Everything You Need to Know About Microcredentials

By Tess Campbell Modified on May 27, 2022
Tags : Academics | News

Discover how microcredenials will benefit you in your dream industry.

 Everything You Need to Know About Microcredentials

Over the last couple of years, you’ve probably heard the term “microcredential” pop up more frequently in Canadian colleges and universities. But what exactly is this new style of credential, how can it benefit you, and what could microcredentials mean for your career? Explore the world of microcredentials in Canada and discover what this could mean for you as a student or a professional in the workplace.

What is a microcredential?

A microcredential is an accreditation you receive after completing a short-termed course that is meant to prepare you to succeed in your desired industry. A microcredential is different from traditional degrees, diplomas, and certificates because it’s a much shorter, more accessible course that is focused on teaching a specific skill or knowledge that is directly relevant to a certain industry. This is opposed to traditional courses, which cover more broad topics over a longer period.

So, knowing what a microcredential is, how do you know when you should get one?

When should you consider a microcredential?

You’re probably wondering why you would need more schooling after you’ve already done your postsecondary education, or you’ve been working to complete it. It’s good to continue to learn and push yourself, but there may come a specific time in your life where you’ll want to enhance your education. For example, if you want to:

  • switch careers
  • gain leverage for a promotion
  • tailor your resumé for a dream career
  • learn a new skill

A microcredential is valuable in situations such as these since you don’t need to invest a lot of time and money into the course, but the possible benefits are expansive.

What are the benefits of microcredentials?

Continuing to learn and educate yourself will never be a negative thing. You’ll find that there are many advantages to microcredentials. Check out these six reasons how microcredentials are beneficial:

1. Shorter course time

The best part about microcredentials is they don’t take very long to complete. Typically, microcredentials can be completed within just a few days, or up to a few weeks — definitely much shorter than the years it takes to complete traditional courses! So, if you’ve got a spare weekend or two, you could potentially earn a microcredential.

2. Flexible learning options

Life is hectic, so you may not have time to travel to campus. Microcredentials are often flexible in their delivery. Most microcredentials will be taught online, so you won’t need to worry about travel time or transportation costs. However, some microcredentials may be offered in-person or as a hybrid learning environment, so if you do prefer learning face-to-face, you can explore those options as well.

3. Earn career specific skills

Whether you’re working full-time or you’re looking to get a foot in the door, microcredentials will help you earn valuable skills in your industry. Your degree gave you a broad understanding of the industry, but you can discover the skills that are needed day-to-day in your dream career, and then earn those skills with a microcredential.

4. Gain a competitive advantage

According to a recent study by Northeastern University, more employers are deciding that a degree alone is not enough and are embracing skills-based hiring approaches. So, get ahead of the trend and add some microcredentials to your resumé today.

When you’re up against other applicants for a job or a promotion, it can be difficult to set yourself apart when you’ve got the same experience. Microcredentials are a great way to differentiate yourself from the sea of applicants. You’ll be able to prove that you’ve got the right skills for the job with your microcredential. Does your industry require you to have strong leadership skills? With a microcredential in leadership, you’re no longer just saying that you have this skill — you’re able to provide concrete evidence.

5. Cost effective

Education is typically expensive, but luckily, microcredentials won’t break the bank. Since microcredentials are a much shorter course than degrees, diplomas, or certificates, they’re also much less expensive! You won’t have to worry about spending a fortune as you invest in new skills.

6. Discover your interests

Microcredentials are a great way to discover your interests in your desired industry. Schools like Seneca College have a variety of microcredentials to choose from based on your interests. Do you love designing? You could take a microcredential on interior decorating, digital graphic design, home staging, and more. Microcredentials are your opportunity to explore your passions and find your niche in the industry.

Wow! Microcredentials sound awesome. Where can I find them?

As the interest for microcredentials is increasing, they’re becoming more available throughout Canada. Colleges, universities, and companies are creating microcredential programs to help provide people with the skills to succeed in their industry. In 2021, the Ontario government created a three-year plan to push for the development of microcredentials in colleges, universities, Indigenous Institutes, and private career colleges to help people gain skills for in-demand jobs. So be sure to keep your eyes out — microcredentials are popping up everywhere!

So, whether you’re just graduating from postsecondary school or currently working and want to learn new skills, microcredentials can help set you apart from others and advance your career.

Find out if your dream school offers microcredentials

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