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Is the Future Micro? Unbundling Learning for Flexibility & Access

Micro-credentials focus on assessing the achievement of incremental parcels of learning related to a particular skill or competency.

Key Takeaways

1

Traditional educational credential systems have not always succeeded in recognizing specific skill sets needed for someone to be work-ready, either post-graduation or between jobs.

2

Some employers have begun questioning the connection between “seat time” and education, noting that they are losing confidence that higher education graduates always possess the skills associated with their credentials upon graduation.

3

Micro-credentials can validate skills gained through experience or prior learning, opening access to employment, post-secondary programming, and lifelong learning opportunities.

Executive Summary

Traditional educational credential systems that focus on certificates, diplomas, and degrees have served to measure and accredit achievement across a wide area of knowledge. However, they have not always succeeded in recognizing specific skill sets needed for someone to be work-ready, either post-graduation or between jobs. Some employers have begun questioning the connection between “seat time” and education, noting that they are losing confidence that higher education graduates always possess the skills associated with their credentials upon graduation.

Micro-credentials that demonstrate specific skills acquisition represent one solution to this perceived problem. Micro-credentials focus on assessing the achievement of incremental parcels of learning related to a particular skill or competency. Micro-credentials can validate skills gained through experience or prior learning, opening access to employment, post-secondary programming, and lifelong learning opportunities.

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