Micro-credentials: Short Online Courses that Enhance Your Degree and Employability

The Value of Micro-credentials: How Online Courses Can Enhance Your Degree and Employability

In today’s job market, a bachelor’s or master’s degree alone is often not enough to make you stand out to employers. While your main qualification demonstrates your knowledge in a broader subject area, companies want specialised workers who apply directly to open positions. This is where micro-credentials come in handy.

What Are Micro-credentials? Short online courses

Micro-credentials, also known as digital badges or nano-degrees, are short online courses that allow you to get certified in specific skills and knowledge areas. For example, you could take a 6-8 week course and receive a micro-credential in data analysis, social media marketing, UI/UX design, business analytics, project management, and much more. These bite-sized learning programs are offered on platforms like

Micro-credentials- රැකියා හැකියාව වැඩි කරන short term online degrees nano certificates ලබා ගන්න හැටි


🔍 Topics Covered:

  • 0:00 start
  • 0:09 Less jobs for degrees
  • 1:06 CIMA, Chartered & IT Courses
  • 1:35 TOEFL, IELTS
  • 1:50 Benefits of Micro-credentials
  • 3:09 Global Platforms – MOOCs
  • 4:17 Cost
  • 5:18 Get hard skills and soft skills
  • 6:20 What are micro-credentials
  • 8:12 How to put them in your Resume/ CV?
  • 11:25 Most popular MOOCs in the world
  • 15:44 Moratuwa U – Full Stack developer
  • 16:24 Bonus tips

Benefits of Micro-credentials

Pursuing micro-credentials provides several benefits for university students and graduates:

  • They demonstrate relevant job skills and knowledge to make you more employable. Micro-credentials allow you to fill in any gaps that a general bachelor’s degree may miss.
  • They help you stand out from applicants with just a degree certificate. With a micro-credential, you show motivation to constantly develop professionally.
  • They let you explore potential careers before fully committing through internships or jobs. You can test out different fields through affordable courses.
  • Top providers like Coursera and edX offer courses developed by leading universities and companies worldwide. This adds prestige and credibility.
  • Micro-credentials allow university students and graduates to showcase niche skills and knowledge to employers. With the right choices, they can demonstrate your dedication to lifelong learning and give you a competitive edge in the job market.

Choosing the Right Micro-credentials

With so many options for micro-credentials, how do you strategically select the best ones?

  • Identify high-demand skills in your target industry and look for related micro-credentials. For example, data analysis skills for a business role.
  • Study job postings to see what capabilities employers are looking for. Then, match courses accordingly.
  • Pick skills complementary to your major. For an engineering student, project management makes sense.
  • Focus on both hard skills (like programming and knowledge of organic chemistry) and soft skills (like communication and teamwork).
  • Consider completing at least onw micro-credentials per year alongside your main university degree.

Here are some top platforms to browse for micro-credential options:

Global Platforms – MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses

  • Coursera: Offers courses from leading universities and companies worldwide. Many are free or low cost.
  • edX: Features micro-credentials and courses created by institutions like MIT and Harvard.
  • Udemy: Boasts an extensive library of affordable courses in topics like IT, design, business, and more.
  • Udacity: Specializes in tech-focused micro-credentials backed by industry.
  • FutureLearn: Connects you to courses from top UK and international universities.

Popular Long-Term Courses in Sri Lanka:

  • Management, Accounting, Marketing, HR (CIMA, CIM, Chartered Accountancy, IPM)
  • IT/ Computing (BIT, BCS)
  • Science (Ichem)
  • English for foreign degrees (IELTS, TOEFL)
  • Free Full Stack Developer course offered by the University of Moratuwa developed with the help of DP education

Micro-credentials vs. Traditional Degrees:

  • Shorter, more flexible timespans.
  • Narrowly focused.

Can you put them in your Resume?

  • Absolutely! List them under “Education and Professional Development.”
  • Display your digital badges and certificates online. eg. You can put them on your LinkedIn profile (Read: How to add a digital badge to LinkedIn?)

Eg. Eranda Indunil – Undergraduate at University of Sri Jayewardeneprua – LinkedIn portfolio of certificates and badges

LinkedIn profile of Palinda Perera displaying digital certificates

Delivery Mechanisms:

  • Face-to-face
  • Blended
  • Fully online

Most popular MOOCs (massive open online courses) in the world

Globally popular Short courses MOOCs for Biological Science (Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics) undergrads

Courses for Agriculture, Environmental Science and Forestry Undergraduates

Environmental Science:

  1. Climate Change and Sustainability Certificatehttps://www.edx.org/learn/climate-change
  2. Geospatial Analytics for Environmental Decision Makinghttps://www.coursera.org/specializations/gis
  3. Environmental Monitoring and Data Analysishttps://ou.ac.lk/cessd/
  4. Water Treatment and Supply Technologieshttps://www.edx.org/learn/water/tsinghua-university-water-and-wastewater-treatment-engineering-physicochemical-technology-shui-chu-li-gong-cheng-wu-li-hua-xue-fang-fa

Agriculture:

  1. Precision Agriculture Techniques and Applicationshttps://www.wur.nl/en/dossiers/file/dossier-precision-agriculture.htm
  2. Sustainable Food Systems: From Farm to Forkhttps://www.edx.org/school/eit-food
  3. Organic Agriculture: Methods and Principleshttps://www.futurelearn.com/info/courses/future-food/0/steps/66896
  4. Crop Science: Production and Managementhttps://www.edx.org/learn/agriculture

Forestry:

  1. Sustainable Forest Managementhttps://www.edx.org/learn/ecosystems/sdg-academy-from-the-ground-up-managing-and-preserving-our-terrestrial-ecosystems
  2. Urban Forestry and Green Infrastructurehttps://www.coursera.org/lecture/wood-science/managing-forests-LEDWh

Short courses on Business Analytics:

  • Introduction to Business Analytics (University of Pennsylvania – Coursera): Gain a fundamental understanding of business analytics concepts, tools, and applications. Valuable for aspiring analysts, data scientists, and business professionals. https://www.coursera.org/courses?query=wharton
  • Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate (Coursera): Learn essential data analysis skills from Google experts, covering data cleaning, visualization, and modelling. Useful for data analysts, scientists, and marketers. https://www.coursera.org/professional-certificates/google-data-analytics

Courses on Project Management:

Courses on Business Finance:

  • Corporate Finance Fundamentals (MIT OpenCourseware – YouTube): Understand the essential concepts of corporate finance, including valuation, capital budgeting, and financial analysis. Relevant for aspiring finance professionals, entrepreneurs, and business analysts. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HdHlfiOAJyE
  • Financial Markets (Yale University – Coursera): Explore the workings of financial markets, covering asset classes, risk management, and investment strategies. Valuable for aspiring investment bankers, financial analysts, and anyone interested in global finance. https://www.coursera.org/learn/financial-markets-global

Bonus Tips:

  • Consider combining courses across different areas to build a well-rounded skillset.
  • Look for courses with industry certifications or recognized credentials.
  • Read reviews and compare platforms before enrolling.
  • Utilize student forums and communities for networking and support.

These are just starting points. Remember to research further based on your specific needs and interests. Happy learning!

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