woman on laptop

82% of middle-level careers are considered digitally intensive (Bradley, Restuccia, Rudnicki, & Bittle, 2017).  The proficient use of technology is required in almost all careers and is essential to upward mobility.  Jobs with digital skill requirements are “growing faster, pay more and offer greater opportunity for career advancement than jobs without those requirements” (Bradley, Restuccia, Rudnicki, & Bittle, 2017). 

Earning micro-credentials is a quick, valuable way to provide employers with evidence that applicants possess these digital skills.  Micro-credentials are defined as “mini-qualifications that demonstrate skills, knowledge, and/or experience in a given subject area or capability” (SUNY, 2017). These credentials can be earned in shorter time, are often more focused, and can be a stepping-stone toward a degree.

Why is it so important to be technologically proficient?  Let’s consider our own work experiences.  Most of us have collaborated on projects with co-workers who are less efficient than they might be if they learned to digitally collaborate, utilize file sharing, and collectively edit documents. We may have worked with someone who took longer to write a report than necessary because they did not learn new technology.  We have felt frustrated by a co-worker who could not interpret numerical data or share it in a manner that was easily understandable.  We have sat through bad presentations that leave us feeling disengaged.  We have experienced working with someone who cannot pull data into a comprehensive and easy to interpret report.  This results in an inefficient use of time and results in lack of productivity. Learning to utilize collaborations tools, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access can make our workplaces more effective and efficient. 

Today’s workplace requires the ability to pivot, work remotely and collaboratively, and adapt to change.  Moraine Park offers many classes that build and enhance skills in technology.  Our Office Software Suite Certificate is available in a hybrid format and builds essential skills in collaboration, word processing, working with spreadsheets, creating engaging presentations, and utilizing databases.  Badges earned in these classes can be shared electronically with co-workers, social media, and potential employers.  More information is available herehttps://www.morainepark.edu/academics/programs/office-software-suite-certificate/

Melissa Strobel is a former MPTC student who displays her digital badge in her professional signature.

Written by Stephanie Murre Wolf, Moraine Park Technical College, Business Technology & Software Applications Instructor, Information Technology Academics

References
Bradley, B., Restuccia, D., Rudnicki, C., & Bittle, S. (2017). The Digital Edge: Middle Skill Workers and Careers. Boston, MA: Burning Glass Technologies. http://www.burning-glass.com/wp-content/uploads/Digital_Edge_report_2017_final.pdf​ 
SUNY. (2017, October 24). What are micro-credentials and how can they benefit both businesses and employees? Retrieved from Deakin: https://www.deakinco.com/media-centre/article/Benefits-of-micro-credentials-for-business-and-employees#:~:text=Micro%2Dcredentials%20are%20mini%2Dqualifications,qualifications%20like%20diplomas%20or%20degrees. 
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Written by Bobbi Fields