Consider the Micro-Credential as an Alternative to Traditional Certification

By: Mickie S. Rops, CAE

As industries evolve and standard career paths change, the traditional certification model may no longer meet the needs of your association's profession. It's time to consider new options, one of which could be the hyper-focused "micro-credential."

Say I'm considering changing careers and am interested in the field your association represents and possibly certification. I Google the field and click to your website to investigate what I need to do to earn your certification. First, I discover I need a bachelor's degree. Alright, I've got that. Oh, wait, it needs to be in the area of X or Y. Mine's in Z. Strike one. And, it needs to be from a university accredited by your association. Although mine is a regionally accredited college, it's not on your short list. Strike two. Oh, I need seven years of experience before I can get the credential anyway. That seems like forever. Strike three. I decide to check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook and discover the crazy part: The certification is voluntary. All this and I don't even need it? Back to Google. What's this? A university certificate program offered online. A corporate certification program. Another association's intensive training program. Lots of appealing options that fit my needs....