How Short Courses and Micro Credentials Can Boost Your Career
McKinsey reports that nearly nine of ten executives and managers they surveyed state that their organizations either face skill gaps already or expect gaps to develop within the next five years. A quick online search reveals reams and reams of other studies online voicing similar concerns and the urgency of implementing continual learning measures in institutions. This has led to the European Union along with countries like Canada, the US, Australia, and New Zealand to start taking measures towards closing this skills gap by implementing measures to include micro credentials in their higher education systems.
While this sounds great at an organisational level, read on to learn how self-motivated study beyond what is offered by your workplace can help you boost your career.
What are Micro Credentials?
Micro Credentials (or nano degrees) are mini qualifications that verify the skills and knowledge you have gained via an accredited short course of study. These courses are usually highly focused on one or two aspects of a much larger topic. For example, the University of Michigan offers a short course on leading people and teams, a topic which would usually be included in a full-fledged people management program.
In fact, micro credentials are gaining in popularity. When we conducted a poll on LinkedIn with the question, ‘If up skilling is the future of work, what would you invest in?’, a whopping 63% of our respondents stated that they preferred short, accredited courses over full-fledged degree programs.
Short Courses and Micro Credentials as Career Boosters
You may have charted out a formal career development plan with your manager or would at least have an idea of the path you would like to take. Whatever the case is, obtaining the right micro credentials and taking the right courses can offer several advantages that will help you reach your goals.
Earning a degree can be expensive – both timewise and financially. Due to the short duration of study involved, micro credentials are cost next to nothing when compared to full-fledged degree programs.
- Learn exactly what you need to:
If you are studying for a degree, you may have to study topics that you’ve already learnt during your years of professional experience, unless your particular university allows you credits for work experience. Short courses allow you to focus on exactly the skills you need to develop allowing you to study multiple different topics at your leisure. For example, you could study social media marketing strategies as a part of your role in HR as well as take a course on international skills in the workplace to develop your global hiring strategies.
- Networking Opportunities:
Taking a short course will mean interacting with your fellow students. This gives you the opportunity to develop new business relationships outside your usual circles.
- Steppingstone for Future Studies
Accredited short courses can act as stepping stones towards future degrees. The credits you earn during these courses can count towards your degree allowing you to finish your studies in less time than it would normally. For example, a course in Global Studies: International Relations And World Politics can help you build an international network of colleagues.
- Increased Chances of Better Wages, Promotions, or Jobs
If you can identify a skill that your company is lacking, it can be a good idea to go about acquiring it – providing it is relevant to your job, of course. This can mean you become eligible for a raise or a promotion as you take on more responsibilities. Taking a short course can also mean that potential employers see that you are a driven individual who is ready to take the necessary steps to succeed.
Explore all the short courses we have to offer here.
Beyond hiring: How companies are reskilling to address talent gaps, McKinsey & Company, February 2020, https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/beyond-hiring-how-companies-are-reskilling-to-address-talent-gaps
Find My Programme Poll, LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/posts/find-my-programme_questforeducation-onlinedegree-findmyprogramme-activity-6861361474422497280-wPTa