In a recent survey, 40% of employers said that a specific skill is only usable for four years or less. While certain skills are evergreen, like communication or analytical reasoning, this perception of a short shelf-life of skills reflects the changing expectations of the workplace and calls for even more transparency of competency and context for making hiring decisions.
This new marketplace of potential hiring signals is on full display in a new count of credentials by Credential Engine, which identified 738,428 unique credentials in the U.S. issued by colleges and universities, massive open online course (MOOC) providers, non-academic organizations, and secondary schools. While about half of these are credentials offered by postsecondary institutions, nearly as many are credentials from non-academic organizations, including nearly 200,000 digital credentials, often issued by employers to recognize the skills of their workforce.
These digital credentials offer insights into the distinct, granular abilities of an individual, giving a clear picture of what they know and can do. Employers increasingly rely on these indicators of skill when hiring and promoting internal talent. Over half of employers would hire a candidate with an industry certification but no college degree, which would infer that a certification may hold as much weight as a traditional four-year degree in the workforce. These certifications and similar digital credentials offered by employers will only grow in transferability and value as credentials become more transparent and readily available to earn.