Katz school offering ‘micro-credential’ program in a variety of business-related topics


Students not yet fully convinced they should get a master’s of business administration degree can still earn credits in a new “micro-credential” program within the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business.

The program would allow students to take graduate-level courses in business-related programs such as corporate finance, accounting, innovation and entrepreneurship, digital information and data programming.

William T. Valenta, the assistant dean for MBA and Executive Programs, said the program was created following trends in graduate business education.

Valenta said he’s seen multiple students who aren’t interested in full degree programs, such as the Professional MBA program, and who aren’t having their needs met in other non-degree executive education programs through Pitt or their employers.

There were requests for more depth within specific subjects, Valenta said, and employers have been “peeling back” the amount of reimbursement they’re offering employees.

“If a student is able to be in a program in which they receive some grade, then, the students can get the best of both worlds,” Valenta said. “They can get approved for getting reimbursement from their employers, and they can get the skills that they need in a very focused manner.”

Each program is worth three credits, and each of the micro-credentials are nine credits. Programs would take roughly a year to finish and it would be possible for students to overlay courses.

Students in the micro-credential program would sit in the same classes as other Professional MBA students.

“Our hope is that these programs apply to business professionals or individuals interested in increasing their business knowledge,” Valenta said. “Our hope is that, across campus, that other schools and departments see this as an opportunity for them to perhaps connect with students in a different way at the graduate level.”

Four to five students are participating in the program this fall, Valenta said. But he’s hoping for more to join, and eventually, he hopes students involved in the micro-credential program will see the value in pursuing a full graduate business degree.

“It's a little innovative and we're excited to get it going and see what the reaction is from potential students,” Valenta said.

A website with more information about the programs will accompany a relaunch of the school’s current website within the next few weeks, Valenta said.  

Donovan Harrell is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at dharrell@pitt.edu or 412-383-9905.