Lifelong learning can help solve the skills gap--here's where microcredentials fit in and how institutions can leverage programs.

3 steps to help institutions offer microcredentials

Lifelong learning can help solve the skills gap--here's where microcredentials fit in

Editor’s note: eCampus News is exploring the future and potential of microcredentials in a multi-story series. Check back each week for fresh perspectives from educators and industry experts.

A “one-and-done” degree is no longer enough for many employees and job seekers because, in today’s workplace, in-demand skills are constantly evolving. In fact, current research estimates the half-life of a learned skill at five years, and it’s even shorter for technical skills.

As roles continue to evolve alongside new technologies and processes, the need for upskilling and reskilling programs becomes more urgent –– and stretches across multiple disciplines. That’s where microcredentials come into play.

Microcredentials represent competencies or achievements earned by learners through a series of short, focused courses. With microcredentials, employees can update their skills, organizations can upskill and reskill their workforce, and universities, corporations and associations can expand their offerings and partnerships to meet the growing demands of the current labor market.

Microcredentials are much more than digital badges

Many people mistakenly think of microcredentials as negligible digital badges for adults because they’re often composed of non-credit courses and don’t follow the traditional degree program format. In reality, microcredentials are a more flexible and affordable way for employees to expand their skill sets, and they can help learners demonstrate acquired competencies from well-respected institutions.  

Some organizations may be concerned about the quality and legitimacy of microcredential programs. But organizations and employees are increasingly embracing microcredentials for the simple fact that these programs deliver real results. 

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