Association’s key role in the new workplace: Recognizing Soft Skills with Digital Badges

    Explore the vital role associations play in cultivating sought-after soft skills for the evolving workplace. From tailored learning to digital badges, discover how they enhance members' achievements and shape the future of professional development.
    user-circle Credly Team
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    Association member showcasing newfound presentation skills following the acquisition of digital credentials

    In the fast-paced world of modern work, change is the only constant. With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, a technological revolution is reshaping the workforce, creating new opportunities and roles.

    Today’s jobs require not just technical proficiency but also a raft of soft skills. Opportunities are emerging thanks to how ‘soft’ or ‘human’ skills such as emotional intelligence and empathy distinguish humans from AI systems.

    Deloitte reports that soft skill-intensive jobs will account for almost two-thirds of all jobs by 2030. Moreover, a study by LinkedIn found that 92% of hiring professionals believe that soft skills are just as important as hard skills, while only 37% of employers feel their entry-level employees have the necessary soft skills to succeed.

    Clearly, there needs to be a sea change in how individuals develop and showcase their soft skills. This blog explores the pivotal role that associations can play in not only enhancing members’ soft skills and achievements but also validating them and how the implementation of digital badges is crucial.

    The Challenges of Traditional Skill Validation

    Traditional methods of soft skill validation face several challenges, from inconsistent subjective assessments to the lack of proof of proficiency in specific skills. Here’s why:

    • Lack Of Standardization & Tangible Proof: Traditional methods like listing skills on resumes or discussing them in interviews lack tangible proof of proficiency. Subjective assessments can lead to inconsistencies in evaluating skills across different contexts and assessors, causing bias and missed opportunities.
    • Difficulty in Differentiating Candidates: In competitive job markets, it can be challenging for candidates to stand out based solely on their resumes and interviews. Recruiters often struggle to differentiate candidates based on traditional credentials alone.

    The Key Role Associations Play

    The intricate tapestry of skills demanded in today's dynamic landscape requires more than technical prowess, emphasizing the significance of soft skills. Navigating this terrain, associations serve as navigators, charting a course for their members and learners to cultivate and exhibit these essential skills. Here are the multifaceted ways in which associations empower individuals to hone and showcase their sought-after soft skills:

    • Tailored learning experiences: Associations have the flexibility to create targeted learning opportunities that address specific industry needs, fostering both technical and soft skills.
    • Collaborative learning: The community aspect of associations promotes collaborative learning, encouraging members to share insights and experiences to foster well-rounded growth.
    • Partnerships and networking: Associations can, through close collaboration with industry experts, academic institutions, and other associations, bring diverse perspectives and expertise into the learning process. They can also facilitate networking events where members can practice their soft skills in real-world scenarios.
    • Leveraging technological advancements: By using digital credentials, associations can focus on a broader range of skills and achievements, including soft skills and project management prowess.

    Digital Badges as A Way to Validate Soft Skills

    Digital badges provide a standardized and objective way to assess and validate soft skills. As they are based on specific criteria set by professional associations, they reduce subjectivity in skill evaluation. Key benefits to association members include:

    • Credibility and trust: Unlike traditional methods, digital badges offer tangible proof of an individual's skills. When backed by reputable associations, they lend credibility to members' claims of possessing specific soft skills, and employers trust these verified endorsements.
    • Portfolio of skills: Members can display various soft skills badges, showcasing their versatility and ability to excel in various areas beyond technical expertise.
    • Differentiation: In a crowded job market, badge-verified soft skills set members apart from other candidates who merely list skills on their resumes without validation.
    • Networking Advantage: Digital badges facilitate connection with other badge earners online, leading to valuable professional relationships, potential collaborations, partnerships or even job opportunities. This is especially true when digital credentials transcend geographical boundaries, allowing members to connect with like-minded individuals worldwide.

    Future Directions

    As the requirement for well-rounded professionals increases, associations can lead the way in recognizing and nurturing their members’ and learners’ soft skills. By implementing digital badges, they can enhance member achievements and shape the future of professional development with a comprehensive and forward-thinking approach to skills recognition.

    To explore how digital credentials can enhance your learners’ and members’ soft skills, schedule a demo now.

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