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Are Micro-Credentials the Future of Education?
February 12, 2021

The traditional educational landscape is changing. Learners are looking for quick ways to close the gap between what they have to offer and what employers desire. This is where micro-credentials come in. Universities can simultaneously provide a much-needed service to learners and create a profitable and repeatable revenue stream by offering micro-credentials.   

Three trends that are influencing the popularity of micro-credentials:  

  • The growing demand for high-quality tertiary education in developing societies
  • The digitalization of the higher education sector
  • The digital transformation of top industries [1]  

In today's job market, having a degree is not enough. Upskilling is seen as a continuous need to stay competitive. The requirement for upskilling along the lifelong learning journey in today's competitive job market is good news to universities. Universities need repeatable revenue to counter the loss of tuition from the trending decrease in completion of a bachelor's degree promptly, if at all, and more acutely, the economic impacts of COVID-19. Credentials can offer people already in the workforce with upskilling needs. Micro-credentials can also benefit those currently in the educational system with considering dropping out, which can benefit universities monetarily. With "more than a quarter of students in conventional college programs quit[ing] after their first year," and "more than 40 percent of bachelor's degree candidates [not] finish[ing] after six years" [2], earning micro-credentials throughout their time in college is a way to provide rewards. Earning credentials will keep students engaged and more likely to stay the course of the longer learning journey, curbing dropout rates. Those who still drop out will have something to show for their time at college to help them get a job. "Under the existing system, the Clearinghouse reports, 36 million have dropped out with no degrees or certificates to show for their time in college" [3]. 

The higher ed sector, spurred forward by the pandemic, is starting to digitalize. This will make the inclusion of online micro-credentials an easy addition to the expanding digital framework of universities, adding to their value. Traditional degrees are not meeting employers' quickly changing needs due to swift advances and adaptation of new technologies. The digital transformation of industries driven by technological advances is exasperating the skills gap. Offering micro-credentials and certifications is the clear path forward. Certificates allow job seekers to show employers practical and applicable skills they have learned. Showing specific skills learned is vital because "only 11 percent of business leaders in a Gallup poll strongly agreed that college graduates had the skills their businesses require" [4].   

Micro-credentials will not replace degrees. They will add value to candidates' resumes on top of their degrees. "Data shows that college and university degrees are still valued and demanded in the job market. They continue to give their earners economic returns," [5] Companies are moving towards a more skills-based hiring approach. However, a degree is still a qualifying factor for the majority of employers. Micro-credentials are supplemental qualifications that help an applicant stand out. 

How Can Universities Launch Micro-Credential Programs Easily and Effectively? 

Micro-credentials are the future of education, especially for lifelong learners, but universities can find it challenging to launch them, using only internal resources. With teaching schedules built out months or years in advance, technology solutions that are part of long-term contracts and have steep learning curves, and difficulty wedging new course creation tasks into faculty members schedules – how can you build new programs?  

The answer? Smart partnerships. Sourcing an online learning platform that provides micro-credentials custom-tailored to your university is the path to success is a path to fast action. A smart partnership is one that provides turn-key options for micro-credential programs with expert content curators that meet the industry's best practices. 

Here are some key elements that micro-credentialing programs and platforms need, to keep universities ahead of the curve: 

  • Micro-credentials with content that is relevant to jobs available right now
  • Engaging delivery methods that attract new learners and keep current learners enrolled
  • Solutions for every learner, using technology to customize offerings
  • Turn-key systems capable of immediate implementation with no learning curve

People are actively seeking quick and valuable ways to compete for new positions and to add value in new jobs after so many lost their positions during the pandemic. In order to matriculate new learners, universities must offer outstanding and timely content, and technology that enables delivery with high engagement, low cost, and no training. Universities’ brands, for the first time, are affected strongly by their online presence, and choosing technology is critical to programmatic success. 

Amesite Offers a Single, Easy to Use, Scalable Solution  

Launch micro-credentials that will strengthen relationships with current students and alumni, matriculate lifelong learners and create a sustainable revenue stream that provides value to the university and the community at large.   

Amesite is a high-tech AI-enabled online learning platform that creates custom-branded learning environments and content curated by experts in the industry that follow best practices, meeting your university's unique needs. Amesite offers turn-key, intuitive micro-credentials, requiring no training, for your university allowing you to take advantage of the immediate need with these programs. Amesite has an outstanding and industry-leading 98% retention rate. A partnership with Amesite is an investment into your university's future and the first step into the future of education.  

Micro-credentials are the future of education. Let Amesite provide your university a profitable, repeatable and scalable revenue stream by implementing turn-key micro-credentials that are in extremely high demand. Request a Demo! 

Click here to see what Amesite did for Wayne State University as it built its portfolio!  

References  

[1] BBC. Feb. 17, 2020. Could micro-credentials compete with traditional degrees? https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200212-could-micro-credentials-compete-with-traditional-degrees Accessed Feb. 10, 2021. 

[2] Hechinge Report. June 2, 2020. Urgency of getting people back to work gives new momentum to “microcredentials”. https://hechingerreport.org/more-students-start-earning-stackable-credentials-on-their-way-to-degrees/ Accessed Feb. 10, 2021. 

[3] Hechinge Report. June 2, 2020. Urgency of getting people back to work gives new momentum to “microcredentials”. https://hechingerreport.org/more-students-start-earning-stackable-credentials-on-their-way-to-degrees/ Accessed Feb. 10, 2021. 

[4] Hechinge Report. June 2, 2020. Urgency of getting people back to work gives new momentum to “microcredentials”. https://hechingerreport.org/more-students-start-earning-stackable-credentials-on-their-way-to-degrees/ Accessed Feb. 10, 2021. 

[5] BBC. Feb. 17, 2020. Could micro-credentials compete with traditional degrees? https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200212-could-micro-credentials-compete-with-traditional-degrees Accessed Feb. 10, 2021.