Your Higher Education Marketing Link of the Week… Oregon State University: Introducing “Microcredentials”… 21 October 2022

Introducing Microcredentials at Oregon State University

Oregon State UniversityFor people who want to boost their professional status, “microcredential” programs offer a way to gain knowledge and respect with having to complete a master’s degree program.

Some schools, including Oregon State, allow people to enroll who don’t already have a bachelor’s degree unless the courses involved are graduate level. Most courses are not graduate level.

We visited several “microcredential” sites at U.S. and Canadian universities. Right now there are not many as this packaging is relatively new to higher education. Expect these offerings to grow.

Four marketing elements make the Oregon State website stand out from others:

  • Visitors immediately see in the page title that this is online education.
  • The primary headline gets right to the point: a microcredential will “Give your resume a powerful boost.”
  • The first text sentence in the opening paragraph reinforces the primary headline: “Gain the specialized skills you need to take your career to a higher level…”
  • Potential students can then easily scan in less than 5 seconds the 16 areas in which a credential is offered.

Smart marketing… present the benefit first

This page does not first explain what a microcredential is. The benefit to a student is presented first, followed by the program list that let’s a person see if there is anything important to them being offered. Only after do we see “What is a microcredential?” That’s a smart “engagement first” decision.

“Microcredential” is defined in just two sentences. The first is key as it addresses time and cost: “Oregon State’s microcredentials are high-quality educational opportunities that can help advance your career with less time and financial commitment than a formalized degree or certificate program.” (The “advance your career” phrase always tested high in top task research as a magnet that drew employed people to web content.)

Writing right for the web…

In this presentation, 8 subheads and short paragraphs with nice spacing between them help ensure against the dense text blocks that still plague too many higher education sites. Font size is admirable.

The “you” word is used throughout the page. No “students will… ” do this and that.

On large screen or mobile, the content is easy to read.

Speed on mobile… 2.6 seconds to first view, 12.4 seconds to full interactivity

Google PageSpeed Insights measures the time to first view on a mobile phone at 2.6 seconds… That’s OK but not great Time to full interactivity is too slow at 12.4 seconds.

Once again, the most important change to make mobile speed faster: “Reduce unused javascript.”

Website Carbon Calculator… Another “Hurrah!”

Thanks to Gerry McGovern and his efforts to reduce “world wide waste” for the referral.

“This web page is cleaner than 63% of web pages tested.”

See how your website helps or hurts  the climate. Test your website pages at “Website Carbon Calculator.”

Follow the Link of the Week…

Experience an engaging introduction of “microcredentials” at Oregon State University’s “Microcredentials – Online.”

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Always eager to get recommendations of websites that dare to be different… or just do something ordinary in a special way. Write a comment with link here or send me the link at

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