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Postgraduate microcredentials: advance your career in public administration in just 8 weeks

The world of public service has evolved, with increased demand for new skills and ways of thinking. The continued digital transformation of services has also meant that the skills gap in public services is widening at a growing pace.

However, not everyone is able to commit to a full programme of study to broaden their skillset. One of the quickest and most effective ways to progress in this dynamic and evolving field is to study a postgraduate microcredential course – also known as a short Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course.

For professionals looking to advance their career in public administration, or for those who would like to move into working within the public sector, our short online courses in Public Administration can help you upskill and meet your career goals.

With studies showing that organisations are moving towards skills-based hiring – often of applicants who have supplemented their degree with microcredentials1 – taking a short course is becoming a recognised way to gain career enhancing skills and experience.

Focus on your individual public service skills

Choosing to study a modular course enables you to hone your skillset in a particular area. This bitesized approach to learning enables you to keep your study focused and gain the precise skills and knowledge that will fill any gaps in your own experience.

Taught through the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV), the UK’s leading academic centre for research and teaching on local governance and strategic public management, the modular Master of Public Administration (MPA) is designed to help you tackle specific, real-world challenges in the public sector.

You will join a current live masters cohort and have access to the same materials, activities and support as those on the full programme. You can choose any segment of the full MPA curriculum to study, which has units including Public Management and Governance, Managing the Political Environment and Democracy, Governance and Participation. Each module is just 8 weeks long and you will receive 10 masters credits and a transcript highlighting your new credential upon successful completion of the course.

Employers expect life-long learning

The pace at which the workplace is evolving, often as a result of technological changes and the introduction of AI, means that committing to lifelong learning is becoming necessary for professionals who want to be at the cutting edge of their careers.

However, whilst a recent Confederation of British Industry (CBI) report found that 79% of employers expect to increase the number of high-skilled roles in the next 3 to 5 years, two-thirds believe there will be a lack of people to fill those roles.2

Undertaking a modular course enables you to quickly upskill in a specific area to meet that growing demand and ensure that you remain competitive in your professional field.

Within the public sector, where continued personal development is important, postgraduate microcredentials are a great way show dedication, without the commitment of long-term study.

Gaining a new qualification also has wider benefits for your CV. The CBI’s latest education and skills survey found that 45% of CBI members ranked ‘work readiness’ as the most important factor they look for when recruiting – defining this as having ‘character, knowledge and skills’.3 Studying for an additional qualification not only boosts your knowledge, it demonstrates self-motivation, determination and organisational skills to both current and prospective employers.

Flexible study, at your own pace

Studying online allows you to gain your qualification around your other commitments such as work and family. You can study at times that suit you, wherever you are – we recommend setting aside 12-15 hours per week for an MPA module for the duration of the 8 weeks.

Online study also gives you access to a global network of likeminded professionals – 60% of the MPA students are students studying from overseas, from more than 50 different countries.4

“I chose this course because it will help me to undertake my present role in a more professional manner and give me a better understanding of how public services can and should be delivered” says UK-based Town Clerk, Sharon Clayton. “Studying online has many advantages which include being able to study from the comfort of my own home, at times of my own choosing, with all the appropriate readings for each lesson available online. I also have the opportunity to get to interact with fellow ‘classmates’ via discussion forums and online webinars”.

See if postgraduate study works for you

If you would like to better prepare yourself for the changing demands of 21st-century public service, a microcredential course is the perfect way to start your postgraduate learning journey. Modules for the short online courses in Public Administration run throughout the year, in line with the full Online MPA curriculum. For more information and to apply online, please visit our dedicated short courses overview page.

References:

  1. GALLAGHER, S (2018) Educational credentials come of age. A Survey on the Use and Value of Educational Credentials in Hiring (Online) Available at:<https://www.northeastern.edu/cfhets/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Educational_Credentials_Come_of_Age_2018.pdf> [Accessed 22.09.20]
  2. CBI (2019) Employers and Lifelong Learning: The importance of upskilling and retraining in a modern economy (Online) Available at: <https://www.cbi.org.uk/media/3715/employer-and-lifelong-learning-report.pdf> [Accessed 22.09.20]
  3. CBI (2019) Employers and Lifelong Learning: The importance of upskilling and retraining in a modern economy (Online) Available at: <https://www.cbi.org.uk/media/3715/employer-and-lifelong-learning-report.pdf> [Accessed 22.09.20]
  4. Updated 11th February 2020. Country names categorised using information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) [online] Available at: <https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/country-names/country-names-the-permanent-committee-on-geographical-names-for-british-official-use> [Accessed 11.02.2020]