Learning has always been a lifelong pursuit, but the long-term need for new skills and knowledge is more evident than ever. Several industries are seeing a rapid pace of change that calls for consistent and continuous education. Even the most experienced employees are always on the quest for cutting-edge abilities and in-depth understandings. Ideally, these acquisitions will be verified with certificates that support previously earned degrees and credentials.
The constant seeking of knowledge and accompanying credentials should not be regarded as an obligation, but rather as a unique opportunity to get ahead in a variety of emerging industries. Never has it been easier for professionals to switch gears and pursue meaningful work in areas from which they’d have previously been shut out due to their original degree choice. Now, more than ever, it’s both important and exciting to pursue the much-needed practice of upskilling.
What Is Upskilling? Why Is it Necessary?
Most people used to only seek formal education as adolescents and young adults, but everything from newspapers to novels allowed them to continue expanding their horizons long after they graduated. These days, however, lifelong learning is rarely this casual. The realities of the modern workforce call for a new approach, in which a conventional undergraduate or graduate degree represents not the end of one’s academic career, but a starting point to be followed by periodic updates.
These days, the process of developing and applying new skills is commonly referred to as upskilling or reskilling. This increasingly popular term emphasizes the need for continuous learning in a marketplace that is far from static. Upskilling is particularly important given the frequency with which today’s professionals switch jobs and even career fields. These opportunity-seeking individuals can no longer count on employers alone to provide the level of training they need to advance.
Depending on the industry or context, upskilling can take many forms. Often, it involves obtaining new technical skills, such as operating equipment that may previously have been unavailable or impractical within specific sectors. In other situations, employees may need upskilling to develop greater cultural understanding, communication abilities, or other soft skills employers are looking for. Continued learning can also hold major implications for career development and resume building, as the right credentials can grant job applicants a significant competitive advantage.
While professionals see many personal benefits from upskilling, this trend is also advantageous at a corporate and even a societal level. Many sectors currently suffer significant skills gaps that they struggle to address in time to take advantage of new technologies. With employee upskilling, however, these areas of need can be promptly addressed to ensure that highly-trained employees are always available. This, in turn, drives greater innovation to help businesses in all sectors improve their bottom line. Plus, employers that offer professional development opportunities will have a greater chance at recruiting top talent to their organization and increasing employee retention.
How Can Micro-Certificates Help With Upskilling
While today’s employers turn to a variety of methods for upskilling professionals at all levels, micro-certificates represent one of the most efficient and convenient options for enhancing your capabilities and competencies. Typically involving three or four courses, micro-certificate programs can easily be completed within a year or even a single semester to swiftly transform career prospects.
Available at both the undergraduate and graduate level, micro-certificate programs help students from a variety of backgrounds enhance their skill sets to either shift fields or advance within their current careers. This is an especially useful option for those who feel as if they’ve plateaued but do not believe they require—or are capable of obtaining—additional degrees just yet.
Despite often involving twelve credits or fewer, micro-certificates provide a thorough overview of impactful subjects. They grant students the opportunity to work both individually and collaboratively to apply theoretical insights in papers, proposals, and projects. Practical pursuits are emphasized to ensure that students are able to hit the ground running as soon as they obtain their certificates.
In addition to equipping students with critical knowledge and abilities, micro-certificates make it easy for them to showcase such advancements in resumes and during the hiring process. After all, while employers appreciate hearing about professional development, many are more inclined to trust applicants with official credentials, such as certificates from respected colleges.
With micro-certificate programs, resume-building benefits are available for every rung of the career ladder. Recent college graduates may seek to shore up their resumes with topics not covered in their major or minor of choice. Later on, micro-certifications can make a huge difference for experienced professionals who want to boost their resumes.
Versatile by nature, micro-certifications are available in a wide array of subjects. Once obtained, they can be applied in an even broader variety of industries. Examples of top micro-certificate programs that promote professional development include:
- Business Communication
- Food Compliance
- Foundational Operations & Supply Chain Management
- Foundations of Retail Management
- Sports Nutrition
- Technical Writing & Editing
- Visual Merchandising
Level Up Your Career With a Micro-Certificate
There’s no room for complacency in today’s swiftly evolving workforce. A degree from a prestigious university may represent a key first step on the way to a successful career, but it needs to be combined with a clear effort to keep up with the fast pace of change. Otherwise, it’s far too easy to stagnate or even fall behind.
Thankfully, a variety of options are available for achieving swift career advancement via upskilling. Don’t discount the power of micro-certification, which can help you bridge the divide between your current skill sets and the barriers to success in your dream job. Upon completing the right micro-certificate program, you can overcome these obstacles and take a huge step forward with your career.
Become a lifelong learner and enroll in a micro-certificate program today. For more information on micro-certificate programs and other opportunities for upskilling, complete the Request Info form, call 855-JWU-1881, or email [email protected].