Rapid and discontinuous change characterizes the twenty-first century. Adults, employees, and graduates must be nimble enough to reskill and up-skill in order to stay on, if not ahead of the curve, in such a dynamic environment. AIMST creates and delivers appropriate short courses on new information, skills, technologies, and characteristics in order to prepare the workforce for emerging technical and economic threats.
The Malaysian Credentials Framework (MQF) recognizes all kinds of learning in the pursuit of MQF-defined qualifications. Micro-credentials that attest to the achievement of certain objectives can be considered for credits in AIMST programs through the APEL(C) procedure.
People may obtain knowledge and skill sets depending on their requirements, at their own speed, and from AIMST, through micro-credentials. Micro-credentials and credits can be submitted to AIMST for completion, which will result in an award or credit transfer based on a credible and transparent outcome-based procedure that adheres to existing regulations. This approach may provide yet another avenue for working individuals to gain information and skills that will eventually lead to a certificate.
People have more access to and choice in higher education possibilities when micro-credentials are offered by a variety of providers and are designed and delivered in a flexible manner. People from all around the world may profit from these courses thanks to online and digital delivery. With the fast advancement of internet access and broadband speed, more individuals will be able to benefit from higher-quality, industry-focused education to further their professions.
Micro-credentials are a less expensive, more dynamic, competitive, demand-driven, shorter, modular alternative to standard degrees. Micro-certifications can also provide lower-cost choices for acquiring the necessary information, skills, and competencies, allowing learners to enter the workforce sooner and pursue more credentials if their career or professional interests merit it.
Employers stand to benefit greatly in terms of staff development and engagement. Micro-credentials may be personalized by creating training that is closely linked with an organization's work processes. This training might lead to a regular certificate or a certificate that stands alone in a new field. In reality, strategic training decisions provide the majority of the advantages to a company.
Micro-credentialing allows flexibility and scalability in developing training programs. The learning can be designed from scratch and delivered incrementally. It can be made uniform for departments and teams or it can be provided to individual staff members to meet specific needs. Micro-credentials could be developed as rapid response training for addressing new market changes. Alternatively, they can be customized as convenient, on-demand training for individual assignments and for pursuing major projects.
Micro-credentials can be used by Human Resources to track and measure enterprise-level skills and knowledge. Aside from improving business preparedness, timely deployment improves the company's competitiveness by allocating limited resources to the most appropriate locations. In general, micro-credentialing makes a company more appealing to job searchers with the necessary skills.
Micro-credentials allow employees to personalise their learning. They won’t need to participate in a broad, uniform program meant for whole teams or departments. Instead, individual staff members can take micro-credentials that are tailored to their career goals and responsibilities.
Employees also benefit from more accessible, flexible, and lifetime learning opportunities. They'll be better equipped to advance or change occupations in the future thanks to micro-credentialing. In their working lives, today's workers may anticipate to accomplish this five to 10 times. They bring the proof of their recognized abilities with them whenever they change jobs. They can even schedule shifts to other departments. Micro-credentials can help people gain skills from a variety of areas.
Employees may earn digital badges, which are a great way to keep them engaged. They're shared demonstrations of personal accomplishment that can help you stay motivated. These concrete demonstrations of on-the-job abilities and expertise can be added to their personnel file and résumé. This involves recognizing ground-breaking ideas and achievements that will be remembered for a long time. This kind of encouragement increases their prospects of moving forward in the organization. It also highlights their worth to prospective future employers. Micro-credentials are also aimed at “soft skills,” such as improved communication and interpersonal abilities.
The time it takes to acquire a micro-credential must be consistent with the national education system, as well as adequate acknowledgement of working people' lifelong learning. In general, adult learners should not graduate with a qualification before reaching the typical age, as shown in Table 1.
Malaysians and non-Malaysians can apply for the micro-credential. Non-Malaysians enrolling in micro-credentials must be informed that the micro-credentials will be recognized and that the qualifications that will be given will be subject to the regulations and policies of their respective countries.
Digital badge is a digital file – a visual representation of knowledge and skills earned over time, creating a more streamlined process for evaluating an individual’s competencies. Digital badge is recognition of knowledge, skill, achievement, competency and proficiency. The digital credential is securely issued via ACCREDIBLE and the information is valid.
AIMST provide Micro-Credential Statement (MMS) once the learners completed the micro-credentials course. The MMS provide basic information on the learning time, credits, Malaysian Qualifications Framework level of the associated programme(s), learning outcomes, assessment and quality assurance for recognition by stakeholders.
Micro-credentialing aligns with the needs of industries and sub-industries. It uses an informal learning style to shape specific skills in the quickest way possible. The digital badges provide personal, portable and easily verifiable accreditation. They can even unveil and qualify existing skills from experience. This accreditation of past accomplishments speeds up the learning process.
Overall, employers reap the benefits of micro-credentials because current workers can use them to eliminate “skills gaps”. These gaps continue to grow in today’s fast-paced industries. Micro-credentials can minimise employers’ costs to keep the current workforce updated while keeping track of their development. The digital badges earned from them can boost employee engagement in the process.
Employees can expedite their professional growth by earning micro-credentials. They'd be quite useful, and they'd offer up a lot of opportunities for advancement. The transition from one position to another becomes quicker and simpler. Young professionals will be able to compete more successfully for employment, resulting in a significant shift from learners to earners.
The latest generation of young adults pursuing higher education recognizes the diverse roles they’ll need to master for their careers. Easy access to information makes them savvier in discovering which skills attract potential employers. They want micro-credentials in those skills to augment their university degrees and make them more competitive in the job market.
Career professionals who kept their jobs are discovering that they’re overspecialized in their fields. Staying relevant means that they continue professional development through micro-credentialing. Boot camps and mini-courses create opportunities for development without sacrificing the time needed to do their day jobs. Other skilled professionals looking for work need another degree. Unfortunately, they can’t afford to put their lives on hold for two or three years to do it. Micro-credentials are an excellent alternative to get up skilled. They’re also great for highlighting the skills they’ve already mastered (often referred to as recognition of prior learning).
Institutions for higher education recognize this increasing demand for micro-credentialing. To remain competitive and add value to their students, University adds micro-credential courses to their curriculum. Some of these count as credits to a degree. Others will surface existing skills from experience. Some are designed with the aid of industry-leading companies to develop favorable pools of job candidates after graduation.
Finally, industry leaders look for these micro-credentials in candidates’ resumes. With readier access to skills evidence, they’re able to strategically design specialized teams around specific skills. They recruit candidates with the desired skills for those roles.
A learner can enroll in a micro-credential which is a component of an accredited programme without the minimum entry requirements or appropriate APEL (A) certification. However, the learner must meet the minimum requirements for the programme or possess appropriate APEL (A) certification before being eligible for the qualification.
AIMST Micro-credentials are designed and delivered through open and distance learning (ODL) or conventional modes including blended modes of delivery.
a. Micro-credentials from Accredited Programmes / Academic Micro-credentials
Academic Micro-credentials are designed to enable high school students to undertake Diploma, Bachelor degree subjects and for undergraduates to enrol in coursework Master’s subjects via credit transfer. These micro-credentials allow students to sample higher level courses and enable them to complete a higher qualification in a shorter duration. AIMST offers the micro-credentials courses in the accredited programme except industrial training, internship, research projects, fieldwork with substantial hands-on teaching and learning.
Micro-credentials courses from accredited courses have been assessed as meeting all minimum requirements by MQA. Leaners that have completed AIMST micro-credentials courses conferred a qualification from fully accredited programmes.
b. Stand Alone Micro Credentials / Training Micro-credentials
Stand-alone micro-credentials can also be inspired by courses in accredited programmes or designed anew based on the special needs of the employers or industries or individuals for specific knowledge, skills and competencies. These micro-credentials are aimed at meeting the needs of the workforce for new knowledge, skills and competencies.
AIMST is engaging with appropriate professional bodies to give micro-credentials in disciplines including engineering, medical sciences, accounting, law, architecture, and nursing, among others.
With the current digitization and rapid growth of technology, sticking to diploma, degree and so on may not be accurate indicators of a person's latest skills and competencies. The skills and knowledge acquired in university in the past may be overtaken by technological advances and new methodologies. A new model of learning, known as micro-credentials has emerged to fulfill the needs of up-skilling and retraining in the modern day labour market.
Malaysia Qualifications Agency (MQA) has taken measures to make learning considerably more accessible to a larger variety of individuals in a short period of time in a world that demands greater flexibility. This endeavor has resulted in the creation of a new learning paradigm known as micro-credentialing, which aims to meet the pressing demand for up-skilling and retraining in the digital economy. Micro-credentials are not intended to replace traditional education techniques; rather, they provide a flexible option for people seeking a formal degree through a flexible education system.
To support this initiative, the MQA has launched the "Guideline on Microcredentials" in March 2019 to provide Higher Learning Institutions (HLIs) and other stakeholders with information on the principles and good practices in the implementation of micro-credentials.
In contrast to the bigger certification of a degree course, micro-credentials are certifications for completing tiny, modular learning courses. They're supplied in "bite-sized" portions, if you will. They are a means of acquiring specific, proven, job-critical abilities.
Because they're smaller in scope, they're easier to complete and less expensive than a bachelor's or associate's degree. Instead of a certificate, the student receives a “badge,” which is a digitally flexible evidence of accomplishment in each course. This can be used on its own or in combination with other qualifications to build a bigger qualification.
Micro-credentials are remarkable for their ease and flexibility of learning, in addition to their small size. They're short, well-designed courses that you may take asynchronously or in a mixed learning environment. They utilize a rubric to specify the skill or learning goal that has to be accomplished. They also have specific standards for demonstrating skill proficiency.
Micro-credentials are one element of the growing alternative education sector. Adults have always had the option of continuing their education to advance their careers. This new method is personalized and transferrable, and it results in certifications that are tailored to the demands of certain industries. You can imagine how well it went down with a large number of students.
In today’s fast-changing world, employers are increasingly looking for candidates with more than just a degree. According to Chronicle of Higher Education (2013), only 3% of employers think that university degree is somewhat important. Employers are seeking for individuals with detailed competencies specific to their hiring needs. Similarly, students are expected to acquire additional competencies to meet the employers’ needs. As such, universities in the 21st century need to be responsive to the changing needs of employers and job seekers by creating a learning environment where new skills and credentials can quickly and conveniently be acquired, in an affordable way. Also, it is crucial for universities to provide a transparent and verifiable system to recognize learning wherever and whenever it happens. Therefore, it is timely for universities to start collaborate and form partnership with industries through the concept of “University Learning Store” and offer new skills and earn valuable credential that is specific and relevant to today’s job market.
The information economy's globalized and quickly changing nature necessitates lifelong and life-wide learning for all individuals in order to stay employable, flexible, and productive. Industry-driven, bite-sized, customized, and online courses and certifications have challenged and transformed the way Higher Education Providers provide higher education. In a word, it has shattered the traditional notion of education as a means to get certifications.
The time has come for a new kind of credential. Our nation needs an affordable credential that can be earned in days or weeks, not months or years, and verified by employers, built with their input, and awarded in the form of digital badges by the top institutions in higher education. Universities has been urged to offer a practical and affordable way for students around the world to start earning online, meaningful and skill-focused credential that provides the on-demand learning to meet today’s workforce needs. This bold initiative will become an important evolution in higher education as a mean of meeting both business and industry expectations, supporting and preparing well-rounded students with highly marketable skills. It can also strengthen assessment practice by providing an evidence-driven methodology that requires the learning provider and learner to manage their own learning experience using clear criteria, evidence, and methods in a very transparent manner.
A micro-credential is a short, competency-based recognition that allows an educator to demonstrate mastery in a particular area. Micro-credential is defined as digital certification of assessed knowledge, skills and competencies in a specific area or field which can be a component of an accredited programme or stand-alone courses supporting the professional, technical, academic and personal development of the learners.
AIMST’s micro-credentials are grounded in research and best practice and designed to be: