It is always a good time for self-improvement. Unfortunately, we don't always have the time for self-improvement.
These days it seems like everything has a smaller, trendier version of itself. Micro this and mini that. So why shouldn’t educators get on board with the tiny trend? Meet the nanodegree…
So, what are we talking about?
According to the Ran One, Business Advisor, a nanodegree is quite literally a small version of a degree that would be offered at a university level.
More specifically, a Nanodegree program is a project and skills-based educational credential program. You enroll, you learn a suite of skills, you successfully complete a certain amount of projects that demonstrate your mastery of these skills, and you receive a credential affirming your mastery of these skills.” –Udacity.com
Okay, and why do we need these? Good question!
The capacities of online education have lent themselves to the development of these microcredentials like digital badges and nanodegrees. You could think of this as certifications, they are just hyper specific and very skill-based.
Udacity (quoted above) is considered a pioneer in the developing popularity of these degrees. They offer affordable programming and technology degrees online and saw a need to fill the hugely growing IT sector with entry level workers and fast.
For as little as $200, students can receive nanodegrees in specific areas like front-end web-development. The key to success here is that Udacity partners with tech giants like Google and develops the nandegrees specific to the company’s immediate hiring needs.
Its tailoring and curating a workforce and speeding up the process of creating trained and qualified individuals.
Small businesses can also benefit from this trend as its developing a very qualified workforce and people who may be able to fill very niche needs.
Sectors other than IT are slowly trying out the concept, though you will find most of the nanodegrees being offered are very tech specific.
Who knows if this is trend that is here to stay, but in the meantime if you come across an employee boasting digital badges or nandegrees they may be worth the look!