By Emmett Steele ‘22
Whether you’re an employer, an employee, or someone who’s looking for a job, there is one word everyone would use to describe the working world right now: competitive.
Employers are trying to maintain their competitive edge with other companies. Employees are trying to compete for job security and that next promotion. Job seekers are, of course, competing for a job.
They have more than just competition in common, though. They can also all benefit from one thing: micro-credentials.
A micro-credential is a course offered through colleges and universities that offers specialized training in a specific sector of an industry. These courses can help to refresh and strengthen the skillset of employees to keep themselves and companies competitive and can help to give job seekers the edge they’ve been looking for.
Here are five reasons to consider pursuing a micro-credential:
1. Make yourself more employable
The biggest benefit to pursuing a micro-credential is upskilling – upgrading and expanding on your skills to make yourself a better and more effective addition to the workforce. Entering the workforce is becoming a greater and greater challenge and having a wider set of skills to offer your employer is valuable in getting the upper hand.
Employers will always choose the applicant who can give them the “most bang for their buck” – You could have the exact same qualifications as the applicant sitting beside you, but if you can offer skills learned through micro-credentials that they can’t, the odds are in your favour.
2. Target what you want to learn
Micro-credentials are often highly focused on a specific and specialized area of an industry. They offer a more in-depth education in the subject they’re focused on than a general program. This makes it much easier to specifically
target the subject you want to learn and be sure that the teaching of the subject is being fully fleshed-out as opposed to glossed over.
For example, take the Footcare Management program offered to RN’s and RPN’s. While foot care is addressed in the general program they attended to get their nursing designation, the Footcare Management program takes a deep dive into the sciences, theory, methods and best practices commonly used to help people who need footcare management.
As a result, those who attended the micro-credential are much more knowledgeable and better prepared to help people manage their footcare, a problem that is not uncommon for nurses to encounter.
This can be helpful to employers, as well – if your employees are lacking knowledge in a specific area of the industry, a micro-credential can help to strengthen their skills and fill that gap in an easily manageable way.
3. Learn hard and soft skills
While studying a micro-credential you will learn a lot of transferable skills. These are valuable skills that can translate not only between jobs but can also help you in your personal life.
While all skills learned in each program are useful, transferable skills are skills that are valuable in every field of work, no matter what you originally studied. These skills can help to set you apart and pave the way if you choose to pursue a job in an industry that doesn’t completely match your original field of study.
Skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork can be learned through micro-credentials and are sought after by every employer. Having a well-developed list of transferrable skills to offer can help to put your name at the top of list and separate you from the herd when trying to land your dream job or switch into a new line of work.
4. Stay competitive in your field
If you’re already employed, micro-credentials can help you to remain competitive and continue to progress your career. Micro-credentials can help to close the gap between the ever-increasing rate at which almost every industry is growing and changing, and the employees trying to keep up with the skills required to accommodate these changes.
Whether you’re looking to “catch-up” to or get ahead of changes in your industry, a micro-credential can help you get there.
Micro-credentials can also be valuable to employers who are trying to remain competitive with other companies and brands in their industry. Keeping your workers educated and their skills up to date ensures they can provide the highest quality of work for your organization.
5. Fit your schedule
One of the biggest concerns for people considering a micro-credential is how they will find the time to complete it. Fortunately, most schools that offer micro-credentials recognize that students in these courses will likely have to balance work and family life with their studies and offer the programs in flexible online and blended classes than can work with your schedule, no matter how busy.
Micro-credential programs also offer experiential learning opportunities, which entail on-the-job training for students to ensure they’re well prepared to take the skills they’ve learned in the classroom and translate them into the working field.
Have any questions?
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the micro-credential programs offered at Mohawk College, you can visit the micro-credentials page of our website.