Date posted: 20/10/2022

New micro courses empower future-focused finance professionals

Short, sharp learning opportunities on popular topics such as data analytics and sustainability will soon be available for time-poor finance professionals

In brief

  • Online, self-paced flexible micro courses provide granular readily applicable content.
  • In-demand topics offered include data analytics and sustainability.
  • The course delivery involves readings, videos, real-life case studies and interactive workshops.

A new program of micro courses empowers finance professionals to quickly pick up knowledge and skills in fast-developing areas that they can apply right away in their work.

Online, flexible and self-paced — and taking between 4-6 hours to complete — they focus on topics that member feedback shows are in demand, such as data analytics and sustainability. 

“A lot of our members literally don’t have the time to do a traditional course,” says Simon Hann, Group Executive Education and Marketing at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ). “These micro courses are shorter and sharper with a more granular approach than some of our longer courses, so you get what you want faster without sacrificing quality.” 

We know that organisations are facing digital transformation challenges, which is why we’re focussing on the in-demand topics of data analytics and sustainability first. Accountants and finance professionals need to have data analytics skills to gain valuable insights that drive decision making. They also face pressure to cut carbon footprints and make a positive social impact, so need to improve their understanding of sustainability. 

“These micro courses are shorter and sharper with a more granular approach than some of our longer courses, so you get what you want faster without sacrificing quality.”
Simon Hann, Group Executive Education and Marketing at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. 

“The micro courses are not just a knowledge transfer,” Hann says. “They’re about people gaining the skills to take away and apply directly into their job. Different from our previous continuing professional development, the topics have a real future focus and are what members want right now.” 

The course content is for people who may have had some exposure to data analytics, for example, but aren’t an expert.

Having recently revamped the CA program and scanned the world for best-practice online learning, Hann’s team has adopted contemporary learning design. The delivery format involves a mixture of readings, videos, real-life case studies and practical examples that participants can work through, all designed to improve the depth and quality of the learning experience. 

Virtual workshops

Participants can also sign up to join a rolling schedule of virtual workshops, where they get access to experts and can collaborate with their peers. The workshops will be deliberately capped at a maximum of 25 participants each session, but to ensure everyone has an opportunity to sign up, CA ANZ will scale up the number of workshops offered to match demand. 

“They're designed to be very similar to an interactive workshop that you'd attend in person,” says Hann. “You might watch an expert panel discussion, have the opportunity to ask questions, then you go into breakout rooms to discuss certain points and come back and report to the group about your conclusions.” 

Once people have purchased a micro course, they have six months to complete it. They can choose to finish it during an intense one-day period or spread it over the six months.

Wider reach

Participants can start with an essentials course, a taste of the topic and then purchase a bundle of follow-on or related courses. Starting next year, they will also have the opportunity to go further, and by adding assessment, turn the micro courses into a micro credential. When stacked with other micro credentials, this could become a credit towards a postgraduate degree.

The micro courses are open to members and non-members. Even before the course launch, Hann received interest from employers in running micro courses in-house, as part of a workplace’s team training. 

“We would introduce examples and case studies specific to their workplace and also even hold tailored workshops,” he says. 

There’s an opportunity to expand their reach to other countries with interest from other Global Accounting Alliance Professional Accounting bodies.

CA ANZ Micro Courses

Designed to keep you ahead quickly and efficiently, Micro courses offer flexible and practical learning, to sharpen your future skills.

Find out more