There are a lot of various types of short courses and degrees offered by universities and platforms around the world. So it’s important to understand the different study offers in order to make informed decisions about which types of courses to choose.
One new type of short course is online Microcredentials, designed and provided by FutureLearn. So, what are Microcredentials, what makes them so special, and why can they be a good study option for you?
What are Microcredentials?
Microcredentials are specialised online-only courses offered by FutureLearn, that help students develop their professional skills and academic knowledge in a short amount of time.
Microcredentials are offered in cooperation with certified universities and colleges like The Open University, University of Kent, Monash University, Deakin University, University of Glasgow, and others. Industry giants such as Cisco Systems, the Royal Photographic Society, or AWS also provide Microcredentials training.
Microcredentials are specifically designed for professionals who want to advance their knowledge and fill in gaps in their resume, without having to put their career on hold in order to study a classic Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. It’s a time-effective study option that focuses on a specialized topic, so you can get started on applying what you learn as soon as possible.
Microcredentials are also a good way to better understand a topic or subject and decide if you want to study a full Bachelor’s or Master’s degree for it. Students will receive an official certificate as proof of completing their Microcredential studies.
What are the advantages of studying Microcredentials?
What makes Microcredentials stand out compared to other forms of study? Here are a few reasons to consider applying for one:
- Affordable – Regular academic degrees, even online ones can be quite pricey, while Microcredentials are just a fraction of the cost, in some cases 10 times cheaper, or even less expensive.
- Accessible – Microcredentials are taught fully online, so you can study from anywhere in the world. In some cases, you won’t need prior experience to apply. For others, you will need to have a Bachelor’s to apply.
- Efficient – Microcredentials can take a maximum of 12 weeks to complete, so you can get up to speed on a subject in a very short time.
- Trusted and quality education – Because they are offered by renowned and accredited international universities and industry experts the content of the courses is reliable and relevant.
- Modern learning style – Learn through storytelling as well as practice-based exercises, assignments, and tutor assistance.
- Advance your career – Microcredentials are offered by certified universities and colleges. The certificate you earn can be used for both academic and professional purposes. Receive training from industry professionals like Cisco Systems, the Royal Photographic Society, Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, and more.
- A way to find out if a topic interests you – Microcredentials are a great way to see if a certain subject fits your interest. If you like it, you could double down and also study a full degree on the subject. The credits you earn from Microcredentials are recognized by universities.
Types of Microcredentials
There are 2 types of Microcredentials: undergraduate and postgraduate. Postgraduate Microcredentials take between 10 and 12 weeks to complete and usually require you to have graduated a Bachelor’s degree. Some work experience related to the Microcredentials is also expected.
Undergraduate Microcredentials are shorter (4-5 weeks) and usually don’t expect you to have any prior experience in the field. They are more like introductions to the subjects. You will still need to have good English language proficiency to be able to attend these courses taught fully in English.
What disciplines you can study with Microcredentials
FutureLearn offers around 30 individual Microcredential courses in a wide variety of disciplines. Here are a few categories to choose from:
- Microcredentials in Business
- Microcredentials in Computer Sciences
- Microcredentials in Data Science
- Microcredentials in Education
- Microcredentials in Marketing
- Microcredentials in Health
How long does it take to get a Microcredential?
You can earn a Microcredential in 1 to 3 months. This depends on your chosen discipline. Microcredentials are much shorter than traditional on-campus Bachelors or Masters, which can take 2 to 3 years to complete.
How much do Microcredentials cost?
Microcredentials from FutureLearn cost between 500 and 1,215 EUR. Prices include the full programme experience and the official certificate you receive at the end. Costs vary depending on the Microcredential duration and on whether the course is at the undergraduate or graduate level.
Are Microcredentials worth it?
Yes, Microcredentials are definitely worth it if you are someone who fits their target audience. They offer great flexibility, are inexpensive, don’t take a lot of time to complete, come with official certifications and support from international corporations and prestigious universities. What more could you want?