More Filipinos beefing up their ‘microcredentials’ | Inquirer Business

More Filipinos beefing up their ‘microcredentials’

Freelancers looking to make themselves more employable as the economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic have turned to taking short courses to beef up their resume, according to an educational technology firm.

Sidharth Oberoi, vice president for international strategy at Instructure, said in a recent briefing that more individuals have been securing so-called microcredentials or skill-based certification as they seek additional jobs to augment their earnings.

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He noted that the usual short courses being taken by the Filipinos vary from trade skills like plumbing to more technologically advanced skills such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

Oberoi explained that learning more technology-based skills was the way forward given the accelerated adoption of digital platforms.

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“The gig economy facilitates that life-learning modality. It can be a supplemental mechanism for income for individuals,” he explained.

“Taking a myriad of skill-based certification helps make individuals more employable, more certifiable, more productive members of the workforce of the future,” the Instructure official added.

Oberoi observed that even the employers were noticing the value of skill-based training and how it could bode well for the productivity of the company.

“More and more institutions or organizations are hiring students predicated not on a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree or an MBA or a PhD but more on the competencies and skills that they have learned,” he said.

The Instructure official said this recent trend has proven that learning was not just “linear” anymore, citing the typical pre-school to tertiary education path. He noted that individuals could continue learning even beyond the school.

According to the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), there are about 4 million online Filipino freelancers.

Some 83 percent of the Filipino freelancers said they do self-study to upskill themselves through free online courses, the DICT’s study revealed.

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Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, undersecretary for ICT Industry Development of the DICT, said that self-studying was preferred by most because this allowed them to do things at their own time and pace. She noted those who learn by themselves usually have a primary job with a fixed schedule.

Majority or about 59 percent of the respondents identified themselves as a virtual assistant, a kind of freelancer that has multiple skills such as data entry, social media, website update and video editing.

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