The emergence of alternative credentials is well documented as part of the credentialing landscape, and in some instances redefining its future. They include digital badges, nano-degrees, verified certificates, stackable credentials, and increasingly, micro-credentials.
While “traditional” certifications continue to serve the needs of many credentialing enterprises, more models of micro-credentials are emerging, as the business case is being made for adding micro-credentials to the portfolio of credential offerings.
Why is the development of micro-credentials growing?
In a recently published report, Making the Business Case for Micro-Credentials, to which IREC and its work contributed, Professional Testing, Inc. cites a number of reasons:
- Repurposing existing certifications that may not be meeting the needs of industry and/ or workers.
- Reducing redundancies within the suite of credential portfolio offerings.
- Seeking opportunities to partner with other industry sectors to fill the need for skilled workers and/or advance opportunities for workers.
- Offering a credentialing product to a broader audience for which a full-scope certification program may not be necessary.
- Providing a credential for a specific job function for a unique group of workers.
- Increasing the skills of workers in a specific job area and/or function.
- Providing stackable credentials workers can earn and build their skills upon.
- Any combination of the above.
The report features four unique micro-credential models and presents them as case studies.
Download the report [PDF].