How Monetizing Digital Credentials Can Take Your Credentialing Program to The Next Level

    As organizations and learners increasingly recognize the value of digital credentials, exploring monetization opportunities for digital credentials can elevate your program to new heights and drive revenue. Discover successful models, key advantages, and sustainable best practices.
    calendar-plus-01 February 23, 2024
    user-circle Credly Team
    Program Manager strategizing badge monetization for enhanced success

    In today’s professional landscape, alternative credentials have become increasingly popular to enhance and demonstrate skills development and work readiness. 

    These alternative credentials encompass various forms, including digital badges, microcredentials, and industry or professional certifications. As organizations and learners increasingly appreciate the value of these diverse credentials, the focus on exploring monetization opportunities becomes imperative.

    In fact, an average of $1.7 million in gross revenue was generated from alternative credentials, reported by 25 institutions in the Alternative Credentials Business and Program Models study

    This factsheet specifically delves into the benefits and strategic considerations associated with monetizing digital credentials, offering insights that can elevate your program and drive revenue for your organization.

    The Emergence of Digital Credentials

    Upskilling and reskilling have become global agenda in recent years, especially with the rise of AI.  Individuals and business leaders are looking for ways to prepare for the future. It was reported that most US workers plan to upskill in 2024. A similar trend can be found in the UK, with 52% willing to invest in learning and development in their own time.

    As the demand for upskilling and reskilling grows, individuals are not only eager to develop new skills but also seek ways to verify, share, and witness tangible outcomes from their learning endeavors. In response to this multifaceted need, digital credentials have emerged as a pivotal solution. Among students and recent graduates surveyed in the US, 86% agreed that earning an industry micro-credential will help them stand out to employers and get a job after graduation. 

    Learners are recognizing the tangible benefits of digital credentials, presenting providers with a significant opportunity to align their offerings with this growing demand. Beyond enhancing value for learners, digital credentials can also empower providers to bolster financial sustainability through diverse monetization strategies.

    Strategy for Monetizing Digital Credentials

    Monetizing digital credentials refers to generating revenue by leveraging their value. By strategically implementing monetization strategies, programs can reduce operating costs or create an additional revenue stream for your organization. Common monetization strategies include:

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    Certification fees

    Organizations can offer the course for free and charge a nominal fee for learners to earn digital credentials per course, creating extra revenue for the program.
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    One-time fee

    Organizations can charge a one-time fee for learners to obtain multiple digital credentials, encouraging learners to explore new courses and training opportunities while creating a steady stream of income.
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    Upselling additional resources

    Programs can offer paid supplementary materials and advanced courses to learners with digital credentials, enabling skill development and generating additional revenue.

    Key Benefits of Badge Monetization

    Revenue generation 

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    Monetizing digital badges establishes a new source of income by charging learners for earning valuable badges.

    $1.7 million in gross revenue with a median of $833,000 were generated from alternative credentials (reported by 25 institutions in the Alternative Credentials Business and Program Models study)

    Pictogram-RGB-Fresh Green_Professional trainingCost efficiency

    Implementing a fee for learners to receive badges can improve the cost efficiency of issuing organizations while granting learners the flexibility to choose whether they want to pay for the badges.


    Pictogram-RGB-Fresh Green_Tree1Sustainability

    Monetizing badges ensures the financial viability of your credentialing program, covering development, maintenance, and infrastructure costs.


    Pictogram-RGB-Fresh Green_White paper report1Increased Investment

    Revenue from badge monetization can be reinvested to enhance content quality and the learning experience, allowing the development of new programs and badges.

    Boosting Revenue and Program Quality at the University of South Florida

    Initially, the DEI course provided by the University of South Florida (USF) was freely accessible to all learners. However, the program’s unexpected success necessitated funding for its sustainability.

    To address this, the course remained free, but learners who desired digital badges could opt to pay a nominal fee. The Customer Success Team from Credly collaborated with the USF Office of Corporate Training and Professional Education (CTPE) to establish a seamless implementation of badge payment. USF CTPE is now expanding its offerings with paid-for badges within their offerings, paving the way for a pioneering model that combines free content with paid credentials.

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    Best Practices to Secure Success and Longevity

    To ensure the success and longevity of your monetization initiatives, consider the following best practices:

    • User-Friendly Experience: Ensure a seamless and intuitive process for earning and displaying digital credentials by investing in a robust platform like Credly.This enhances value perception, encourages recommendations, and supports user satisfaction.

    • Data Analytics and Reporting:  Leverage analytics tools like the Credly analytics dashboard, to gather insights on learner behavior, engagement, and the effectiveness of monetization strategies, enabling data-driven decision-making.

    • Marketing and Promotion: Develop a comprehensive strategy to raise awareness of your digital credentials. Customize Credly Acclaim’s marketing materials, such as flyers, guidelines, video tutorials, and FAQs, to promote your program effectively.

    • Continuous Evaluation: Regularly assess the effectiveness of monetization strategies based on learner feedback, market trends, and financial performance. Adjustments should be made accordingly to ensure ongoing success.

    Want to learn more?

    Strategically implementing monetization strategies for digital credentials can bring numerous long-term benefits to your program. Contact our sales team today to discover the full range of benefits that digital credentials can offer you.



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