What, more study? Why grads are seeking out short courses

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

Australians are more likely to up-skill than ever before – improving their skills, protecting their jobs and progressing their careers

Recent graduates who already hold an Advanced Diploma or higher qualification are becoming study bugs – with 62% of us more likely to up-skill since the beginning of the pandemic according to a recent study out of the University of Melbourne. 

Results show a significant increase in the demand for short courses, with almost two-thirds of survey respondents agreeing that seeking out extra study opportunities is the key to keeping up with changes in their current gigs – particularly as most industries recover from the instability of the last 12+ months.

And among the other reasons grads are enrolling in short courses in such epic numbers? To advance their knowledge (67%), refresh their current skills (45%), assist with career progression (31%) and future-proof their roles (30%).

Interestingly, gender-based differences in learning motivations included more women (89%) than men (79%) agreeing that up-skilling helps them explore their potential, with women also more likely to enrol in a short course to improve their overall confidence (27%) compared with men (19%).

It’s all about micro-credentials

Professor Gregor Kennedy, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Melbourne said the world of work is changing and this is driving enthusiasm for short, recognised courses for professional skills development.

“Degrees still serve an incredibly important purpose – providing a depth of knowledge and understanding in a field or discipline, and developing foundational analytical skills and abilities. But this survey shows what we have been seeing for some time: that professionals are keen to keep up with advances in knowledge, technology, and specific areas of practice, and they want recognition for any professional development they complete in these areas.

“The University has responded to this need by creating Melbourne MicroCerts, which are assessed, focused short courses that enable professionals to remain competitive by enhancing their knowledge and skills.”

Launched this year, Melbourne MicroCerts are flexible, high quality, micro-credentials developed and delivered by the University of Melbourne in strong partnership with industry experts. They focus on in-demand areas, including leadership, management and change; data, technology and digital transformation; creative thinking and communication; contemporary education; sustainable practices; and health and innovation.

And nope that’s not it – there are loads more up-skilling opportunities too depending on what skill you want to develop! If you’re a grad keen to look into the mini-qualifications you can land through doing a short course head here for our deep dive into micro-credential opportunities. 

And in the meantime? Up-skill at careerswithSTEM.com by taking our trivia quizzes, reading up on industry news and sussing the CVs of inspiring STEM role models. 


Cassie Steel

Author: Cassie Steel

As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.


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