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Micro Masters: why employers love them

Micro Masters: why employers love them

Online university EdX was started in 2012 by Harvard and MIT. It’s a not-for-profit MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) platform providing free online courses to advance careers and improve lives. It is now a leading provider of stripped-down, no-fluff, laser-focused postgraduate qualifications from top universities designed with today’s job market in mind. And employers love it because it provides them with candidates with up-to-date, relevant, job-specific skills.

Anyone who has done a traditional master’s degree will have spent at least some of their time exploring the wilder shores of the subject and wodering how it is relevant to their careers. It’s as if master’s programs have valued depth and breadth of knowledge for their own sake, and remained aloof from corrupting influences like employability.

Master’s programs are carefully developed over long periods, responding to industry trends as slowly as  oil tankers changing course at sea. By the time a new module has been researched, written and approved by the faculty’s Director of Studies and other departments, the industry has moved on again and the Master’s juggernaut is off course. The traditional master’s format simply lacks the agility needed to keep up to date with employment trends, especially in STEM subjects like artificial intelligence, blockchain and other dynamic areas with hot job markets.

EdX’s MicroMasters aim to cut through all that, and they appear to be succeeding. With their focus on workplace skills that are immediately relevant to the employment environment, they have spread like wildfire. Last year 1.7 million students enrolled on a MicroMasters program – and that’s in no small part due to their endorsement by major employers like IMB, General Electric, Adobe, Walmart, Ford and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

So the options for postgarduate study are:

  1. Spend thousands of dollars and a year of your time on a course that’s too wide, too academic and not job-focused enough
  2. Spend no money on a course that’s entirely focused on employable skills, is flexible and recognized by industry-leading employers.

So where to invest your brain power? At risk of sounding trite, MicroMasters are a no-brainer.