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FutureLearn launches seven microcredentials

Social learning platform FutureLearn has launched seven new microcredentials with six global partners designed to “help learners build specialised skills relevant to their career”. Key areas include cyber security, fintech, teaching mental health and data science.

FutureLearn Chief Executive Simon Nelson said "We can all see that the workplace is changing". Photo: FutureLearn

The courses are being rolled out over February and March 2020

The microcredentials allow students to participate in job-focused courses to stay up-to-date with the constantly changing work environments and skillsets, according to FutureLearn.

“Microcredentials make it possible to provide staff with the opportunity to upskill rapidly”

“We can all see that the workplace is changing, learners want, and need, to be able to learn more skills, and universities are brilliantly placed to help them do that,” Simon Nelson, chief executive of FutureLearn said.

The six launching partners include Ireland’s Dublin City University, The Open University in the UK, the USA’s University of California and Irvine Division of Continuing Education, and Deakin University, Monash University and Queensland University of Technology in Australia.

“Credit-bearing courses that enhance career-relevant skills are especially in demand, as almost two fifths of employers believe it will be difficult to find people with the right skills and qualification to fulfil business needs in the future,” Niamh O’Grady, head of communications at FutureLearn told The PIE News.

FutureLearn highlighted a 2019 Pearson survey that indicated that more than 50% agreed that ‘the world is shifting to a model where people participate in education over a lifetime’.

“We expect the demand for microcredentials to grow rapidly, not only from individual learners but also from organisations,” deputy vice-chancellor and vice-president (education) at Monash University, Sue Elliot AM said.

“Microcredentials make it possible to provide staff with the opportunity to upskill rapidly in key business areas,” she continued.

Chief corporate engagement and partnerships officer at DCE Brian Breen also said that the launch of its Predictive Analytics course – launched February 11 – will “help bridge the gap between classroom learning and job-relevant skills verification”.

The demand from graduates and professionals for “shorter, more relevant education” people will be able to put the relevant skills into practice sooner, he added.

The courses are being rolled out over February and March 2020.

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