EER Partners in action: Micro courses to strengthen entrepreneurial expertise
Laurea University of Applied Sciences will be piloting new micro courses to entrepreneurs. Micro courses help businesses develop their own services and better respond to customer expectations.
When planning the courses, the project team at Laurea collected plenty of information about their everyday work and education needs from different companies. Based on interviews with entrepreneurs, the selected topics for the micro courses are platform economy, sustainable development, digital marketing and service design.
Micro courses are a rapidly growing education innovation internationally, but they are still relatively unheard of here in Finland. Undoubtedly, they offer flexible and personalised means to develop and update skills. Laurea University of Applied Sciences will be launching several micro courses free of charge to regional entrepreneurs in the spring and autumn of 2022.
Providing solutions in the age of fluctuating labour markets
Labour markets transform. Work force is generally more and more mobile. Careers are extended and digitalisation expands throughout industries. Requirements of competence are in constant renewal. At the moment, essential skills in the labour market are for example green and digital skills and, in the area of so-called soft skills, creativity, impact, and different forms of co-development. Micro courses can easily provide meaningful solutions to these challenges.
Typically, micro courses are digital, compact learning modules that are often aimed at a specific sector. Most importantly, participants choose only the most relevant skills for their personal development or the development of their business model. Micro courses are particularly beneficial as a skill update to those who are already active in the workfield, but can certainly be utilised by potential job applicants.
One of the aims of these activities is also to create an EU-wide digital wallet in the future, where all the credentials from these micro courses will be saved. Such a digital wallet would make it easy to certify skills in real time, both nationally and internationally. So-called Open Badges offer another possibility; they are a digital means for educational institutions and organisations to grant various credentials.
In the spring of 2022, Laurea will pilot micro courses together with several target groups. These courses can significantly strengthen entrepreneurial skills and they will be further developed according to the feedback given by participants. We find interaction, co-creation and sustainable growth fundamental for successful micro courses, as well as for creating new valuable skills.
Anne Lahti, Lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences