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Digital Credentials: Fact Versus Fiction

Digital credentials are quickly becoming the standard record for learning, skills, and achievement. Credly has issued over 25 million digital credentials and given learners the power to own their own records of achievement. As the traditional four-year degree declines in popularity and skills-based hiring is quickly becoming the norm, it’s time to clear up exactly what a digital credential is (and isn’t). 

  • Digital credentials aren’t a gamified version of achievement. Digital badges (the visual representation of the skill learned to earn a credential) are well-designed and often reflect the brand that has issued them. But the badge itself is just the outward representation of a credential that has extensive metadata and learning behind it. While it's easy to share and view the badges, effective digital credentials aren't simply digital stickers that can be shared and swapped like baseball cards.
  • Digital credentials are a powerful tool for branding and marketing. Digital credentials lend themselves well to sharing on social media for several reasons. First, the digital badge itself is the perfect social media status update, and second, it allows the earner of the credential to #humblebrag about themselves in a way that isn’t obnoxious. For organizations that are issuing digital credentials, they’re a powerful marketing tool that generates free marketing buzz for the brand. 
  • Digital credentials aren’t self-reported. Whoever earns a credential had to prove that they know exactly what they said they know. Digital credentials are third-party verified by the issuing organization. 
  • Digital credentials are a data-rich tool for making informed hiring decisions. Organizations like Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft all rely on digital credentials to have an accurate and up-to-date snapshot of the skills of their workforce. Hiring is expensive, time-consuming, and laborious. Digital credentials allow the issuing organization to see exactly what skills their workforce has, and where they need to fill the gaps with learning and development. This allows for easy promotions or internal hires. 

If you’re interested in learning more about exactly what a digital credential is, and the impact they can have on your organization, download our new infographic, “What is a Digital Credential?” to learn more.