Digital Skills Micro-credentials
Digital skills are in high demand. Today, according to a Burning Glass report, eight in 10 middle-skill level jobs require digital skills, such as online communication and productivity tools. Adult workers often do not have this training, and increasingly employers report difficulty finding qualified workers with digital middle skills. Unfortunately, this gap between digital skill level and skill need is expected to continue increasing over the next 10 years.
Various efforts are underway to address this digital skills gap, including bootcamps and other computer-science efforts. Most, however, are aimed at more advanced skills, not the middle skills that make up a sizable part of the current digital skills gap. In addition, the majority of the courses offered in these programs are long-form (lasting several months), in-class, and often cost-prohibitive.
Digital Promise worked with Facebook to create a set of micro-credentials focused on helping adults in the workforce learn these “middle” skills in the area of digital marketing. The micro-credentials, and the accompanying in-person workshop, focus on the basics of social media marketing using Facebook and Instagram. Students have the opportunity to earn four micro-credentials that demonstrate the skills they have learned including:
- Social Media Marketing Basics
- Marketing with Facebook Pages
- Marketing with Facebook Ads
- Marketing with Instagram
Over four weeks, students develop a Facebook page and Instagram account for a local community organization or business of their choice; use that page to create awareness, drive traffic, and/or attract customers; and create advertising campaigns in support of that page.
Closing the digital skills gap will create job opportunities and a new pool of qualified applicants for employers nationwide. The program initially launched in Michigan in October of 2017 with 18 local partners facilitating workshops and will expand to more than 20 cities across the US in 2018. This is a big step forward and an exciting opportunity, and we look forward to working with our local partners to close the digital skills gap.
Our goal is to infuse the latest learning science research into the development and improvement of products and programs to advance public education and improve learning.