Technology is bringing about a gradual but significant transformation in education. With the growing popularity of online learning, phenomena termed as nanodegree and MicroMaster have emerged over the years to provide a more focused and flexible alternative to regular institutional degrees. It may sound like these new form of credentials are posting a threat to the regular degree providers, yet in fact, prestigious universities around the world are leading this parade.


For universities:
MicroMaster programs serve as a convenient sneak peek to regular master’s degrees provided by universities. With essentially no registration fee and pre-requisite, MicroMaster programs can attract a pool of applicants who are potentially interested in universities’ regular master’s programs. The universities can also identify high-flyers from the MicroMaster programs for admission to their regular program to ensure intake quality.

For learners:
MicroMasters programs offer a focused and affordable “teaser” before they make full commitment to the regular master’s degree. They also have a choice of applying for a Verified Certificate costing US$150 per course, either to enhance their competitiveness in the job market or gain a better chance of getting admitted into the regular master’s program. MicroMaster programs are also credit-eligible – it can substitute part of the on-campus coursework.

For employers:
MicroMaster credentials are still new to the employers but Ryan Craig, author of “College Disrupted: The Great Unbundling of Higher Education,” predicted that human resource platforms such as LinkedIn will develop new functions catered to this new form of qualification in terms of certificates/skills listing and credentials verifications. MicroMaster programs are focused, efficient and mostly concentrated in skills that are in high demand in the current job market. It is a great way to address the discrepancy between traditional institutional degrees and expectation from students and their future employers.

MicroMaster is indeed a leap forward in achieving internationalization. By extending our high quality teaching and learning contents to a greater audience, we can create a greater ripple of impact in the Asian region and the world. Want to give it a go? Contact us at and let’s make it happen!

Fast facts:
– 20 MicroMasters programs offered by 14 universities are currently available on edX edX as of February 2017.
– Most of the programs focus in the field of business, management, computer science and education.
– The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is offering a MicroMaster on International Hospitality Management.


Craig, R. (2015). College disrupted: The great unbundling of higher education.