The Power of Verified Skills: Fueling Upskilling Strategies in the AI Era

    Discover how AI and automation are reshaping the workplace, driving the need for new skill sets. Explore the role of digital credentials in upskilling programs, ensuring verified skills for success in an evolving business landscape.
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    A woman reviewing upskilling opportunities that offer digital badges for skill verification

    Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are catalysts of rapid transformation, reshaping workplaces and the skills required for success. A recent Deloitte and Fortune CEO survey found 96% of companies are already implementing or likely to implement generative AI to accelerate innovation and efficiency.

    With this comes a widening skills gap, and traditional upskilling programs are struggling to keep up. For human resources (HR) and learning and development (L&D) leaders, pinpointing the right skills to develop is a constant challenge.

    As workforce skill needs shift, digital credentials can help employers and employees navigate this new landscape.

    AI Requires Evolving Skill Sets

    As technology automates routine tasks, employees have greater opportunity for creative, analytical and strategic work. With this comes the need for new skill sets.

    In fact, a World Economic Forum report estimates that by 2030, 44% of workers’ skills will be disrupted; by 2027, six in ten staff members will require training.

    Professionals who can extract insights from data and craft data-driven strategies will find themselves even more in demand in the coming years. For most employees, a basic understanding of how AI works, and how to work with, will be crucial.

    At the same time, AI disruption is also driving an increased demand for skills that are decidedly human in nature. According to Pearson research, the top five skills that future employers will covet are all soft skills:

    1. Collaboration
    2. Customer focus
    3. Personal learning & mastery
    4. Achievement focus
    5. Cultural and social intelligence

    Faced with the urgency to future-proof their workforce, HR and L&D leaders are increasingly turning to upskilling to address skills gaps.

    Upskilling as a Win-Win for Employees and Organizations

    Successful programs benefit both the organization and its employees. Companies reap the rewards of reduced hiring costs, a positive workplace culture and increased productivity. Some 93% of CEOs who have introduced advanced workforce upskilling programs report increases in productivity and talent retention.

    For the workforce, upskilling is a powerful tool for personal and professional development. It gives employees:

    • Greater job security: Individuals safeguard their careers by developing skills that complement, rather than compete with, AI and automation.
    • Paths to advancement: Employees can unlock leadership opportunities and take their careers to the next level.
    • Personal growth: Taking on new challenges, broadening knowledge and finding satisfaction in continuous learning help employees find increased fulfillment in their careers

    Ultimately, these initiatives not only empower individuals to thrive but also position the organization for sustained success in an ever-evolving business landscape. Through upskilling initiatives, organizations can enhance productivity, bolster job security, and create pathways for career advancement within their workforce. Additionally, fostering employees' ability to adapt to change and facilitating their personal growth and fulfillment contributes to a positive organizational culture. [Discover more real-life examples of positive business outcomes experienced by Credly customers in our factsheet]

    Challenges of Upskilling Programs Without Verified Skills

    However, an upskilling program is only as good as the data it’s based on. Traditional upskilling programs based on subjective information may fail when they don't prioritize verified skills with digital credentials. This risks leaving organizations with:

    • Inaccurate assessment: Paper certifications lack the depth to capture the complex skills needed by an AI-driven workforce. Digital badges provide more insight into the diversity of skills acquired through upskilling.
    • Outdated skills mapping: Without data, organizations struggle to identify gaps to target in the rapidly changing AI environment.
    • Misaligned training: Verified skills with data from digital credentials ensure training programs address real needs.
    • Reduced agility: A workforce lacking easily verifiable skills makes it difficult to pivot training programs and adapt to challenges.

    Digital Credentials: The Power of Skill Verification

    In upskilling programs driven by verifiable skills, digital credentials play a critical role. These trusted electronic representations provide secure, easily verifiable proof of an individual’s skills and competencies.

    Digital credentials provided by Credly present distinct features that simplify and enhance the verification of skills, setting them apart from traditional certificates:

    • Easy sharing and verification: Digital credentials can be effortlessly shared across platforms and validated by employers with a few clicks.
    • Rich metadata: The metadata in digital credentials includes detailed information about the specific skills acquired.
    • Tagging capabilities: Skill tags provided by the badge issuer quickly summarize an individual’s proficiencies in various areas.
    • Open standards: Adherence to standards like the Open Badges specification ensures seamless compatibility across learning platforms for a consistent verification.
    • Blockchain integration: Blockchain technology enhances trust by creating tamper-proof records backed by decentralized storage.
    • Verifiable expiration dates: Time-limited badges encourage ongoing learning and prevent outdated certifications.

    As automation reshapes the future of work, an upskilling strategy focused on verifiable skill development maps success in an AI-powered world. Skill verification through digital credentials with platforms like Credly will be crucial to addressing the widening skills gap and empowering employees and organizations alike. To learn more, talk to our sales team.

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