to Hazardous Materials
- Research for Pitch Decks
- Success in Marketing Presentations
Micro Credential Programs at Post
Post University offers a list of focused micro credential opportunities that allow you to customize your education based on the skills you want to obtain. Post University aligns the coursework to meet the quality standards of industry leaders. The 130 micro credential opportunities available will provide you with digital credentials to use as part of your career journey and professional development.
The opportunities at Post University fall into one of three categories:
- Career-Specific: CIE test prep, financial accounting, and FEMA logistics courses.
- Human-Centered: A focus on advancing your career and include studies in resume building, leadership, and teamwork.
- Stackable: Part of a more effective overall certification They offer immediate skills you can use as you work towards getting your certification.
Every graduate and undergraduate degree program at Post University includes micro credential opportunities, or you can take the courses as stand-alone options.
Find out more about the micro credential opportunities available at Post University today!
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