Day 2 of the EduGrowth Melbourne Edtech Summit
The second day of the Melbourne Edtech Summit 2022 focused on how technology is revolutionising the workforce of the future. Upskilling is high on the innovation agenda for the workforce sector, with digital skills and digital delivery identified as being the key enabler.
There was a big spotlight on the importance of skills of the future, with plenty of buzzwords thrown around about ‘micro-credentials’ and ‘life-long learners’.
In this blog, we take a look at what this means, and the opportunities higher education institutes can take out of the discussion.
What is a micro-credential?
Universities term a micro-credential as a course that can be stackable and a pathway into a degree. Most universities and TAFE providers now offer this as a solution to those that seek a specific set of skills, or a very niche piece of subject matter. Some of the most popular micro-credentials being undertaken at the moment are in the fields of business, management, leadership and social media.
What are the benefits of a micro-credential?
Some of the benefits of micro-credentials include:
- The flexibility to dip in and out of education at your convenience
- Offered at a more affordable cost to a tertiary undergraduate or postgraduate degree
- Courses often have a focus on new skill development
- But can also be pursued to close skills gaps and meet immediate learning needs
The movement of higher education providers to develop these offerings comes from fast-growing employment prospects and new attitudes around pursuing learning through all stages of life. This then supports the ‘life-long learner’.
What the education sector agrees upon is that the typical student journey is now being phased out. People who graduate from high school, go to university, get a job and retire aren’t considered the only norm. Life-long learners continue to want to upskill and develop their interests throughout their life whether it be for personal or professional reasons. And as such their career paths evolve and change.
Are micro-credentials unique?
Short courses and micro-credentials offer a solution to mature-aged learners to gain the skills they need in a short amount of time, but who’s to say that we can get the same content and learnings for free from YouTube or from your favourite podcast from Spotify. For example, The Digital Marketing Podcast by Target Internet utilises interviewing global experts, together with the latest news, tools, strategies and techniques to give your digital marketing the edge.
Strategic marketing to the right audience
While these courses are a great step in staying up to date with what employers are calling out for, education providers are still failing to articulate to the market how it differentiates between a short course, or to a diploma, except for saying that it is cheaper and quicker. This is when a considered strategy and segmentation is vital in any sort of student recruitment for this program.
One of our education clients, Australian National University, started offering specialised micro-credentials in 2022. They outline that this new offering is an innovative way of learning in response to the needs of industry, government and the community.
The courses provide recognition at a graduate level of the learning undertaken to improve professional knowledge and practice. Marketing micro-credentials as quality assured, industry recommended and a pathway into a further education through CPL is vital for success.
There is a wealth of knowledge out there to add to your current skill set, to give you that competitive edge in the workforce. One of the biggest benefits is that a micro-credential can be undertaken at any point in your career when it works for you. There is a steady growth in the amount of people choosing to become life-long learners in the pursuit of developing their personal interests or professional skills.
Will we see full short courses or micro-credentials with assessment and accreditation run on YouTube or Spotify? Time will tell. We are super excited to see what is to come, as more education providers see the value in bridging this learning gap.
A bit about Student Garden
Student Garden is the educational branch of Social Garden. We focus on supporting higher education providers through student-centred advertising, content creation, marketing automation, call-conversion, social media management and CRM integrations.
Our specialised team knows the market like the back of their hand, having worked with over 50% of higher education institutions around Australia. We aim to connect prospective students of all ages and backgrounds with quality education providers, through unique creative campaigns that bring an authentic experience.