Top MicroMasters Programs by edX and Students’ Reviews 2022

In today’s age of skill-based economy, upskilling and reskilling are critical to staying relevant. If you happen to be in the fields of software, data science, or machine learning, it’s even more critical. These days, there are multiple options that include short courses, nanodegrees, certifications, etc. One such popular option is the MicroMasters programs by edX. In this article, we will look at the best MicroMasters programs, their course design, duration, fees, and whether these MicroMasters are worth it or not?

MicroMasters by edX

Top MicroMasters Programs, Course Details, Recognition, and Student Reviews

Co-authored by Sandipan Mukherjee

What is a MicroMasters?

MicroMasters is a set of online courses that help students develop their professional skills and academic knowledge (as explained on Masters Portal). MicroMaster’s® degrees on edX are offered by certified universities and colleges. Students receive an official certificate after completing the courses. Check out all the MicroMasters programs by edX.

You can take a MicroMaster’s® program for one of the following reasons:

  • Advance your professional career
  • Shorten the length of a future Master’s degree
  • Try a Master’s discipline and decide if you wish to go for a full degree

MicroMasters Credentials and Recognition

Originally conceived and developed by MIT as a pilot program on edX, MicroMasters credentials bridge the gap between education and the workplace. MicroMasters courses are created by esteemed edX university partners, valued by top companies, like Walmart and GE, and linked to specific career outcomes.

MicroMasters credentials are also a valuable addition to academic portfolios as the credential offers a pathway to credit. MicroMasters have no admissions requirements and are open to anyone.

The programs have been designed after consulting with industry leaders to understand their challenges, both in hiring and developing a smarter, more capable workforce.

Career Benefits

Once you’ve successfully earned a MicroMasters credential, you can apply to an on-campus program that recognizes the MicroMasters credential, and, if accepted, the digital credential will count as credit toward a portion of the degree, resulting in an accelerated program.

MicroMasters® are only available online, and the curriculum and workload are equivalent to one regular Master’s semester. They are similar to MasterTrack Certificates by Coursera.

Types of MicroMasters Programs:

  • Self-paced MicroMasters®
  • Instructor-led MicroMasters®

During self-paced MicroMasters®, you study in your own rhythm. There are no deadlines, but you still need to complete the courses in the period agreed initially.

For instructor-led MicroMasters®, assignments and exams have deadlines, and you need to meet them.

Duration and Cost

You can earn a MicroMaster’s® degree in 6 to 12 months. This depends on your chosen discipline and the type of MicroMaster’s® (self-paced vs instructor-led).

MicroMaster’s® programs are available on EdX cost between USD $300 and $4,500. On average, the MicroMasters degrees cost $1,500.

Discounts and Financial Aid: edX offers financial aid to qualified and deserving students who apply for it. Additionally, if you have all the prerequisites of a particular program, then you will not have to pay to become a Verified learner, only the courses and Capstone exam. 

Are the MicroMasters Worth it?

According to Data Science Nerd and Reviews on Quora, it’s definitely worth taking the MicroMasters programs. But, it also depends on your objective.

Whether or not it’s worth it for you would come down to what kind of goals you have within your field.

We have also shared a few reviews and feedback of some of these top MicroMasters programs later in this article.

What Learners are Saying?

Through MicroMasters on edX, you can apply for advanced credits when using the credential to apply for the respective university, and may also aid you in the admission process for the said university.

In terms of jobs prospect based solely on the MicroMasters, it depends a lot on the hiring manager. In practice, it does not have the same weight as an actual degree, not even a bachelor’s despite it being graduate-level material. However, if you are able to explain the value it brings and how that value can be translated into the company, it may give you a far better ROI than a complete degree.

For example, there are MM programs available in Accounting, Supply Chain Management, Project Management, IT Management, Business Strategy, Leadership. If you can apply what you have learned and demonstrate how you can add value similar to an MBA graduate without the burden of student loan debt, this may be highly valuable.

Clarence Lam on Quora

Don’t Set Wrong Expectations

A MicroMasters (or any Certifications) is useful only if you can demonstrate your learning implementation through projects and accomplishments. Just listing them on the resume would not be of any use.

These certifications are pretty handy to keep you updated and keep your hands warm with programming, data processing, and the concepts of Data Science.

Read Mismatch between Data Science Job Market and Online Courses.

Best MicroMasters Programs by edX

MITx’s Statistics and Data Science MicroMasters® Program

Students enrolled: 148,430+

Average Rating: 4.8

  • Master the foundations of data science, statistics, and machine learning
  • Analyze big data and make data-driven predictions through probabilistic modeling and statistical inference; identify and deploy appropriate modeling and methodologies in order to extract meaningful information for decision making
  • Develop and build machine learning algorithms to extract meaningful information from seemingly unstructured data; learn popular unsupervised learning methods, including clustering methodologies and supervised methods such as deep neural networks
  • Finishing this MicroMasters program will prepare you for job titles such as: Data Scientist, Data Analyst, Business Intelligence Analyst, Systems Analyst, Data Engineer

Also, check the Professional Data Science Certificate by Harvard University and Python for Data Science Project by IBM.

UCSanDiegoX’s Data Science MicroMasters® Program

Students enrolled: 145,400+

Average Rating: 4.7

  • Learn how to load and clean real-world data
  • Make reliable statistical inferences from noisy data
  • Understand how to use machine learning to learn models for data
  • Visualize complex data
  • Learn how to use Apache Spark to analyze data that does not fit within the memory of a single computer

RITx’s Project Management MicroMasters® Program

Students enrolled: 145,690+

Average Rating: 4.8

  • How to load and clean real-world data
  • How to make reliable statistical inferences from noisy data
  • How to use machine learning to learn models for data
  • How to visualize complex data
  • How to use Apache Spark to analyze data that does not fit within the memory of a single computer

IIMBx’s Business Management MicroMasters® Program

Students enrolled: 340,690+

Average Rating: 4.9

  • An overview of business organizations and the role accounting plays in managing them.
  • Understand the role of operations management in a firm and develop the ability to structure and solve operations related problems.
  • Acquire a deeper understanding of the different aspects of people management.
  • An introduction to the systematic framework of marketing management and different approaches for marketing goods and services.
  • Master concepts and tools that are useful to managers for making financial decisions.
  • Understand the analytical approaches underlying strategy and competitive advantage.

BUx’s Digital Transformation Leadership MicroMasters® Program

Students enrolled: 138,890+

Average Rating: 4.7

  • Techniques for oversight of agile development, rapid prototyping, experimentation and risk management to manage digital projects.
  • Harness data to improve business decisions.
  • Lead people and teams in dynamic environments.
  • Transform your business model to succeed within digital disruptions.
  • Develop platform based strategies for growth and innovation.

MITx’s Supply Chain Management MicroMasters® Program

Students enrolled: 158,290+

Average Rating: 4.7

  • Learn to apply core methodologies (probability, statistics, optimization) used in supply chain modeling and analysis.
  • Understand and use fundamental models to make trade-offs between forecasting, inventory, and transportation.
  • Design supply chain networks as well as financial and information flows.
  • Understand how supply chains act as systems and interact.
  • How technology is used within supply chains from fundamentals to packaged software systems.
  • End to end supply chain management.

IUx’s Accounting MicroMasters® Program

Students enrolled: 58,290+

Average Rating: 4.8

  • What information do firms measure and report in a wide array of transactions, events, and arrangements in balance sheets, income statements, and statements of cash flows?
  • What are key elements of financial reporting, such as revenues, expenses, gains and losses, net income, assets, liabilities, and owners’ equity?
  • How do firms develop and use key internal information such as product costs, cost allocations, customer profitability, budgets, and planning to execute and control firm strategy?
  • How do income taxes impact firms? How do firms measure and report taxable income and taxes payable? And how do firms strategically plan for and manage the impact of taxes on profitability?
  • Accounting standards, including U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (U.S. GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

LouvainX’s International Law MicroMasters® Program

Students enrolled: 58,290+

Average Rating: 4.8

  • Understand the legal rules at play in specific professional fields of international law and international relations (diplomacy, humanitarian aid, NGOs…).
  • Make sound legal arguments in order to enhance claims based on international law and interact with professional lawyers in an articulate way.
  • Decrypt international news from a legal perspective.

RITx’s Cybersecurity MicroMasters® Program

Students enrolled: 98,796+

Average Rating: 4.9

  • How to setup and secure basic computer systems and networks
  • Information security risk management framework and methodologies
  • How to implement network security solutions and detect intrusions
  • How to conduct a digital forensics investigation admissible to a court
  • To practice cybersecurity skills in real world scenarios

UBCx’s Software Development MicroMasters® Program

Students enrolled: 1,98,796+

Average Rating: 4.7

  • How to develop programs that are well tested and easy to modify
  • To structure the development of large software systems using abstraction and decomposition
  • To quickly write and revise code using programming tools
  • How to do full-stack software development using an agile approach in a pair or team
  • Popular languages Java and Typescript, and the ability to quickly learn new ones

Student Reviews

Christian Prez (Software Development Micromasters by UBC and HarvardX Data Science professional certificate)

In my opinion, the content of these courses is extremely valuable, the info is well put together, the instructors have a lot of experience in the industry so the knowledge that you can acquire in these courses will serve you very well.
In the job market (Software), recruiters do not really qualify your skills based on what courses you have taken but more on your skills, portfolio, and results of the technical assessments they will ask you to do.

It has been almost 2 years since this answer and a lot of people are reading it so an update might be useful. I have had a couple of jobs in software since I started studying in Edx and similar sites and have been very successful overall as a programmer.

I work as a remote Fullstack Web Developer and have a very good salary with a great company that has a healthy work environment and has allowed me to learn a lot more about this industry; I still use Edx and similar sites for learning since Software requires constant study, every now and then I enjoy books, conferences or just working on some personal projects to expand my knowledge. I am very happy with my decision to learn through online courses and if anyone reading is feeling the urge to pursue the same path I would say is totally possible.

on Quora

Bill Seliger (Supply Chain Management MicroMasters by MIT)

This series of courses has been a fantastic opportunity to be able to learn from Chris and other great teachers at MIT including Yossi SheffiJim RiceBruce Arntzen, and Jarrod Goentzel. I’ve enjoyed being challenged academically in my own professional field (and I can whip up a mixed-integer linear programming network design study in just a few minutes thanks to all the practice in these courses!) As a lifelong learner, a supply chain practitioner, and an educator, it’s been an honor and a pleasure to be able to take part in these classes. And I hope I’ve given a little back to my fellow students in my role as a Community Teaching Assistant throughout these courses.

On LinkedIn

Antonello Leblanc

I am in the middle of the MITx one.

Very rewarding, but taking 20–30 hours of study a week.

Of the various MicroMasters on data science, I believe it is the most theoretical one, with much more probability & mathematical statistics rather than coding.

Indeed, it is used as selection for the MIT own PhD program.

So, basically, first choose the right MicroMaster that suits your needs.

On Quora

James Harp

The real value of MicroMaster is an “accelerated and less expensive Master’s Degree.” Having a MicroMasters certificate may or may not be of value in a job interview. Because of this dubious value, I recommend that on your resume any certificates in the training (not education) section and list the acquired skills in the skills section.

Arthur Grau quoting a Learner

I can definitely say from my personal experience that it does! The MIT MicroMasters in SCM recently enabled me to switch from working in the forestry industry to the ocean freight industry (which I’m very passionate about). I took every single class offered by the program so far, and I used to take the models I created for these classes’ practice problems to every interview and walk the interviewers through my work. I ended up landing a position with one of my top choice employers in the logistics industry 🙂 and they still talk about the models I built for my MIT classes till this day!

– on Quora

Todd Robbinson on Coursera vs edX

Coursera struck me as more theory and even detail-oriented. A fantastic foundation. The Edx courses are more tool, result, and perhaps more experientially oriented. My impression is that Edx helps you walk the path ever so slightly more than Coursera for Data Science.

On Quora

Featured Image Source: edX

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