17 Online MicroMaster’s Programs Across the World

A new education tool has been developed to keep up with the ever-increasing pace of learning and qualifications in our world. In October 2015, MIT and Harvard joined forces to launch what is now a Massachusetts-based online certification program called the MicroMaster’s, which is a shortened series of Master’s-level courses intended to be immediately helpful in the workforce. The program is offered through an online platform called edX, and various universities, including Columbia, the University of Michigan, and some universities in Australia, Europe and Asia, are participants. The courses are free and open to anyone with no previous requirements. However, if a student intends to earn a Certificate, a fee is charged – which earns not only the Certificate, but individual attention from professors and advisors. The idea behind these courses is to equip students to immediately make a progressive impact on their career, and also to pave the way to a full Master’s program. Completion of a MicroMaster’s often differentiates one applicant from another when it comes to graduate school applications, and students who enroll in and complete a MicroMaster’s will then earn a shortened pathway to a Master’s Degree. As of September 2016, edX offered 18 programs from 13 different universities, created in sync with the economy and which career fields were experiencing the most growth, and typically a shortage in talent.


1. MITx – Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management is currently one of the fastest-growing fields – at a pace of nearly 270,000 jobs per year, according to Fortune and Materials Handling Institute. A MicroMaster’s in Supply Chain Management can qualify students for opportunities as Logistics Managers, Supply Chain Analysts, or Purchasing Managers, among others. Recognizing the shortage of qualified applicants, MIT offers a MicroMaster’s degree in Supply Chain Management, which can be completed in one semester. Once a student has completed this Certificate, which requires five graduate-level courses and one capstone exam, he or she may then choose to combine that work with some on-campus work to earn a Master of Engineering in Logistics. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in 1861 in Boston, Massachusetts, and later moved to Cambridge, which is across the Charles River from Boston. The school boasts over 100 colleges and 250,000 students in the greater Boston area. The top employers of MIT grads are Google, Oracle and Amazon, and the typical starting salary of those is around $83,000.

2. RITx – Project Management

Project Management is truly a world-wide need. An individual with this type of certification is qualified for careers in nearly any industry. The Project Management Institute (PMI) estimates that this career field is growing at a rate of 1.5 million opportunities per year. PMI also reports that the median starting salary for an entry-level project manager is $84,000. One way to equip yourself to meet this demand is to complete the MicroMaster’s certification offered by Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). This graduate level series of three courses and a final capstone exam takes one semester to complete, and will instruct a student on methods for comprehensive project management through the entire life cycle. Program participants will learn how to apply best practices across all industries while being mindful of cultural and social aspects, technology advancements, and regulatory practices. The MicroMaster’s will also count as nine of the 33 required credits for a Professional Studies Degree. Rochester Institute of Technology was founded in 1829, and is a coed, privately endowed university with nine colleges. The campus is a sprawling 1300 acres in Rochester, New York, with about 18,000 students enrolled. The university is a leader in preparing and equipping deaf and hard-of-hearing students, serving over 1,200 students who live, study and work on the RIT campus.

3. MichiganX – User Experience (UX) Research and Design

Computer and IT career opportunities are expected to grow faster than any other – 12% between 2014 and 2024, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. People with training like what Michigan offers often qualifies for opportunities like information technology management, user experience design, and web development, to name a few. The Occupational Outlook Handbook also reports that the median salary for this field is near $81,500.

See our 15 Best Animation and Graphic Design Colleges Online ranking.

By completing the nine required graduate-level courses and the final capstone course, students will earn a MicroMaster’s in User Experience (UX) Research and Design through the University of Michigan’s edX program. This program intends to equip its students with skills to understand the requirements for designing a great user experience by assessing user needs and then mapping them into system requirements. Students will also develop the vital skills for developing and then communicating ideas. Earning these credits also allow for students to then complete a Master of Science in Information quicker and at a lower cost than the traditional route. The University of Michigan calls Ann Arbor, Michigan home, and was founded in 1817. The first classes were held in 1841, and in 1844, the first class, made up of 11 men, graduated. The university has since grown to 19 schools and colleges, and boasts an enrollment of over 43,000 students. In FY 2015, the University of Michigan spent $1.29 billion on research, which was more than any other US public university.

4. ColumbiaX – Artificial Intelligence

It has been predicted that by the year 2025, some aspect of artificial intelligence will have infiltrated much of our daily lives – through a range of industries, including health care, transportation, logistics, home maintenance and customer service, to name a few. To that end, there is a driving need for AI professionals in many, if not most, industries. These professionals would have opportunities like becoming a Machine Learning Software Engineer, Deep Learning Specialist, Automation Engineer, or a 3D Artist.

Columbia University was recently ranked #9 in our 25 Best Artificial Intelligence Colleges ranking.

The Columbia University MicroMaster’s Certificate in Artificial Intelligence (AI) seeks to equip its students with a firm grasp on the foundation of AI, then teach them how to apply the fundamentals of AI into real-world applications. Students in the AI program will also spend time learning how the neural networks develop and respond, and how to harness that power. The program can be completed through four graduate-level courses, which would then count as 25% of the Master of Computer Science degree if a student applies and is accepted. King’s College, which was founded in 1754, was created in New York City, New York, by a royal charter of England’s King George II, making it the oldest higher learning institution in New York and the fifth oldest in the United States. In 1784 the college emerged with a new name, Columbia College. Since then, the University has seen rapid growth and development, and in 2015 accepted 2,279 undergrad students out of 36,292 applicants.

5. ThunderbirdX – International Business Management

As our modern world continues to develop, business is becoming more and more global. We are more connected, world-wide, which allows for growth and development in exciting and challenging new ways. A MicroMaster’s certification in Global Business qualifies its participants in multinational companies, on global projects, and through international business development. The Thunderbird School of Global Management teaches its students the analysis tools necessary to keep up with a very dynamic global economy. Upon completion of the four graduate-level courses required for this Certificate, students will have developed a solid foundation for communication, flexibility, and attaining a necessary competitive edge. At it’s core, the program teaches students to be successful in our global economy. Formally known as the American Institute for Foreign Trade, the Thunderbird School of Global Management was chartered in 1946 on Thunderbird Field, which is a WWII airbase in Glendale, Arizona. Congressmen who were a part of the House Surplus Committee announced that Thunderbird’s existence would, through its education of soldiers, contribute to world peace. In 2014, Thunderbird became an arm of the Arizona State University’s Knowledge Enterprise, allowing it to further shift with the times as they developed more innovative Master’s programs. Thunderbird now boasts a presence in Geneva, Switzerland, Moscow, Russia, and Dubai, UAE.

6. MichiganX – Social Work: Practice, Policy and Research

The University of Michigan, which boasts the #1 school of social work in the nation, now offers a MicroMaster’s in Social Work: Practice, Policy and Research to students interested in supporting and empowering those who can benefit from social services. Families, individuals, people battling addictions, children – some of those in our society who are impacted through successful social work practices. Those who wish to further or begin careers as Child Welfare Specialists, Foster Care / Adoption Workers, Psychiatric Social Workers, or even Community Organizers would develop vital skills through the MicroMaster’s Certificate.

See our 21 Best Online Social Work Colleges ranking.

The Certificate offered through the University of Michigan requires six courses to be completed. Once an applicant is accepted into the Master’s Degree program for Social Work, it may be accomplished at a fraction of the traditional cost, along with a possible accelerated path to graduation. Students will look to gain an understanding of working in harmony with varying groups of people – individuals, families, communities, etc, – while maintaining a firm grasp on how social policies affect everyday life.

7. IIMBx – Business Management

A general business knowledge foundation is helpful in many areas of the world economy. The fundamentals of business include topics like accounting, finance, marketing, operations, people management and strategy. These are core principles, which are fundamental to business success.

See our 36 Best Online Business Administration Colleges ranking.

The MicroMaster’s Certificate in Business Management, offered by the Indian Institutes of Management in Bangalore, is made up of six total courses, which can either refine existing skills or contribute towards an on-campus Accelerated Advance Management Programme. The IIMs are a group of 20 public institutes, which primarily serve the management education and research communities. Each institute involved is an autonomous structure, responsible for day-to-day operations, but the overall group is managed at a national level by the IIM council, which was established by the first Prime Minister of India.

8. ANUx – Evidence-Based Management

In a world where biases often muddy the waters of decision making, evidence-based management looks to clarify through research, and clear-cut facts. Students of this type of thought will learn to use critical thinking skills, and how to apply them across various fields of work – management, marketing, and project management, among others. The Australian National University’s MicroMaster’s in Evidence-Based Management provides this foundation through seven courses, and is targeted towards individuals looking to become analysts of varying types. The completion of these seven courses also provides a framework for several traditional Master’s degrees by counting as 24 units of credit. Students will learn to engage, research, explore ideas, work with others more effectively, and adapt to varying situations. Australian National University (ANU), located in Australia’s capital city of Canberra, enrolled its first students in 1930. According to the QS World University Rankings 2016/2017, ANU ranked first in Australia and 22nd in the world. ANU boasts six Nobel Laureates among their staff and alumni, and had an enrollment of over 22,500 students in 2015. Of those, almost 5,000 lived on campus.

9. MichiganX – Leading Educational Innovation and Improvement

Overall education system cracks seem to be growing bigger and more obvious in today’s world. Increased learning and retention for the whole student body, either in a government or school system capacity, is becoming a more widely recognized need for the continued success of our nation’s economy. The Leading Educational Innovation and Improvement MicroMaster’s from the University of Michigan aims to equip students to do just that. Whether it’s a teacher looking for a broader view, or a community leader, there is much to be gained through the five courses in this program. Some of the topics covered include equipping a student with vision to see beyond current practices in the classroom to potentially improve reception, improving your own practices as an educator, exposure to school and classroom innovations from around the world, and alternatives for logistics and strategies currently in practice. Earning this certification can also count as 12 credit hours toward a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Policy, or Teaching and Learning, among others.

10. WageningenX – Biobased Sciences for Sustainability

As our world moves from mainly fossil-fuel resources to more sustainable options, a new job market is emerging – the study of biobased sciences for sustainability. This skill set can be applied in so many new careers – agrifood water companies, the production of energy, or governmental agencies, to name a few. It also offers new perspective to more familiar areas of study, like biochemistry, research science, and even process and supply chain engineers.

See our 22 Best Sustainable and Renewable Energy Colleges ranking.

The Wageningen MicroMaster’s program in Biobased Sciences for Sustainability looks to equip its students with the perspective necessary to understand the dynamics of the shift from fossil fuels to more sustainable options through the six courses included. Students will also learn to identify new methods for creating energy, and perform the necessary analysis to check for viability. Students will also learn core economic principles as they apply to this new market. Wageningen University is a public university located in Wageningen, Netherlands, and boasts over 10,000 students. The university specializes in life sciences and research, and has been in existence since 1918. They focus on the idea of ‘healthy food and living environment’, and are the only university in the Netherlands to focus on this unique perspective.

11. GalileoX – Professional Android Developer

Google is constantly searching for app developers for the Android. reports that the salary for an Android Developer ranges from $68,500 to $112,000, with the average being near $89,600. In 2016, Gartner reported that in the 4th quarter of 2015, Android accounted for 80% of the market share of phone sales. To that end, there is a huge market of reachable customers with Android apps.

See our 20 Best App Development Colleges ranking.

The Professional Android Developer MicroMaster’s offered by Galileo consists of five total courses. The program will prepare students to take the Google Associate Android App Developer Certification Exam, while also preparing students for a faster track to a Master’s degree in Information Technology. Students will learn to understand how Java script is used in app development, along with the architecture of the Android and fundamentals of its design. Students will learn how to prepare their app before any code is written, and how to incorporate XML for building appealing interfaces. Students will also learn some of the business side, as they seek to better understand how to monetize their app. This Certificate is offered in English. Galileo University, or Galileo Universidad, was founded in 2000 as a private university, but was initially founded in 1977 as a school of systems engineering, computer science and information technology. It is located in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

12. CurtinX – Human Rights

Human Rights is always a relevant topic. While the semantics may change, the debate of humane treatment is ever-present. This Certificate is applicable in so many career arenas – human rights advocate, teacher/educator, lawyer, social worker, counselor, or mediator, to name a few. Understanding human rights is beneficial both on a professional and also in volunteer capacities. The Human Rights Certificate at Curtin University is made up of three total courses. Through those courses, students will gain understanding in three specific areas – human rights theory and philosophy, human rights and development, and activism, advocacy and change. The courses will also seek to provide a core of multi-disciplinary, multicultural and multi-religious perspectives of basic human rights. Students who complete the Certificate are qualified to apply for admission to the Master of Human Rights program, and, if accepted, the Certificate counts as 25% of the coursework. Curtin University is a public university located in Perth, Australia. The school was founded in 1966, though origins can be traced back to 1900 and Perth Technical School. CU was Australia’s first university of technology, and has partnered with over 90 countries for exchange programs.

13. HKPolyUx – International Hospitality Management

As the standard for high quality hospitality and tourism continues to climb, the need for professionals to meet those demands continues to rise. From management to marketing, and technology to human resources, there are many facets to this business, which ultimately puts people at the heart of things.

See our 25 Best Hospitality Colleges in the U.S. ranking.

The MicroMaster’s program in International Hospitality Management through Hong Kong Polytechnic University aims to instill the highest standard of professionalism and effectiveness for the luxury traveler. Through the four required courses, students will earn a beneficial Certificate from one of the top programs in the world. Students will learn management skills, how to maximize revenue within the luxury class, how to best utilize technology, and core leadership skills necessary in the industry. Completion of the MicroMaster’s can contribute nine units of credit toward a Master of International Hospitality Management degree. Hong Kong Polytechnic University assumed full university status in 1994, though its foundation can be traced back to 1937. The university is a public one, and is located in Hung Hom, Hong Kong. Enrollment in 2010 was over 29,000.

14. LouvainX – International Law

As our world becomes increasingly global, the need for law that can be applied internationally continues to grow. With this international law Certificate, individuals may choose to pursue law, become political scientists, well-versed journalists, or simply increase the ability to communicate with the law community on a world-wide scale. The MicroMaster’s Certificate in International Law from Universite catholique de Louvain includes four total courses, which can later contribute to 20 of the 60 credits required for an advanced Master’s degree. Classes are in English, and will teach a basic understanding of the law in fields like diplomacy and humanitarian aid. Students will also learn how to make sound legal arguments, and understand legal news from around the world. The Universite catholique de Louvain was founded in 1425 in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. It is Belgium’s largest French-speaking university, with a total enrollment in 2011 of over 26,000. Interestingly, Louvain-la-Neuve was built solely to house the university.

15. IIMBx – Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is a certification with endless possibility. Entrepreneurs are often a driving force in our economy, and a few core skills can mean the difference between success and failure. Entrepreneurs often benefit from foundational skills, like accounting, marketing and human resources, and also more soft skills, like how to manage people, and what all it might take to create and sustain a new business, or even revamp an existing one.

See our 15 Best Online Entrepreneurship Colleges ranking.

The MicroMaster’s Certificate in Entrepreneurship from the Indian Institute of Management will teach students to identify and grow potential business opportunities, effective customer interaction, how to identify and mitigate risk, and make solid business decisions. The Certification includes four courses to equip students with these skills. The IIMs are a group of 20 public institutes, which primarily serve the management education and research communities. Each institute involved is an autonomous structure, responsible for day-to-day operations, but the overall group is managed at a national level by the IIM council, which was established by the first Prime Minister of India.

16. UQx – Leadership in Global Development

Leadership in Global Development is aimed at the development of international countries – countries which are experiencing poverty, low standards of living, and low quality of health. The world is becoming more and more complex, and these countries are falling farther and farther behind, showing great need for assistance in building up infrastructure, safety and health measurements. The demand for these professionals is growing – especially in the private sector – and industry representatives are reaching out for professionals with leadership skills and sharp business minds. Exciting career opportunities are available with aid agencies, government contractors and other private sector organizations. The MicroMaster’s in Leadership in Global Development offered by the University of Queensland looks to equip students to make effective decisions in response to complicated problems around the globe, while keeping in mind the many perspectives involved. Students will be taught how to identify and implement sustainable growth patterns, while spotting trends and challenges associated with development of nations. Once a student has completed the four required courses and additional capstone, they will have achieved one of the requirements for entry to the Master of Leadership in Global Development. The University of Queensland was founded in 1910, and classes commenced in 1911. They boast a staff of almost 7,000 who serve a student body of over 50,000, with over 232,000 alumni. UQ is situated in Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, and is one of Australia’s oldest and most selective universities.

17. RITx – Cybersecurity

Sadly, cybersecurity is becoming more and more of a crucial necessity in our increasingly-technology driven world. Cybersecurity is expected to grow two million new jobs annually to protect the world from this ever-present danger. The job outlook identifies a variety of career possibilities – security engineer, architect or analyst, or forensics investigator – just to name a few. It is projected that students who are currently a part of the IT industry can expect a potential 9% raise in pay upon acquiring security expertise. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for information security analysts is approximately $90,000.

See our 15 Best IT Security Colleges Online ranking.

The MicroMaster’s Certificate in Cybersecurity from Rochester Institute of Technology includes five courses, aimed at providing students with skills like setting up and maintaining security systems, risk management frame work and methodology, and how to conduct a digital framework investigation that holds up in court. Students will need to learn the basics of investigating cybercrime, mitigating vulnerabilities, how to identify and analyze risk, and basic system administration. If a student is accepted into the Master of Science in Computing Security program, the completion of the MicroMaster’s Certificate will count as nine of the 30 total credits.