In today’s fast-paced job market, gaining the skills you
need to be competitive can seem daunting to many people. Employers are looking
for highly skilled candidates with specific areas of knowledge, but you may not
have the time to commit to earning a master’s degree right now. Combined with
the fact that industries are rapidly evolving, and practical, on-the-job skills
are highly desirable for employers, an alternative to traditional degrees is
becoming much more appealing. This is where micro-credentials come in.
BBC article defines micro-credentials as “bite-sized chunks of education”
that have “emerged in response to the skills gap caused by new technologies.” Micro-credentials
offer the benefit of industry-specific, cutting-edge learning that gives the
student a one-up on competitors in their chosen field of study. Gaining a micro-credential
allows you to reduce the time commitment, cost, and duration of a traditional
graduate degree, and provides professional skills directly connected to job
competencies in a condensed period of time.
Micro-credentials, including graduate certificates, can be
“stacked” into a graduate degree, as Chris Nicholson, Assistant Dean of
Enrollment, Marketing, and Partnerships at University College explains.
“We have many students who pursue a four-course certificate,
take another two courses to complete a six-course certificate, and then take six
additional courses to earn their master’s degree. So, they earn three different
academic credentials by taking just 12 courses,” Nicholson says. “Those
credentials are a powerful statement on their resume.”
Marcus Farmer, a University College alumni, describes his
experience with a University College graduate certificate program in the podcast
“I’ve done everything from contract work and consulting to
positions that I’ve been able to obtain simply because I had the marketing
communication certificate credential” said Farmer. “Part of that has to do with
my demonstrated expertise, and I owe that to the training that I got at
University College. It’s led me to keep learning and keep going because I have
a foundation on which I can build.”
Check out the full interview and hear a former student’s
perspective on the value of a micro-credential and why he chose this route here.
If you are ready to explore the possibility of earning an
academic credential that gives you the opportunity to quickly develop a new
skillset, then a graduate certificate may be right for you. University College
offers more than 50
different certificates that all specialize in a range of industries and
areas. You can also explore non-credit certificates through the Center for Professional Development.
By pursuing a certificate, you are choosing an education
that is straightforward, practical, and most importantly, quick to complete!
Our certificate programs can be completed in as few as six months, and provide
you with the skills needed to fill that gap that so many employers are facing.