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Digital Credentials: The Next Disruptive Revolution in Education & Recruitment?
Digital Credentials have the potential to transform how we attain, share & utilise qualifications in our personal & professional lives. Read the blog...
“I foresee in 5 to 10 years any time you apply for a professional job a potential employer will look for your digital identity – your professional record.”
Digital credentials are being touted as the next disruptive revolution in education and recruitment. They have the potential to transform the way we interact with qualifications; how we attain, share and utilise them in our personal and professional lives.
The catch-all term 'digital credentials' which encompasses badges, achievements and qualifications are defined as: 'validated online indicators of accomplishments, skills, qualities or interests’.
It's important, however, to make a distinction between credentials and badges as they are not interchangeable.
Digital credentials are simply digital versions of traditional, pre-existing qualifications (e.g. university degree) but badges can be created from scratch by any company or organisation to recognise a specific achievement within that company - this means they have no legitimacy outside of the organisation that created it and can't be transferred to another job. That is until an agreed comparability framework is established between different organisations.
What is the disruptive potential?
The potential for digital credentials to disrupt the training and recruitment industries is huge. There are hundreds of business processes that can be improved as a result of implementing this technology. Some specific examples include:
- Massive reduction in paperwork and red tape as recruitment and training becomes more digitised.
- Vastly improved transferability of credentials at every level for institutions, employers, students and professionals alike.
- Automated credential recognition means reduced bureaucratic inconveniences for learners and institutions.
- With proper verification infrastructure in place, the threat of employment fraud is significantly reduced.
- Digital credentials can be acquired in a modular format which results in a more flexible and engaging learning experience for the student.
- Gives an added edge to headhunters who can use them to find employees with specific skills and competencies.
- Makes education and training more engaging for younger people through gamification.
What are the barriers to implementation?
The technologies that are required to start rolling out digital credentials are mostly operational. The major hurdles that need to be negotiated are issues surrounding cost, security, reliability and comparability. Some specific examples are:
- Getting digital credentials accepted and recognised as valid qualifications, involves branding, investment in infrastructure to deliver the credentials, government regulations and distribution mechanisms.
- Establishing trusted delivery mechanisms which require building up a reputation.
- Developing rigorous security frameworks to eliminate any chances of fraud.
- Negotiating comparability issues, for example, if I earn a bachelor's degree in media studies in an American college what is it worth if I use it to apply to a French university course? The global nature of digital credentials means that we need to create a standardised system of comparability measurements.
How does the delivery method work?
The flowchart below describes the current delivery method for approving digital badges. As you can see there are safeguards in place to prevent badges from being awarded fraudulently. The institution that creates the badge decides what evidence is required and also who has the authority to review and approve that evidence.
As we have discussed previously, digital credentials represent a major shake-up of both the recruitment and training landscapes. One of the major roadblocks preventing the wider adoption of this new technology is the fact that there aren't any trusted delivery systems in place.
tahdah is a software as a service platform that connects students, instructors and awarding bodies in one online space. Every day we help thousands of people fulfil their training commitments; both professionally and recreationally. What makes us different, however, is our dedication to verification and transparency.
From day one we have built our software around these principles in order to protect the legitimacy and integrity of our customer's awards and training records. That means that every qualification or award earned through tahdah is 100% verified.
This is why we are adamant in our belief that the emergence of digital credentials synergises with our platform in a multitude of ways.
Firstly, for people who are earning these credentials, what are they looking for? They want immediacy, they want reliable validation of what they’ve done, and they don’t want to have the paper stamped and sent someplace. They want a digital version of their credentials that’s authentic, reliable, transferable and understood to be authentic - tahdah can provide this service.
On the other hand, what are organisations looking for? They want to quickly and easily validate incoming students’ credentials. They care that students are presenting them accurate and reliable credentials with a minimum of bureaucratic obstacles - again, tahdah can provide this service.
We want to be at the forefront of the digital credential revolution. We are positioning our platform to make sure that we build our reputation as an efficient, popular and, most importantly, trusted delivery system.
If you would like to find out how our software can transform your organisation please contact our team using this link.