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Microcredentials?

I have a friend who is in his early 40s, and his job is going away from natural causes: the problem it was created to solve has been solved.
That's great for the business, bad for my friend.
So what does he do now? He really does need to reinvent himself, but there seem to be no real options available for him to actually do that.
Could he go back for another degree? Possibly, but that's expensive and would take more time than he has since he is father of one and another is on the way. Could he take a lesser job and hope to work his way up again? That's more the more likely route, but still not a very good one since he would very likely be underemployed in a big way.
We talked yesterday about his situation and he talked about getting some kind of license or certificate via a shorter-term educational process.
What, I wondered, would that look like?
Turns out that what he wants and needs is just now becoming available. It's called MicroCredentialling.
Here is some information from Steve Bell, writing for Information Digest:
"College affordability is a significant barrier to access. Academic librarians know the havoc that student loan debt plays with our students’ futures. MOOCs could help some students to earn credentials, but these rarely work well for less experienced learners. Short-form programs that lead to certifications or other employer-sought skill sets could give these students a better, affordable path to a college degree. Imagine colleges re-engineering degrees around sets of microcredentials, at far lower tuition, that allow students to more quickly gain career-oriented skills. To earn their bachelors or masters, students would continue to earn microcredentials or enroll in full-tuition courses. If an elite institution such as MIT can launch a MicroMasters program, is it possible that some LIS graduate programs could do something similar to create more affordable entry to the library profession?"
Obviously, Bell is concerned here about librarians. But, why couldn't this kind of thing work in other fields, such as my friend's?
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