THE ROLE OF MICRO-CREDENTIALS IN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF SKILLS IN EMPLOYEES: A QUALITATIVE STUDY FROM AN EMERGING ECONOMY
Keywords:micro-credentials, professional development, emerging economy
Objective of the study is to investigate the role of micro-credentials in professional development of skills in employees working in academia and industry. In-depth qualitative interviews with teachers, instructors, directors, industrial experts and government representatives were taken from across the city. The authors conducted 12 interviews and it was found out that micro-credentials play a pivotal role in developing skillful workforce. Due to the changing trends in post-COVID world, learning skills and keeping up to-date with new technology has become very important. Higher education commission (HEC) of Pakistan has taken several initiatives, however still a lot of work has to be done to acknowledge and cope with the upcoming challenges. It is also observed that employers prefer practical skills over theoretical knowledge because they want employees to be prepared to take up the tasks and fulfill them in the most effective manner. The major point of discussion in this paper is that micro-credentials are needed to prepare skillful workforce in the emerging economy of a developing country. Instead of making fixes for conventional education, micro-credentials are providing basic skills by blurring the line in higher education between public and private sectors. Micro-credentials can contribute towards division and coherence of skills and knowledge required in industry. The broader spectrum sees an employ as not only a part of the organization, also a person who has stake in and who can contribute towards society.