Microcredentials are rapid training programs that can help workers quickly master new skills or gain competencies. These programs are “transcriptable”, meaning that once completed they will appear as a certified proof of competency in a specific skill.
of Canadian post-secondary institutions offered online courses for microcredentials in 2019, and that number continues to grow
of employers see microcredentials as demonstrating a commitment to lifelong learning — something they value highly
(Source: Northeastern University)
of Canadians employers asked are not yet familiar with microcredentials
(Source: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario)
Microcredentials are expected to play a major role in the future of skills training and education. Their short duration makes them essential tools for workers who wish to enter a new professional field or advance in their existing career path, but who lack the time to pursue a multi-year degree program. A recent survey from the Higher Education Quality Council has actually shown that 92% of current microcredential programs in Canada support working adults who wish to change their occupation.
Microcredentials can be a powerful solution that responds to the needs of employers, encourages professional flexibility for mid-career workers, and meets the challenges related to workforce training in a rapidly-changing economy.
Although microcredentials were in high demand before the pandemic, COVID-19 has significantly accelerated the need for such programs, as an increasing number of Canadians seek upskilling and reskilling opportunities. Recent research has also revealed the importance of microcredentials to help post-secondary graduates begin their careers with workforce-ready skills.
Microcredentials, macro impact
Microcredentials are surging in popularity, but how should they be shaped?
Fast track to skills: microcredentials in action
Listen to experts on microcredentials talk about their potential, as well as ongoing challenges:
This learning bulletin highlights the context leading to the increased use of microcredentials in Canada and showcases innovation projects that test the benefits of microcredentials training for Canadians from different sectors, ages and population groups. It also offers insights for policymakers and stakeholders on how the common standards and frameworks can help shape the future development of microcredential learning.
Take a look at all our bulletins that gather research and early findings from our innovation projects to help navigate the future of work.