How to Earn a Micro Degree

Instructor: Matt Doyle
Are you interested in gaining recognition for new skills, but looking for something more compact than a traditional degree or certificate program? Micro-degrees might be the answer. Read on to learn more about micro-degrees and how to earn one.

What is a Micro-Degree?

Like traditional college degrees, micro-degrees offer valid proof that a person has completed work that leads up to mastery of certain skills. Unlike traditional degrees, micro-degrees are focused on very specific skill sets instead of broad areas of knowledge. In this case, the prefix 'micro' indicates the narrow topical focus and relatively short amount of time required to earn the certification. For example, a micro-degree in Android app development is far more focused than a degree in computer science, and the time required to earn it may be a matter of months rather than years. Many organizations offer these short degrees, which can go by many different names.

Types of Micro-Degrees

Also, like college degrees and certificates, there is a wide-variety of micro-degree topic areas. Since these types of degrees are typically focused on specific skill sets, you'll find the types of micro-degrees available are more topically-specific than traditional college degrees. While many popular micro-degrees are tech-focused, there are many others that focus on non-technical skills. Here are a couple examples of micro-degrees:

  • iOS App Development: Learn the basic skills for developing mobile applications for Apple's iOS platform.
  • Supply Chain Management: Learn the ins and outs of managing a supply chain, from assessing risk to handling inventory.

Micro-Degree Requirements

The content and requirements for earning a micro-degree vary. The organization offering the micro-degree determines how rigorous the program is and what work is involved. Some micro-degrees can be completed in as little as a few days, whereas others might require months of work. For example, you can earn a certificate for some short courses on by completing a series of lessons and assessments. Other organizations might require portfolio submissions or code reviews. Be sure to check the requirements for the credential before you begin, since not all requirements will meet your needs.

Where to Earn a Micro-Degree

The idea of a short credential program is not new, and many established universities and other organizations already offer condensed programs. Many of these condensed programs lead to an official certificate offered by the organization, which can be shared with employers as proof you learned a new set of skills., for example, provides certificates of completion for many of its courses, which cover a wide range of topics from Operations Management to Classroom Management. Not sure where to begin? Here are a few examples from

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