Making sense of microcredentials

Think back to when you were a little kid in pre-school. Did you ever get a star on your hand/in your book to acknowledge something you did well that day? Brought a smile to your face, did it not? That was your first taste of what, in the current education scenario, especially the online scene, is called a micro-credential. Think of micro-credentials as bite-sized pieces of education that you can ‘consume’ in easy strides.

Stack ‘em up!

Simply put, micro-credentials are digital representations of specific stages in your e-learning course. Courses are made of units; units are made of lessons.There may be micro-credentials waiting for you at the end of one such ‘stack’. A set of courses can stack up to a specialization, and a stack of specializations can stack up to a degree – at least a partial degree.

Explore the ‘why’

However, do remember, not all courses are made equal. Explore your course well. Find out whether it gives you micro-credentials. And whether it is of use to you. Often, micro-credentials might involve some additional payment.

Some courses might give micro-credentials which function as milestones. They might not add up to a certification, but they will certainly let you know how far you have come and where you are on your journey.

Several platforms offer courses with micro-credentials. When you set out to assess your e-learning course’s micro-credentials, it would do well to have a clear picture of your goals. Then, assess whether the micro-credentials add up to the upskilling that you are looking for. They should be able to contribute to your classroom goals as well as to your valuation in the job market. Currently, there are no standardized micro-credentials. It is mostly platform-specific and will carry as much weight as the platform itself does.

Modular upskilling is here to stay!

Micro-credentials still need to prove their viability out there in the job market, but they are here to stay. Both workers and employers will definitely find value in modular, focused upskilling.

Here are some words you need to look for in a course description, if you are looking for micro-credentials – specialization, MasterTrack Certificate, Professional Certificate, MicroMasters, Nanodegree, Graduate Diploma. There may be more.

Micro-credential providers need to establish internal consistency and match up to similar market offerings. While they finetune their offerings, you can munch on bite-sized pieces of the e-learning pie. 

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