EdSurge Guide

A Lifetime of Back to School: Microcredentials in Higher Education

A Lifetime of Back to School: Microcredentials in Higher Education

Faculty and advisors often encourage students to think big. But college institutions themselves—and education companies—are thinking small these days when it comes to experimenting with new types of programs.

Microcredentials, or short-form online learning programs, is the latest buzzword that higher education providers are latching onto. They come with diminutive names such as Micromasters (by several universities working with edX) and nanodegrees (by Udacity). But they have the potential to shake up graduate education, potentially reducing demand for longer, more-traditional professional programs.

At the core of the trend is the idea that professionals will go “back to school” repeatedly over their lifetimes, rather than carving out years at a time for an MBA or technical degree. We figure that could remap the old board game Life to include multiple returns to the virtual classroom.

EdSurge set out to explore the microcredential landscape with a series of articles on the subject, collected in the guide that follows. We’ll be adding more installments in the coming weeks.

—Jeff Young, senior editor at EdSurge

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