Trust factor: Accreditation vs Skills Development

Jessamy Amic

Posted: July 24, 2023

Table of Contents

There is a debate among educational institutions – and those looking to enrol for online short courses – as to the importance of accreditation as a guarantee of quality education and skills development. In fact, here at MasterStart, we are often asked whether our courses are accredited.

Right off the bat, we’re going to say that they aren’t, and it’s nothing unusual; most online short courses anywhere in the world do not require accreditation. The difference, however, between MasterStart and many other ed-tech providers is that all of our courses are backed and endorsed by accredited universities or business schools. These two factors vouch for the credibility of our content and learning experience. Plus, students who complete MasterStart courses receive a certificate of competence from the affiliated business school or university partner, which will show employers that they are competent at that skill.

As a leading South African ed-tech company, MasterStart’s focus is on skills training that provides employees with the targeted, advanced training they need to fulfil the specific requirements of their job. We focus on delivering industry-aligned learning content that is insightful, relevant, and future-forward. It ensures all students are trained in the latest methodologies, creating adaptive and innovative workforces.

The future of higher education

In South Africa, most colleges and universities only look at certified knowledge, and the courses often focus on easily-outdated information. Many higher educational institutions don’t prepare young people for the workforce and are forever playing catchup with the skills needed in the future workplace. Add to that the bureaucracy involved at the university level, and it’s no wonder it can take a while to make the necessary updates to university degrees so that they are industry relevant.

In an article on the future of education, the World Economic Forum says educational institutions need to reform and move towards fully active learning – learning that not only improves learning outcomes but also reduces the education gap with socio-economically disadvantaged students. They emphasise the importance of teaching skills that will endure in a changing world, skills that remain relevant in new, changing, and unknown contexts.

Arvind Bali, CEO of India’s Telecom Sector Skill Council, says that not all jobs require the elaborate educational setup which most colleges and universities offer. Rather, employers are interested in highly motivated candidates who have specialisations and domain expertise. He says: “When I look towards the future, I see competent skill development as a better metric of growth than just educational qualification.” That’s exactly what MasterStart is doing.

The benefits of online skills training

Advancements in ed-tech have enabled a sophisticated interactive learning experience driven by reduced costs, flexibility, adaptive environments tailored to specific learning styles, media-rich content and easy access to experts. These all ensure skills training is optimised for the learner. So, what are the benefits of upskilling through an online short course?

  1. Practicality: Skills training provides practical, hands-on training in a specific field, giving individuals the tools they need to succeed in their chosen careers.
  2. Time and cost: Skills training programmes are often shorter and less expensive than university degrees. This means that individuals can enter the workforce more quickly and with less debt – a significant advantage.
  3. Specificity: Skills training programmes are designed to provide in-depth training in a specific field or skill set. This is a more efficient and effective way to gain the necessary knowledge and experience in a particular area.
  4. Demand: In some industries, employers may value skills and experience over degrees. For example, in the technology sector, it is not uncommon for individuals to be hired based on their skills and experience rather than their educational background.
  5. Flexibility: Skills training programmes can often be tailored to an individual’s needs and schedule, making it easier for them to continue working while pursuing their education.

Start developing your skills with MasterStart

Since we first started offering online short courses, our humanised, online learning method has had a phenomenal 93% programme success rate. Over 750 businesses have enrolled employees in our skills development courses, and we have accelerated the careers of over 13 000 learners.

Don’t let the grass grow under your feet – browse our wide range of management, development, business, innovation, technology, and executive development short courses and enrol today. If you have any further questions about our course content and partnerships, visit the Contact Us page, and we’ll get right back to you.

MasterStart matches local standards and academic criteria

Learn more about MasterStart’s affiliation with Triple Crown Accredited business schools, such as the UCT Graduate of Business School (GBS) and the UP Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). Also, read our Student Terms and Conditions and our CDO’s pledge to find out more about our educational partnerships and endorsements and how these guarantee that our courses are relevant and applicable to the South African market and match local standards and academic criteria.

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