If you're looking for a cost-effective way to upskill, MicroMasters can offer some respite. Source: JUSTIN TALLIS./AFP

If you’re looking to level-up in your career and deepen your knowledge in a specific area of study, postgraduate courses are the way forward. The time and cost it takes to complete the programme, however, can be daunting for many. For students looking for a middle ground between a bachelor’s and a master’s, a MicroMasters programme might just be the answer for you.

Here’s what you need to know about it: 

What are MicroMasters programmes?

MicroMasters programmes are online postgraduate-level qualifications offered via EdX. They provide in-depth knowledge in specific disciplines. Many renowned institutions offer MicroMasters programmes such as Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania.

How long does it take to complete one?

The duration of each programme varies depending on the course. Some take as short as a few months while others can take over a year. They are flexible in nature, allowing you to learn at your own pace. 

Are they recognised?

EdX notes that MicroMasters “provide deep learning in a specific career field and are recognised by employers for their real job relevance”.

MicroMasters support your professional development, helping you to develop your professional skills and knowledge that can enhance your career.

You’ll earn a MicroMasters programme certificate upon completing all courses, exams and/or projects with passing grades that are determined by each university and earn Verified Certificates for each course.

How much do they cost?

The cost of each programme varies from US$500 – 900. 

Can I enrol in any course, regardless of the country I’m based in?

Unfortunately, no. 

EdX notes, “US sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live”.

Some programmes state the following: “Learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine.”

You will need to check the course’s FAQs to see if you are eligible to enrol.  

What types of programmes are offered?

You can find all sorts of programmes across a range of subjects, from business to social science. Some of the courses available include data science, supply chain management, artificial intelligence, business fundamentals and marketing, to name a few.

Does it count towards a master’s?

This programme doesn’t guarantee entry into a master’s programme. EdX notes, however, that if you apply and are accepted into the on-campus or online programme that is associated with your MicroMasters programme, the MicroMasters programme certificate will count toward your master’s degree. 

It’s worth highlighting that the number of credits offered varies across MicroMasters programmes. Each university determines the number of credits the MicroMasters programme certificate will count towards the on-campus degree.