All about microcredentials

In the future world of work, your transferable skills will be more important than ever. Gone are the days of getting one qualification and being done for good – today, jobs are constantly evolving, which means our knowledge and skills need to as well. The popularity of microcredentials has exploded over the last few years to fill this need. They’re a new take on learning; instead of a course taking you months or even years, microcredentials are designed to teach you something new in no time at all.

What is a microcredential?

Microcredentials are highly-tailored short courses, typically taught over the course of a few days or weeks, that teach skills and knowledge in specific areas. They are a great way to quickly learn new skills or refresh existing ones.

They’re most commonly used as a way for employees to upskill if they’re looking for a promotion or to pivot into a new role. But they’re becoming more common in the wider education space as well, particularly as a way for students to learn valuable skills for their first job.

The National Microcredentials Framework

In Australia, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment has developed a National Microcredentials Framework, which you can read more about here. Essentially, it means that providers and courses are regulated, so you can take a course without the risk of investing time, energy and money into a something that may or may not be recognised down the track.

The benefits of microcredentials

Wondering what the benefits of microcredentials are? Here are just a few.

They’re short

One of the most obvious benefits of microcredentials is that they’re short. You don’t need to disrupt your work or social commitments to finish one. Employers love them too because it means they can upskill their employees without having to take time off.

They’re cheap

Another benefit is that they’re often low-cost. If you can’t afford the fees for a vocational or university qualification just yet, microcredentials could be an affordable alternative that will get you into the jobs you’d like to do, even if they are starting positions for now.

They’re a great way to update your skills and knowledge

Most importantly, microcredentials allow you to keep your skills and knowledge up to date in a rapidly changing world. Technology is advancing so fast that what you learn over a two- or three-year course might be obsolete by the time you finish. But with microcredentials, you can learn quickly and stay up to date.

They’re industry-driven

Lots of microcredentials are industry-driven, which means that if they’re not designed by professionals in the roles, they’ll be approved by industry bodies and will therefore be recognised by lots of employers.

They can be used as a stepping stone to further study

Recognised as a stand alone qualification, some mircocredentials may be “stacked” so that you’ll end up with a higher-level outcome, and some courses might even count as credit towards other tertiary courses.

What does a microcredential involve?

Just like other courses, each microcredential is structured differently, so you’ll need to do some research before signing up.

Typically, they will consist of learning through live or pre-recorded seminars and other resources, and usually involve some sort of assessment or test to ensure you’ve taken the course content on board.

Once you’re finished, you’ll receive a digital badge or certificate to show you’ve successfully completed the course. You can add this to your digital portfolio, resume, or even show it off on platforms like LinkedIn.

There are different levels of courses, all the way from novice to expert, so you’ll need to pay attention to the criteria to make sure you have any pre-existing knowledge that’s required.

Want to know more?

It’s easy to take microcredentials online. Here are some places you might be interested in looking at:

Or you can read more about your study options on our website here.

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