What Are Microcredentials?

Microcredentials are certifications or credentials that focus on specific skills or competencies within a particular subject area. Unlike traditional degrees or certifications, which often require significant time and financial investment, microcredentials are typically shorter in duration and more targeted in scope.

The Society for Human Resource Management conducted a survey in July 2021 on the views of employers and employees about these kinds of alternative credentials. The survey found that 94% of executives, 93% of supervisors, and 91% of human resources professionals see people without a degree and holding only alternative credentials “to be about the same or better than those who only hold traditional educational backgrounds.” Alternative credentials are already held by 45% of workers, while 49% are considering earning one.  Source: February 2, 2023, Wall Street Journal article

What characterizes alternative or micro credential learning?

Focused Content: Microcredentials concentrate on specific skills, knowledge, or competencies relevant to a particular field or industry.  Examples include:

  • Short Duration: They are designed to be completed in a relatively short amount of time compared to traditional degree programs. This can range from a few weeks to a few months.
  • Flexible Learning Formats: Microcredentials are often available in flexible learning formats, including online courses, workshops, boot camps, or a combination of these. This flexibility allows individuals to learn at their own pace and fit their studies around other commitments.
  • Stackability: Many microcredentials are designed to be stackable, meaning that they can be combined or built upon to earn larger credentials, such as certificates, diplomas, or degrees. This allows learners to incrementally build their skills and credentials over time.
  • Industry-Relevant: Microcredentials are often developed in collaboration with industry partners to ensure that the skills and knowledge taught are current and relevant to the needs of employers.
  • Credentialing: Microcredentials may be issued by educational institutions, professional organizations, or private companies. They may also utilize digital badges or certificates to provide evidence of completion and proficiency.
  • Continuous Learning: Microcredentials support the concept of lifelong learning by enabling individuals to acquire new skills and credentials throughout their careers, helping them stay competitive in a rapidly changing job market.

Considering continuing your education or training can be a daunting process.  Committing to a certificate or degree program can be an expensive and time-consuming process. This is why microcredential offerings are a great place to start. Enrolling in a single boot camp or workshop can help clarify if a targeted field is a good fit for to explore further. This is a reduced expense and lower commitment, but it is a more targeted and flexible approach to learning. This could also lead to the realization that skill development is the ultimate goal, and microcredentials enable acquisition of in-demand skills and credentials efficiently and effectively.

Individual learners, visit the NJII/NJIT course catalog here: https://www.njii.com/pce/courses/

Corporate learners, visit program options here: