Building Skills Employers Value
Microcredentials are another way of providing evidence to employers that a student has learned a new skill. They are represented by a digital badge that can easily be added to your online platforms so prospective employers can see them. They can be earned by successfully completing a course, a module within a course, a training program, work experience program, or tutorial program. To learn more about microcredentials and what they are, check out this 30-second video on our YouTube channel.
They do not replace established degrees but work as an added unit of value for the learner and employers. Microcredentials are designed in collaboration with related industries and organizations to help people get the skills they need to address skills gaps for employers and find meaningful careers.
FAQs for Students
What are microcredentials?
Microcredentials are evidence of a skill or competency that has been demonstrated by the student. They are represented by a digital badge that can be added to your social media sites, such as LinkedIn, the footer of your emails, or your digital resume. Potential employers can click on those digital badges and see a record of what you had to do to earn that microcredential.
What is a digital badge?
A digital badge is the image and the metadata embedded in that image that represents an earned microcredential. Essentially, it is the digital equivalent of a certificate and it shows that the earner has successfully demonstrated the skills and competencies to have earned the microcredential.
How do microcredentials benefit me?
Many microcredentials are created in collaboration with related industries or employers. As such, they represent skills that those potential employers are looking for and they are earned through evidence that the employers accept as valid and reliable. This means that microcredentials can be a powerful tool to help you get noticed and land that job in your desired field.
How do I earn a microcredential?
Microcredentials are offered within select courses. Some microcredentials can be earned by successful completion of a course, others can be earned by successful completion of a specific unit including a competency-based assessment. Once you are enrolled in a course that contains a microcredential, your instructor will give you the details on what you will need to do to earn the associated microcredential. For a list of courses that contain a microcredential component, you can go here.
How much do microcredentials cost?
Microcredentials are offered at no additional cost. They are extra value added onto the course you are already taking.
Do microcredentials replace degrees or certificates?
No. Microcredentials are an additional (and more specific) evidence of a skill or competency. They do not replace the degree or certificate you will earn by completing a certificate or degree program.
What courses allow me to earn a microcredential?
For a list of courses that contain a microcredential component, you can go here. Microcredentials are continuously being added to courses throughout Dalhousie so check back occasionally to see if microcredentials have been added to any courses you may be interested in.
FAQs for Employers
Why would I want to hire someone with a microcredential?
Microcredentials are one solution to the “skills gap” problem. The “skills gap problem” is where companies find that university graduates are lacking specific skills or competencies that are deemed important or necessary to be successful in a specific industry or company. Dalhousie works with industries and sector councils to identify key skills and incorporate those skills into relevant courses.
How could I work with Dalhousie University to collaborate on a microcredential?
Companies and industries can work with Dalhousie to help identify potential microcredential skills and evaluate proposed assessments to ensure they are valid and authentic. If you are interested in collaborating to develop microcredentials please contact Microcredentials@dal.ca
We offer two types of microcredential development, individual and co-branded.
Individual microcredentials can represent any skill, ability, experience, or knowledge you choose. You decide requirements needed to earn them. The digital badge image will represent your company or institution and will utilize your branding and logo. Dalhousie’s microcredential development team will help you with the process of setting up, organizing, managing, and distributing your microcredentials. Your microcredentials will be stored and managed by the microcredential team.
Co-branded microcredentials are microcredentials developed with the collaboration and oversight of Dalhousie’s microcredential team. They are represented by a Dalhousie digital badge containing your company’s or institution’s logo alongside the Dalhousie University crest and logo. These microcredentials represent a skill or competency that has been evaluated and approved by Dalhousie’s microcredential team to ensure alignment with Dalhousie’s educational standards. Additionally, these microcredentials are earned by passing an approved competency-based assessment to ensure validity and reliability.
What are the benefits to working with Dalhousie University?
Benefits of collaborating with Dalhousie to develop new microcredentials:
- Ensure that students graduating from Dalhousie have the specific skills you want.
- Know that a microcredential represents exactly what you want it to represent.
- Increase the size of the hiring pool of high-quality candidates.
- Create a connection between your company and potential employees.
- Create evidence of entry-level skills that can allow potential employees to enter your company while still progressing through a degree program.
Why would I want to create a microcredential?
Microcredentials are a way to recognize skills, knowledge, or experiences that your learners have gained through your educational experiences. Microcredentials reward the earner by providing them with evidence of their knowledge or ability that can be leveraged for advances in career or employment opportunities. If the earner feels that the microcredential is worthy of display, then your logo, brand, and educational opportunity will be shared on their social networks, emails, and digital resumes for others to see.
What are co-branded microcredentials?
A co-branded microcredential is a microcredential that was developed in collaboration with an organization external to Dalhousie. Like other microcredentials, they represent a skill or competency that has been demonstrated through a competency-based assessment. Unlike other Dalhousie microcredentials, the courses and the assessments are administered by the partner organization. For co-branded microcredentials, the microcredential content and assessment must be approved by Dalhousie’s microcredential team and cannot be changed without agreement from Dalhousie. This ensures that any microcredential containing the Dalhousie logo and branding meets the high standards of Dalhousie University.
Why would I want to develop a co-branded microcredential?
If your institution or company offers training, courses, or other learning experiences, you may want to consider creating a co-branded microcredential with Dalhousie. Co-branded microcredentials give your learners evidence of the skills they received from your courses or trainings as well as the knowledge that the skills and assessment has been vetted and approved by Dalhousie. The digital badge image contains the Dalhousie logo and branding and may be seen to carry more authority or validity than the individual microcredential.
What is required to develop co-branded microcredentials?
Co-branded microcredentials require an agreement between Dalhousie and the partner institution that requires approval of the microcredential focus and its competency-based assessment. Once approved, the assessment may not be altered without collaboration and approval from Dalhousie. Dalhousie’s microcredential team will assist with the development, organization, management, and distribution your microcredentials.
For more information on developing a co-branded microcredential contact Microcredentials@dal.ca
For more information on our microcredentials and to discuss how you can develop a co-branded microcredential, please contact email@example.com