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Friday, August 25, 2017

New Certification and Micro-Credentialing

In 2016 and continuing through the summer of 2017, a number of universities offering either a traditional face-to-face 2-year MBA, or an executive MBA, began confirming what many observed: enrollments started to drop, and students and employers commented that the cost had risen too high. Students and employers could not justify the cost due to a lack of return on investment.

People are turning to alternatives such as micro-credentialing which forms the core part of a competency-based learning program. Even Google is offering micro-credentials in its G-Suite for Education, which helps students develop skills using its cloud-based software.

Organizations are developing fast-track certification and micro-credentialing programs in response to quickly evolving industries and the need to obtain and demonstrate mastery with specific skills and knowledge.  Some of the emerging areas include new data analytics techniques, new areas of medical technology, home health care provider management, hospitality marketing, technology entrepreneurship, drones and UAV operation and analytics, urban organic farming, and more. 

Certification providers include companies with specialized experience and experts, colleges and universities, professional associations, and government agencies.
  •  Assessment to determine needs for new skills and knowledge
  •  Emerging needs aligned with certificates
  •  Situated learning: connect knowledge and skill to real-life setting
  •  Fast-Track Certification: Fewer courses, tighter timeline
  •  Characteristics of a “Fast-Track” program
  •  Digital badges used to motivate
  •  Content quality control to assure relevance of the content
  •  Assessment strategies to apply knowledge and skills in real-life situations
  •  Collaboration to encourage learning from each other
Mini-credentialing and certification programs appeal to individuals who need to expand their skills, and to do It quickly. Ideally, an individual should be able to complete their training within six months. In addition, the program should be affordable so that there is a very clear positive return on investment which more than pays for itself in increased income, expanded opportunities, and enhanced adaptability.

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