Here’s why you can’t afford not to have microcredentials on your resume
As changes unfold at an accelerated pace and workplaces evolve to meet current demands and expectations, this makes it essential for anyone to keep abreast of the changes happening within their respective industries and to upskill accordingly. But microcredentials can offer some respite.
Microcredentials – or nanodegrees, microcertifications or digital badges – are short skill-based online courses that are accredited and recognised by many employers around the world. Some examples of popular microcredential providers include EdX and Udacity.
They can be especially useful for those who already have a degree and some work experience, and who want to upskill in specific areas.
In a CPA podcast, Simon Eassom, CPA Australia’s executive general manager for member education, notes that obtaining a digital badge or digital certificate acts as a form of recognition for a skill or expertise that individuals can display on their LinkedIn profile or email.
These badges contain metadata that prospective employers can click on to find out details such as when a candidate achieved the certification, or which institution or education body awarded the certification, thus offering employers with some comfort over the validity of the badge.
“The acceleration of technological change in the world of work is going to mean that the kinds of skills we need around those technologies will constantly be changing,” he explained.
And that’s where microcredentials can come in to supplement our current certifications.
Easson said the future of work is going to become more defined by our hybrid skillset than one’s initial qualification or initial subject that they studied at university.
Future-proofing the self requires continuous upskilling
Numerous studies have echoed that upskilling is necessary for professionals to remain relevant in the workforce.
For instance, Shaw Academy’s research on 68,000 London-based job vacancies found that the most desired skill is “leadership”, which was featured on over 11,300 of the current job adverts, followed by “Excel” experience which was featured on 7,800 posts.
James Egan, CEO and founder of Shaw Academy, said in a news release that they’ve seen a dramatic uptake in their online courses since the lockdown began, including in areas such as finance, business and web development.
Unsurprisingly, they found that candidates increase their chances of a successful application if they have the relevant skills and experiences.
The Academy’s researchers note that of the 19,800 jobs available in the healthcare industry, only 510 (2.6%) of them specify “no experience required”, and of those jobs, candidates are most likely to earn between £10,000 and £15,000.
However, those who gain experience and qualifications related to this sector have a better chance of earning the national average (£26,156 before tax), as 23% of the jobs requiring health-based skills offer a salary within the £20,000 to £30,000 range.
Their research also found that those who want to earn a six-figure salary should consider project management, as 5.9% of jobs targeting project managers or those with relevant project management experience, offer £100,000+ a year.
“Although there are a few jobs that do not require a specific skill set, gaining more insight and knowledge in a particular field that you are interested in pursuing will be an invaluable use of time,” said Egan.
“Not only will the additional qualifications help your CV stand out from the crowd, but you will also have a greater sense of confidence when it comes to approaching your new role, promotion, or entering a totally new sector.”