Everything you always wanted to know about the benefits of microcredentials

Microcredentials are not only a convenient tool for confirming one’s skills, but also provide excellent motivation for continuously developing throughout life. However, these are just some of the benefits of microcredentials. 

Keep reading and you’ll find out:

  • Why is the role of microcredentials growing at an increasing rate worldwide?
  • What are the most important benefits of microcredentials?

Microcredentials and their growing importance

In recent years, there has been an increase in the importance of microcredentials around the world. This is one of the signs of the revolution taking place in the world of learning. 

What is causing the increase in demand for different types of microcredentials?  First and foremost: the civilizational and technological changes referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, the development of online learning platforms and the increasingly visible  predominance of digital and personalized learning – explains Urszula Buchowicz, microcredentials expert in the project “Microcredentials – piloting a new solution to support lifelong learning. 

Microcredentials, unlike traditional diplomas or certificates, are specific – they confirm clearly defined skills acquired by their holders. They are also issued after a much shorter learning period. These two features alone make them an excellent choice for people who want to be competitive in the job market and constantly motivated to grow. As we read in the article “All you need to know about microcredentials” published on the e-learning platform uQualio, with microcredentials we can, among other things:

  • showcase our experiences and achievements accumulated both in our professional work and when undertaking non-work activities, hobbies, volunteering and other projects,
  • present our hard and soft skills,
  • design our own development path, which will allow us to easily implement the lifelong learning model.

Microcredentials – what benefits do they offer?

What are the features of microcredentials that make them a handy tool for people who want to effectively build a strong position in the labour market and constantly improve their competencies? These are primarily:

  • flexibility (microcredentials can be obtained at any time that suits the person; they allow learning to be combined with other commitments),
  • accessibility (many institutions issuing microcredentials offer online courses, easily accessible to anyone interested),
  • confirmation of specific skills (school diplomas report on the general areas of knowledge that a graduate has acquired, while microcredentials indicate specific skills in a particular field),
  • speed of their acquisition (microcredentials are earned after short cycles of learning, not after many years of study),
  • indisputability (microcredentials are usually issued in the form of certificates, digital certificates or badges, which contain the necessary information to prove that a person can really do what the microcredential indicates),
  • low cost (compared to traditional education, acquiring microcredentials involves much lower costs),
  • adaptability to market changes (microcredentials enable rapid adaptation to changes in the labour market, retraining, etc.).

However, when speaking of microcredentials, we cannot overlook their weaker sides. These primarily relate to the approach of stakeholders to this form of skills validation. Microcredentials are awarded in an unregulated manner, which may cause confusion among potential holders due to their complexity and diversity. Institutions interested in issuing microcredentials may have doubts about the possible benefits of doing so, while users are concerned about whether the microcredentials they have earned will be recognized. 

However, the advantages of microcredentials are far more numerous than the disadvantages. First of all, they allow people to adapt more easily to the changing conditions of the world around us. They foster lifelong learning and give access to learning to people for whom the barrier so far has been, for example, financial issues – stresses Urszula Buchowicz.