Canadian managers, workers turn to micro-credentials to advance careers, study finds
Canadians want to increase their soft skills and value at work via micro-credentials, according to national poll by Athabasca University
Like a lot of working Canadians, Rene Rondeau wanted to take his career to the next level, but didn’t have a lot of time to go back to school.
To fill that gap and advance his career, the tourism professional turned to micro-credentials.
“One of the problems with the world we live in right now is time consumption,” he said. “We’re consumed every day by the work that we do and don’t have time to put aside to learn or to grow.”
Research by Athabasca University (AU) shows that Rondeau isn’t alone in embracing micro-credentials. In fact, 76% of all managers across the country say they want to increase their value at work through learning opportunities—like micro-courses—that don’t demand too much of their time.
“One of the problems with the world we live in right now is time consumption. We’re consumed everyday by the work that we do and don't have time to put aside to learn or to grow.”– Rene Rondeau, destination development manager, Travel Alberta
Rondeau chose the PowerED Leader Development Program for that reason.
“We do it organically through the workplace, but is it the right thing?” he asked. “More workplaces have to give time to learn.”
Since taking the micro-credential, Rondeau was hired by Travel Alberta as a destination development manager, leaving a leadership role with Tourism Red Deer. He explained the Leader Development Program helped him gain the knowledge and confidence in his leadership skills for the new role, particularly during the interview process.
The AU study was a cross-Canada survey that explored the country’s attitudes and expectations for the future of work in tomorrow’s post-pandemic era. It found that almost three-quarters of Canadian workers (74%) report wanting to increase their interpersonal skills—such as communication style, conflict resolution, relatability, team-building—for their work.
Some 71% of Canadian workers surveyed think earning micro-credentials will help them become better equipped to handle the needs of new jobs in the future.
This creates even more opportunities for micro-credentials, like those offered by PowerED™, to help managers advance specialized skills on their time.
Micro-credentials to fill skills-gaps
The study also found that Canadian workers can’t fit continuous learning into their schedules, which makes micro-credentials an ideal learning option.
In fact, 58% of survey respondents said they want to take micro-credentials to increase their employability.
PowerED™ defines micro-credentials as online, specialized, non-credit courses or stackable certificates delivered in short powerful bursts. PowerED’s micro-credentials are on-demand, meaning students can study at a time and place that works for them and only take about eight to 12 hours to complete.
Being online and able to learn when he had time was one of the key factors in Rondeau’s decision to improve himself professionally with PowerED™.
How managers can better support their teams
Three-quarters of Canadian workers (74%) say when considering the future, managers will need to deepen their digital knowledge to keep up with changing job requirements.
Surprisingly, managers may be putting more pressure on themselves in this arena, given that they were more likely than non-managers (81% versus 71% respectively) to say so. Those in managerial positions were also twice as likely as non-managers to be enrolled in micro-credential courses (23% versus 11%, respectively).
Rondeau agrees and believes team growth starts with a manager’s support and encouragement. He said he believes in enabling growth for his staff, and makes sure to ask how he can help them achieve their highest professional aspirations.
“The question I ask my employees is always, ‘How can I help you grow?’” he said.
“If you need to take some courses along the way, why wouldn’t I help? You’ll get the best of them for your organization. Yeah, they may leave your organization for some other place, but you’re going to get the best out of them during that time.”
Learn more about PowerED™ offerings.