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Part of Western Governors University

September 26, 2019

Online University Experience

What are micro-credentials?

There are a lot of terms that float around when it comes to professional development, and micro-credentials is another term to add to that growing list.

Stacked river stones

There are a lot of terms that float around when it comes to professional development, and micro-credentials is another term to add to that growing list. But what are they? The answer is that micro-credentials (also known as digital badges), are certifications that help you gain specific abilities or knowledge that can help in your career. 

Actually, Online Schools Center has a great infographic that illustrates what a micro-credential is, and explains that the easiest way to think of a micro-credential is a certification in a very specific activity. For example, with teaching, you can earn “teaching writing in K-12 classrooms.” This proves to employers, current or prospective, that you have required certain skills in targeted areas. Apart from career development, it is great for personal development too, allowing an individual to pick up new skills wherever they can! It could even help shape your career motivations and provide an outlet to accomplish goals. 

So, how does this affect a working adult? It makes for quicker career development. If you are in a career already and need to prove a skill to management, this educational pathway is a great way to prove your competency. Western Governors University (WGU) plans to roll out the first micro-credential programs at the school’s virtual Nevada campus before the end of the year, and WGU was fortunate to have a Nevada-based newspaper share the news. Read more about this concept, including an interview with Sarah DeMark, vice president of programming at WGU, in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, published early last month. 

In the meantime, the following sites are great places to look at earning micro-credentials or web badges: EdX, General Assembly, Davinci Coders, Udacity, and Digital Promise.

There is a diverse range of these certifications available out there, with the most common being for teachers, so they can master specific skills in the classroom such as creative writing (like we mentioned above), or certain math subjects. However, given the digital age and the new industries being created because of it, there are quite a few digital tasks too—such as web development. WGU Nevada strives to stay on the forefront of these educational alternatives, so keep up to date with our blog for more information on how you can take advantage of micro-credentials too!

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