Which micro-credentials are legit and which ones should I avoid?

Employers are looking favourably upon candidates with multiple ‘bite-sized’ credentials in their chosen industry. But how do you know which courses are legit and which ones are scams?

Which microcredentials_image_edited

Employers are looking favourably upon candidates with multiple ‘bite-sized’ credentials in their chosen industry. This shift has paved the way for micro-credentials to become popular. But how do you know which courses are legit and which ones are scams?

Micro-credentials have become a major trend across most industries – and for good reason.

These certification-style qualifications focus on a set skill that pertains to a certain industry. They usually don’t take long to complete, can be done online and are low cost.

Better yet, micro-credentials are enormously effective in improving employment opportunities. In fact,  95 per cent of Australian human resource managers actively seek “digital badges” – items on candidates profiles that show prospective employees that they have completed these mini-courses.

Also known as ‘nano degrees’, micro-credentials allow you to develop skills that are specific to the industry and the position you’re going for.

But there’s a danger to micro-credentials. Many dodgy companies are popping up looking to ‘cash-in’ by providing courses that offer no actual credentials at the end.So, for those looking to study micro-credentials, how do you differentiate between legitimate course providers and scams?

Wise-up before you sign-up

Check that the training provider is registered

The federal and state and territory governments have combined to create a training database so you can see if the company you are looking to study or train with is a registered training organisation (RTO).

Be wary of free offers

Training is never free, so be very careful about any provider that claims it is.

Don’t be tempted by free gifts

While the offer of a free laptop or textbooks does not necessarily mean the training provider is dodgy, make sure you read the fine print, as the cost of these items may be included in your course fees.

Don’t feel pressure

A common tactic used by unauthorised training agencies is to use FOMO (fear of missing out). They’ll tell you that there are limited time/places available and you have to make a decision quickly. Never rush into something you are uncertain of.

Up-skill online through OUA

Through Open Universities Australia (OUA), you can upskill in a particular area by enrolling in a subject with leading Australian universities online. 

This allows you to gain knowledge in a particular topic from the comfort of your home, without having to make the decision on whether or not to enrol in a full degree.

If you do enjoy your studies, and find the topic useful, you can always apply for a full degree one or two subjects into your studies. In many cases, what you’ve learned can be credited to a full degree. 

Got what you needed from one subject? Great. Given the surge in recognition for micro-credentials by various industries, your commitment to up-skilling will be respected by recruiters and colleagues alike.

Browse  thousands of courses from leading Australian universities.

Or complete the form on this page to chat to an advisor about study options.

Explore courses

Keep exploring

3 avenues in human rights, as explored by students

Does a career spent working for the rights of those around you set your heart ablaze? You might be cut out for a course in human rights. Shiree, Debbie and Alice studied related fields.  

Career spotlightMake a difference

3 essential soft skills you’ll need in the future workplace

As workplaces evolve, there's a growing demand for certain skills—and they're not all digital. Discover which human-centric skills you'll need to thrive in the office of the future. 

Future of work

3 fascinating forensics jobs in Australia

Thinking about forensics as a career? For true crime junkies and self-confessed science geeks with a penchant for justice, it might seem like the perfect choice. But what does it take to work in forensics, and what jobs are on offer in Australia?

Career spotlightMake a difference

3 reasons you’ll need human-centric skills for the future

While AI is becoming more prevalent, machines simply can't replicate the human touch.

Job tipsFuture of work