Today, we are proud to announce the launch of the MicroMasters initiative, the next evolution in our mission to increase access to high-quality education and help learners improve their lives and advance their careers. Along with 14 of our global university partners, we have created a new category of Master’s-level online education to advance careers in the most in-demand fields—from UX and artificial intelligence, to global business management and Android development—while also offering a pathway to credit to an accelerated Master’s degree. This new initiative is flexible, affordable and scalable to meet the needs of today’s global learners.
The MicroMasters credential
Originally conceived and developed by MIT as a pilot program on edX, MicroMasters credentials bridge the gap between education and the workplace. MicroMasters courses are created by esteemed edX university partners, valued by top companies, like Walmart and GE, and linked to specific career outcomes.
MicroMasters credentials are also a valuable addition to academic portfolios as the credential offers a pathway to credit. MicroMasters have no admissions requirements, and are open to anyone. Once you’ve successfully earned a MicroMasters credential, you can apply to an on-campus program that recognizes the MicroMasters credential, and, if accepted, the digital credential will count as credit toward a portion of the degree, resulting in an accelerated program.
Bridging the gap, offering a solution
When developing these programs, we consulted with industry leaders to understand their challenges, both in hiring and developing a smarter, more capable workforce. By joining together our prestigious universities partners and this employer perspective, the MicroMasters initiative addresses the skills gap felt by universities, learners, organizations and professionals worldwide.
It is a standalone credential; after earning a MicroMasters certificate, you can immediately apply the knowledge you have learned to launch or further your career.
Moreover, MicroMasters programs offer “inverted admissions,” where you can prove your abilities via online courses and universities have more data to inform their admissions decisions.
The time for MicroMasters programs is now
We live in an age where new technologies continue to transform our lives. Jobs and industries are changing more rapidly today than ever before. As a result, new needs and expertise are constantly emerging. And, education must help meet these demands.
That said, college graduates want to advance professionally, but are realizing they often lack the career-relevant capabilites that the modern workplace demands. Nearly 15 million people in the U.S. want to work, but they can’t find jobs. And, around half of employers say they have job vacancies, but cannot find qualified candidates.
MicroMasters courses provide employers with the ability to upskill and reskill employees and they empower learners to gain the knowledge needed to improve their careers. To address such a need, the University of Michigan will be launching a program in user experience (UX), a growing field in our tech-focused world. The MicroMasters program is designed to teach the capabilities needed to succeed in top fields and secure in-demand jobs, such as UX designer, web developer, software developer, information technology manager, data scientist, consultant, and more. The first course starts October 4 and is open for enrollment now.
When you add a verified certificate or MicroMasters credential to your resume, CV or LinkedIn profile, you stand out to employers and show that you have successfully completed rigorous coursework taught by the world’s top universities. In a survey we conducted among edX learners, we found that 43% of learners who earned verified certificates said the edX courses helped them advance their careers.
You can be confident that when you earn a MicroMasters credential, you are gaining the skills that employers require today.
A milestone for edX and our partners
MicroMasters programs also mark a moment of global collaboration across countries and universities. EdX partners are exploring accepting MicroMasters credentials from other universities. Today, the University of Queensland (UQ) and Curtin University will be accepting the MITx Supply Chain Management MicroMasters credential for credit that can be applied if accepted to on-campus programs at UQ or Curtin University.
This is an exciting development for our edX global community and we look forward to facilitating additional collaborations across regions, expertise, disciplines and universities in the future.
MicroMasters credentials are changing lives
Learners, from small business owners to managers at multi-billion dollar companies, are already benefiting from the MITx MicroMasters program in Supply Chain Management. Listening to their experiences, I feel both humbled and excited about their dedication, engagement and opportunities, and, on a larger scale, the future of education overall. Here are some of their stories:
As we continue to announce more programs over the coming months, we’ll be sharing more of our learners’ stories here on the edX blog. Be sure to follow along.
MicroMasters programs ensure that more people globally have access to high-quality, career-relevant education that will improve their lives.
I’m thrilled to share with you the 19 MicroMasters programs from 14 universities across the globe, in three languages, including English, French and Spanish. Join me in celebrating this monumental new step in the world of education!
Australian National University
First course starts January 16, 2017
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Polytechnic University of Valencia
First course starts February 7, 2017
Rochester Institute of Technology
Thunderbird School of Global Management, a unit of the Arizona State University Knowledge Enterprise
Université catholique de Louvain
University of Michigan
First course starts October 4, 2016
First course starts January 24, 2017
First course is live and self-paced
The University of Queensland, Australia
First course starts January 24, 2017