EdX Micro Bachelors

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by msganti, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. msganti

    msganti Member

  2. Marcus Aurelius

    Marcus Aurelius Active Member

    I'm not sure I see the point in these "micro bachelors."
  3. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I would make the joke that micro certificates are coming up next, but that's actually already been done.
  4. msganti

    msganti Member

    I see them as competency based education units that you can work at your own pace, working towards a degree while not totally committed to a full degree.
    This is how I see how degrees work in future especially for working adults. I personally like the idea.
  5. msganti

    msganti Member

    The WGU program has these 3 courses:
    • Information Technology Foundations
    • Network and Security Foundations
    • Scripting and Programming Foundations
    The course costs $1347 and gives 10 competency units. IMO this is not a good deal price-wise, as these can be completed elsewhere (Saylor, SDU, SL, Cert exams etc) for much cheaper.
  6. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I always liked the UK variation of exit points.
    Certificate: First-year university
    Diploma: Second-year university
    Advanced Diploma or Graduate Diploma: Third-year university - Bologna 3 year Bachelors
    Honours Degree or a 4-year Bachelors.
  7. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Call it a certificate, fine.

    By calling it a micro-bachelors, they are marketing toward people who likely don't have a bachelors who may be inclined to put it on resumes or in application systems in the place where a bachelors is meant to go. I do not like this trend unless we're going to just revamp our whole system, start from scratch and have these micro degrees mean something within a larger framework.
  8. Helpful2013

    Helpful2013 Active Member

    Absolutely agree with the points both of you made. Something like the UK framework would benefit the American system; not only allowing for flexible exit points, but also allowing access for those who aren’t qualified to enter the BA directly, but can prove themselves in a certificate program that is the 1st year of the BA. Saddling such a program with the name of micro-bachelors sounds ill-conceived to the point of silliness or like a deliberate attempt to facilitate those who will attempt to deceive employers.

    Who at EdX comes up with this ‘Micro-bachelor’ stuff? It’s like the various past threads with competing worst re-branding of university names. One wonders if it’s a spontaneous cultural trend or if there is a single consulting group travelling around inflicting this on various gullible institutions.
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    Agreed. Overall a good thing, but the name of this category of certificate program is a disappointingly irresponsible choice. It's inevitable that people will refer to these on their CVs in a misleading fashion.
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I would add to that the post-grad qualifications. The ones I'm most familiar with are those from the University of London where the have PGCerts, PGDiplomas and then, if you continue, the next step is a Masters degree. It feels good to earn the intermediate award on your way. It's a bit like earning an Associates degree on your way to a Bachelors. It's a way to measure progress toward a goal that is a little more tangible than simply accumulating credits.
  11. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I feel like I've found a Canadian school that did DL that followed a similar Certificate -> Diploma -> Bachelors format but I cannot remember which one it is. I peruse a lot of degree programs in my spare time.

    I have zero experience with the Australian/NZ framework systems. From my outside perspective, however, I really dig it. I like having numerical qualifications.

    What do you need for this job? You need a Level 5 qualification. I don't know if in Australia/NZ there is a true non-bachelors equivalent to a bachelors degree, in that they possess the same qual level. So far everything I've found suggests not. But I would absolutely be open to the idea of recognizing non-degree options that parallel academic degrees. Maybe I own a restaurant and I want someone with a Level 5 qualification to operate my kitchen. Maybe you achieve that with a bachelors degree in culinary arts or a related area of study. Maybe you achieve it by first earning a Level 3 qualification in school and periodically testing for proficiency in certain areas that allow you to climb up the digits.

    The fact is that in many fields, a person with, going back to our system, an associates degree and a bunch of years of experience can absolutely perform at the level we expect from someone with a bachelors degree and less experience. The hack around we did to recognize this was non-traditional schools doing portfolio evaluation of previous skills and experience.

    Kind of like how they had to redo the Italian laurea to have it make sense in the broader academic world, I feel like we need to redo how we view qualifications including academic degrees to have them make sense in the broader workforce.
  12. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    It is useful if the credits are transferrable to any accredited colleges and universities. As for WGU's MicroBachelor sounds what they have as WGU's Academy.
  13. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Which resume looks more attractive to the prospective employer?

    Resume 1

    Harvard University
    , Cambridge, MA (May, 2022)
    Degree: MicroMaster
    Major: Data Science

    New York University, New York, NY (May, 2021)
    Degree: MicroBachelor
    Major: Computer Science Fundamentals

    Resume 2

    Capitol Technology University
    , Laurel, MD (May, 2022)
    Degree: Master of Science
    Major: Data Science

    Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA (May, 2021)
    Degree: Bachelor of Science
    Major: Computer Science
  14. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    If the requirement for the position is a bachelors with a masters preferred, then Resume 1 will definitely catch my attention until I realize that two certificates were misleadingly presented as degrees.

    But at the end of the day, the education section isn't really as important as you're making it out to be. I don't care if you have a Masters or a micromasters in data science. If you have five years of experience working in data science, our data science office will want to meet you. Period.

    What you've presented is a case for lying to get your resume through the door. Nothing else. And I promise you that it would backfire tremendously. HR doesn't play with dishonesty.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  15. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    In my mind the terms Mico-Masters and Micro-Bachelors are non-standardized terms that have no clear meaning. One school's micro-masters is 9 credits, school #2 has it at 12 credits. When you're inventing terminology you can define it as you wish. In the case of resume #1, I'd want to know how many credits, which specific courses, etc. Otherwise how are you supposed to know what it means?
  16. AlK11

    AlK11 Active Member

    Can't you say the same about regular masters degrees? One degree might be 30 credits while the same degree at a different school might be 39.
  17. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Masters degrees typically range from 30 credits to 60 credits depending on the program. Some are 36. Some are 45. It depends. But they're all Masters degrees.

    Comparing that to a certificate with a misleading title that can be earned in as few as three classes? That's disingenuous at best.

    The reality is that I don't care how many credits your micro whatever is. If the requirement is a bachelors degree, a micro bachelors does not cut the mustard. Full stop.

    In the examples above I would hope that the holder of resume 1 would buckle down and actually earn a degree rather than cherry picking certificates from elite schools to try to trick people into thinking they had actually earned degrees.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  18. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    There are other variations.

    Harvard University
    , Cambridge, MA (May, 2022)
    Degree: MicroMaster credentual
    Major: Data Science

    Colorado State University, Denver, CO (May, 2006)
    Degree: Bachelor
    Major: Computer Science
  19. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Well, as far as I'm concerned, you can formulate your resume any way you'd like but I'm going to hold out until I can get a Mondo-Masters. Or should that be a Pocket-PhD? A Diminutive-Doctorate?
  20. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Using the words "degree" and "major" in reference to a certificate, especially one with a degree sounding title in the name, in my opinion, crosses the line from clever wording and into outright fraud. This is one of those things that, if I caught it, there would be a termination even if it got the candidate through the door. It is not a degree.

    There is absolutely zero shame in saying you have a Certificate in Data Science from Harvard. Zero. Even if the certificate is called a MicroMasters or PicoPhD. It's still a certificate. Framing that certificate as ANYTHING other than a certificate. Even vaguely implying that it is a degree is getting greedy.

    There are certain degree tweaks that, I think, are perfectly fine. Listing an MPS in Information Science as a "Masters in Information Science," for example does not dramatically transform the intended meaning of the degree. If you get Harvard's MA in Extension Studies with a concentration in Religion and say you have an MA in Religion, meh, that's more clarifying than anything, in my opinion. Calling the MA in Professional Development from Amberton an "Interdisciplinary Masters (Business and Religion)" is similar.

    Putting the word "degree" near a non-degree? It takes a lot to get me to exercise my so-called "nuclear option" but I would pull someone out of a meeting with the CEO to nuke them if I ever caught your first example on a resume after they got the job.

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