Micro-credentials: everything you need to know

young woman working at a desk microcredentials
Micro-credentials (MCs) are mini-qualifications that build on the skills, knowledge, or experience gained during university degrees/diplomas and can cover an incredible variety of job-specific skills. Image: Shutterstock

Are you a recent graduate looking for ways to add more job-ready skills to your resume? Micro-credentials might just be the way to break into the crowded job market.

What are micro-credentials?

Micro-credentials (MCs) are mini-qualifications that build on the skills, knowledge, or experience gained during university degrees/diplomas and can cover an incredible variety of job-specific skills. Being much shorter (and cheaper) than a typical degree, MCs are highly accessible qualifications and are becoming increasingly sought after in STEM careers. 

However, don’t let their short course-length convince you that MCs won’t expose you to industry professionals or adequately prepare you for the job market. MCs are specifically designed to supercharge your transferrable skills and get you into the job market.

“When taught in a way that is recognised by the industry, micro-credentials can help employees keep up with rapidly changing work environments,” says Dr Nicola Rivers, an assistant lecturer and reproductive biologist at Monash University.

So, MCs are an innovative opportunity to professionally empower yourself with modern, contemporary skills without breaking the bank. But how do you get one?

Where can you get a micro-credential, and which one is right for you?

Depending on what skill you want to develop, a MC may be offered by a university, or a financial or digital institution at varying lengths, costs, and mode of delivery (online or in-person) – it’s hard to compare apples with oranges, so let’s use some examples.

Say you want to become a doctor, but also want to know more about how clinics are run and how leadership shapes the experience of your patients. Then perhaps an organisational management MC with Open University may be for you. 

Maybe you’re an engineering student thinking about a career in research but haven’t been exposed to that environment yet. Thankfully, an intro to research methods by Griffith and Deakin universities has you covered.

What if you enjoy team leading and decision making? The Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors offer a leadership MC to strengthen your strategic leadership skills to make you a more emotionally intelligent leader.

Take a chance

By complementing traditional university degrees or diplomas, MCs are there to put you ahead of the crowd with highly transferable, real-world skills. Clearly there is a lot on offer, but it’s up to you to pick which stream you want to take and what you think will help you stand out from the crowd.

If you are looking for a valuable, credible option to stand out from Australia’s annual cohort of more than 325,000 university graduates, then perhaps a micro-credential is for you!

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Jarrod McKenna

Author: Jarrod McKenna

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