Until recently, academic training was the central issue when thinking about the qualification of a professional. The undergraduate path, followed by postgraduate degrees and even master’s and doctorates, guaranteed the construction of successful careers, especially in the most traditional fields of activity.
However, technological evolution and the massification of undergraduate and graduate programs have made this path insufficient, albeit still crucial for professional training. With so many innovations and new disciplines emerging all the time, the rigidity of formal education does not meet all the market’s needs.
As such, micro-credentials emerged as a trend in the continued education of professionals in various fields, filling a gap in practical knowledge in a short period. Learn more about it in this article!
What are micro-credentials?
First of all, let’s understand this concept better!
Micro-credentials are a modern form of educational certification that allows people to demonstrate specific skills or knowledge in certain areas.
They differ from traditional degrees because, rather than covering a broad range of subjects that take years to complete, micro-credentials focus on unique skills that can be acquired in a short period.
They are ideal for professionals who wish to refine or add specific talents to their skill set without the time and resource commitment associated with longer undergraduate or graduate programs, making them a flexible option focused on the continuous development of skills and knowledge.
How can micro-credentials help your career?
If you’ve read the description above and still can’t see the role of micro-credentials in a practical way, let’s look at some examples of how they can benefit your career.
Developing a specific skill
Imagine that right at the beginning of your undergraduate studies, you realize that you are not good at public speaking. However, this skill is crucial to ensure a good performance during the course and, therefore, you can enroll in a public speaking course or even take a crash course in theater during the summer or winter break to develop this skill in time to apply it the next semester.
Let’s say you just took a new role at the company and now you have subordinates. But since this is your first leadership experience, you feel like you don’t have enough skills to be a good leader.
In this case, a micro-credential in People Management will guarantee you faster training focused on practical issues that will allow you to quickly integrate learning into your professional routine.
A deep dive into a topic of interest
Among the many disciplines you have studied during your academic life, or even in the situations you have witnessed at work, you must have developed a preference for a certain subject, right?
In this case, using micro-credentials to further explore a subject of interest can be an excellent strategy for learning more about the subject without having to commit to a graduate degree in the subject, which would take a long time to complete and not always add value to your work in a practical way.
3 micro-credential ideas for you to invest in
If you’re thinking about how you can use micro-credentials to develop skills, gain experience, and/or explore a topic of interest, check out these 3 ideas and get inspired!
1 – Volunteer work
We often expect to gain experience in the industry only after the first formal hire. However, volunteer work can be an excellent micro-credential to learn about a particular topic and, from there, open doors in the market.
Volunteering is often done in other areas of study and allows the development of social skills relevant to professional training and is therefore highly valued in the job market.
Knowing the perspective of other realities, broadening your worldview, and contributing to society can be excellent micro-credentials for those entering the workforce. Additionally, this micro-credential can be combined with an international experience to make the learning sail even more comprehensive.
2 – Workshop
If you already have theoretical knowledge in a particular subject, you can use workshops as your outstanding micro-credential.
This is because this type of course gets participants to get their hands dirty, apply what they have learned, and experience the subject applied.
From a cost-benefit point of view, the workshop also has advantages: the financial and time investment is usually lower than for other activities.
3 – Short courses abroad
Our third recommendation combines the best of all micro-credential scenarios!
Short courses abroad guarantee all the essential characteristics of a micro-credential:
● Hands-on learning;
● Cultural immersion;
They are ideal for undergrad students and young professionals because they allow you to study during vacation periods without having to pause your academic or professional career to enjoy this experience, which allows you to study in prestigious international institutions at an affordable cost and with a specific focus.
Some 1-month courses abroad involve real-world learning in:
● Project Management;
And so, now that you know what micro-credentials are and how they can contribute to your career path, we suggest you deepen your knowledge of market trends with this article on Mad Skills. Have a good read!