|Available in||English, Spanish, French languages|
|Key people||Anant Agarwal|
MicroMasters programs are a series of online graduate level courses offered by universities through edX that one can take to develop standalone skills for career advancement or earn graduate level credentials from its respective universities, equivalent to a semester of a full master's degree. It was designed to be the bridge between a bachelor's degree and a master's degree, allowing employees to continue advancing their education without affecting their employment and personal commitments.
First launched in September 2016 with 19 MicroMasters programs from 14 different universities as an extension of its MOOC programs, edX eventually expanded to include 17 additional programs in February 2017. As of February 2019, 52 different MicroMasters programs are being offered, with 48 in English, 3 in Spanish, and 1 in French. Each MicroMasters program is sponsored by at least one industry partner, including GE, Microsoft, IBM, Hootsuite, Fidelity, Bloomberg, Walmart, PWC, Booz-Allen Hamilton, and Ford, as well as supported by various universities by allowing graduates to use the MicroMasters as advanced standing for its respective graduate program.
These programs are designed to bridge the gap between job candidates with a bachelor's degree and companies that want employees with an advanced degree by offering credentials that are equivalent to 25 to 50 percent of a master's degree or 20 to 30 ECTS in Europe.
Unlike other existing microcredentials, the MicroMasters programs offer both the benefit of gaining relevant skills in a particular field that can support career development and a pathway to advanced credits in the respective universities offering the course. The idea of the MicroMasters program started out as an iteration of the existing MOOC model when Coursera first started offering specializations for its various disciplines and a response to the changing nature of work as well as the major skills shortage currently impacting businesses around the world.
Further advancement in the MicroMasters program has resulted greater partnership with top-rated universities offering full residential, online, and blended graduate programs at a much lower price in the range of $10,000 to $23,000 starting from October 2018.
The development of the MicroMasters was originally conceived by MIT and offered as a pilot with in its supply chain management program, consulting industry leaders. edX subsequently applied for a trademark for "MicroMasters" in response to Udacity registering "nanodegree" as its trademark in 2014. The first 19 MicroMasters programs were subsequently launched in September 2016, in collaboration with 14 different universities. This also included Rochester Institute of Technology's MicroMasters in project management, allowing learners to use it to fulfil the prerequisite of project management education for the PMP certification.
In 2017, General Electric has promised to interview any Massachusetts resident who completed a MicroMasters program in supply chain management, cybersecurity, cloud computing, or artificial intelligence.
In 2018, MIT admitted its first batch of 40 students into its blended supply chain management program from graduates of its MicroMasters program, reducing its usual 10-month program to 5 months. This pilot also saw 200,000 people signing up, 19,000 earning certificates and 800 sitting for the final proctored examination. It was reported in July 2018 that the students who were admitted into the blended program had better than average scores across the board than those who were in the residential program.
In October 2016, the Lumina Foundation granted $900,000 to edX to create 30 more MicroMasters certificate programs.
All MicroMasters programs are currently running on the edX MOOC platform, where learners are free to audit any of the courses and pay later should they choose to do so. Depending on the program, there are prerequisites ranging from graduate level understanding of various specific disciplines or work experienced. However, these prerequisites serve as recommended guidelines for the learners rather than a strictly enforced rule so there are no specific degree requirements for any of the courses. However, learners will have to pay if they wish to pursue a verified certificate.
To qualify for a certificate for successfully completing a MicroMasters Program, all learners are required to complete a series of interactive courses as specified in the respective MicroMasters program and achieve a minimum grade according to the institution awarding the certification.
For learners interested in developing skills for professional advancement, the certificate for completing a MicroMasters Program may be sufficient.
For learners interested in academic credit, the learner must be admitted into the university's respective master's program. Some programs, such as the MicroMasters Program in Supply Chain Management by MIT also operate on a blended learning model which include a timed examination as well as a final proctored examination. Admission requirements for its on-campus blended learning program differ from its traditional residential admission requirements as applicants are not required to submit scores in a GRE or GMAT as performance in the Micromasters program will be taken as a substitute for it. Some other programs still follow usual admission guidelines and the MicroMasters program has little to no impact on their application apart from receiving advanced credits upon admission into its respective programs. Generally, most courses include practice exercises which are ungraded as well as graded assignments with limited attempts.
The following is a list of the current MicroMasters programs offered as well as the respective graduate degree options available for each program upon graduation of the MicroMasters program.
|MicroMasters Program Name||Institution||Institutions Offering Credit for Advanced Standing||Subsequent Degree Options with Advanced Standing|
|Accounting and Financial Management||UMUC, University System of Maryland||UMUC||MS in Accounting and Financial Management|
|Algorithms and Data Structures||University of California, San Diego||Rochester Institute of Technology||MS in Professional Studies|
|Analytics: Essential Tools and Methods||Georgia Institute of Technology||Georgia Institute of Technology||MS in Analytics|
|Artificial Intelligence||Columbia University||Columbia University||Master of Computer Science|
|Big Data||University of Adelaide||University of Adelaide||Master of Data Science|
|Chemistry and Technology for Sustainability||Wageningen University & Research||Wageningen University & Research||MSc in Biobased Sciences|
|Bioinformatics||UMUC, University System of Maryland||UMUC||Master of Biotechnology|
|Business Analytics||Columbia University||Columbia University||MS in Management Science & Engineering, MS in Marketing Science, MS in Business Analytics|
|Business and Economics for a Circular Economy||Wageningen University & Research||Wageningen University & Research||MSc in Biobased Sciences|
|Business Fundamentals||University of British Columbia||University of British Columbia||Master of Management|
|Business Leadership||The University of Queensland||The University of Queensland||Master of Business|
|Business Management||Indian Institute of Management Bangalore||Indian Institute of Management Bangalore||Advanced Management Program|
|Certified Lifestyle Medicine Executive||Doane University||Doane University||MBA|
|Cloud Computing||UMUC, University System of Maryland||UMUC||Masters in Cloud Computing Architecture|
|Corporate Innovation||The University of Queensland||The University of Queensland||Masters Entrepreneurship and Innovation|
|Cybersecurity||Rochester Institute of Technology||Rochester Institute of Technology||MSc in Computing Security|
|Data, Economics, and Development Policy||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Harvard Extension School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The American University in Cairo, Doane University, Deakin University, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Chulalongkorn University||Masters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy, Masters in Economics in International Development, MBA, Master of Public Health, Master of Health Economics, Master of International and Community Development, Master of Humanitarian Assistance, Master of Development and Humanitarian Action, Master of Health and Human Services Management, Master of Nutrition and Population Health, Master in Applied Economics|
|Data Science||University of California, San Diego||Curtin University, Rochester Institute of Technology||MSc in Data Science, Master of Predictive Analytics|
|Design Thinking||Rochester Institute of Technology||Rochester Institute of Technology||MS in Professional Studies|
|Digital Leadership||Boston University||Boston University||MS in Digital Innovation|
|Digital Product Management||Boston University||Boston University||MS in Digital Innovation|
|Emerging Automotive Technologies||Chalmers University of Technology||Chalmers University of Technology||MSc in Automotive Engineering, MSc in Systems, Control and Mechatronics|
|Entrepreneurship||Indian Institute of Management Bangalore||Indian Institute of Management Bangalore|
|Evidence-Based Management||Australian National University||Australian National University||Master of Management, Master of International Management, Master of Marketing Management, Master of Leadership, Master of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Master of Project Management, Master of Business Information Systems|
|Healthcare Administration||Doane University||Doane University||MBA|
|Human Rights||Curtin University||Curtin University||Master of Human Rights|
|Information Systems||Indiana University||Indiana University||Master of Science in Information Systems|
|Integrated Digital Media||New York University||New York University|
|International Business Management||Arizona State University||Arizona State University||Master of Applied Leadership & Management, Master of Global Management|
|International Hospitality Management||The Hong Kong Polytechnic University||The Hong Kong Polytechnic University||MSc in International Hospitality Management|
|International Law||Université catholique de Louvain||Université catholique de Louvain||LL.M. in International Law|
|Internet of Things||Curtin University||Curtin University||Master of International Business and Entrepreneurship, Master of Engineering Science (Electrical Engineering)|
|Instructional Design and Technology||UMUC, University System of Maryland||UMUC||Masters in Learning Design and Technology|
|Leadership in Global Development||The University of Queensland||The University of Queensland||Master of Leadership in Global Development|
|Leading Educational Innovation and Improvement||The University of Michigan||The University of Michigan||Master in Educational Leadership and Policy, Master in Teaching and Learning, Master in New Media and Literacy, Master in Urban Pedagogy|
|Management||Université catholique de Louvain||Université catholique de Louvain||Master of Management|
|Managing Technology & Innovation||RWTH Aachen University||RWTH Aachen University||MSc in Management and Engineering in Technology, Innovation, Marketing and Entrepreneurship|
|Marketing Analytics||University of California, Berkeley||Curtin University||Master of Marketing|
|Marketing in a Digital World||Curtin University||Curtin University||Master of Marketing|
|MBA Core Curriculum||University System of Maryland, The University of Maryland, College Park||The University of Maryland, College Park||MBA|
|Principles of Manufacturing||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rochester Institute of Technology, RMIT University, Chulalongkorn University||MEng in Advanced Manufacturing and Design, Master of Engineering Management, MS in Professional Studies, MBA|
|Professional Android Developer||Universidad Galileo||Universidad Galileo||Master in Information Technology|
|Project Management||Rochester Institute of Technology||Rochester Institute of Technology||MS in Professional Studies|
|Robotics||University of Pennsylvania||University of Pennsylvania||MSE in Robotics|
|Social Work: Practice, Policy and Research||The University of Michigan||The University of Michigan||Master in Social Work|
|Software Development||University of British Columbia||Curtin University||MSc in Computer Science|
|Software Testing and Verification||UMUC, University System of Maryland||UMUC||Master in Information Technology|
|Solar Energy Engineering||Delft University of Technology||Delft University of Technology||MSc in Sustainable Energy Technology, MSc in Electrical Engineering|
|Statistics and Data Science||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Chulalongkorn University, Curtin University, Doane University, Galileo University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MCPHS University, Reykjavik University, Rochester Institute of Technology, RMIT University, Tsinghua University, Universidad Technologica||PhD in Social and Engineering Systems, MS in Professional Studies, MBA, MBA in Healthcare Management, Master of Predictive Analytics, Master of Business Analytics, Master of Health Economics, Master of Information Systems, Master of Public Health, Master of Data Analytics, Master of Cyber Security Professional, Master of Nutrition and Population Health, Master of Information Technology, Master of Data Science, Master of Business Management, MSc in Business Management, Master of Information Management, MSc in Information Management|
|Supply Chain Management||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Covenant University, Curtin University, Deakin University, Doane University, Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg, Griffith University, Harvard Extension School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Purdue University, Reykjavík University, RMIT University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Royal Roads University, The University of Queensland, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Universidad Galileo, University of Zaragoza||MEng in Supply Chain Management, MBA, Master in Operations Management, Master of Commerce, Master of Information Management, Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies, M.Sc in Business Management, MSc in Industrial Engineering|
|Sustainable Energy||The University of Queensland||The University of Queensland||Master of Sustainable Energy|
|User Experience Research and Design||The University of Michigan||The University of Michigan||MS in Information|
According to a report by Columbia University's Teachers College, a typical MicroMasters student is well-educated and employed, with almost 80% having an undergraduate degree or better. The majority of the learners are between the age of 22 and 44, with the United States and India forming 16% and 14% of the learners, followed by Brazil, Colombia, and Nigeria forming the next 3%. The majority of learners have also indicated in being fluent or proficient in English.
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