As the year draws to a close and thoughts turn inevitably to New Year’s resolutions, The Open University (OU) points the lens at career change in 2022, and invites employees and employers to consider its innovative range of short courses.
Known as microcredentials, these career-focused courses are hosted on the OU’s co-owned social learning platform, FutureLearn. They have been designed to offer organisations and learners the opportunity to upskill quickly and stay up-to-date with in-demand subject areas, from cyber security and python programming, to agile leadership and management of uncertainty.
Created by world-leading OU academics, many are endorsed by high-profile industry partners including Amazon Web Service (AWS), Cisco and the Agile Business Consortium. They can be completed in just 10-12 weeks and learners achieve CV-boosting university credits on completion.
A timely response to the growing skills gap
With employers continuing to report skills shortages in their workforce and three in five organisations* saying that they are not as agile as they need to be, microcredentials are a timely response to this growing skills gap.
Tommy Breslin, Senior Development Officer for Scottish Union Learning within the Scottish Trades Union Congress, has completed a number of OU microcredentials, and has even gained a promotion as a result. He says:
“My line manager said that while these courses have greatly enabled my personal and professional development, they have also prepared me for taking on senior management responsibilities, and that the skills I have developed will be invaluable in driving our organisation through a process of digital transformation.
“I’d recommend microcredentials to anyone looking for accessible and inclusive learning experiences. The quality of the learning materials is excellent, the tutors are great, the administration is painless and efficient, and the pace of the courses is demanding but well thought through.”
Tim Plyming, The OU’s Managing Director for Paid Short Courses & Microcredentials, said:
“Learners are demanding new ways to develop knowledge, skills and competencies, and want to do so quickly, from bite-sized, quality-assured courses. Upskilling through our microcredentials is a great way to continue professional development while gaining in-demand specialist skills and knowledge.
“Courses include our hugely popular Online Teaching suite – underpinned by our world-leading academic expertise and 50 years’ experience in delivering supported distance learning. These sit alongside our Business and Management courses, designed by academic experts from our triple- accredited Business School, and in-demand Computing courses, endorsed by leading industry experts. Other exciting courses cover the important areas of Climate Change and Sustainability.”
Twenty-four microcredential courses are available to sign up to now, starting in March. Further courses will be available throughout 2022, to start in June, July and October.
To find out more and sign up, visit https://www.open.ac.uk/courses/microcredentials
* Confederation of British Industry (CBI)