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From CV to DC – 5 Reasons why digital credentials are the next generation


8 May 2017:


Richard Whitson, Academy Business Development Manager, Azlan + Technology Solutions, UK, explains why digital credentials or badges are the future when it comes to acknowledgement of skills and experience.

Richard Whiston

Love it or hate it, a CV (Curriculum Vitæ, which means ‘course of life’ in Latin) is the recognised method of identifying an individual’s achievements and qualifications.  The document is typically accompanied by copies of certificates showing the results of examinations taken and passed. However, in recent years, with an increased use of online CVs, there is a new kid on the block in the form of digital credentials or badges. 

Digital credentials are a digital acknowledgement of a whole range of achievements, such as completing a course, participating in a project, creating an app and of course passing an exam or achieving a certification.  Most importantly, digital credentials have a far wider audience than a CV as digital badges can be posted on an individual’s or corporate LinkedIn profile and be used on a broader scale for social marketing.

Here are five reasons why digital credentials are here to stay and will play a significant supporting role in next generation technology:  

1)         Vendors are committed to digital credentials – the majority of vendors Azlan Technology Solutions works with have their own badging schemes with PearsonVue co-ordinating schemes for multiple vendors, in the same way as for certification.  Vendors and individuals are viewing digital credentials as an advantage.  For example, IBM found that 50% of badge earners returned for a second badge, as they saw the value of the IBM Open Badge scheme to their working lives and careers. 

2)         Quantify skills and visually display differentiation – digital credentials are a very visual acknowledgement of skills and experience.  By posting them on social media, individuals, and the companies they work for, benefit from greater reach and the “me too” effect.  This is when others will want to earn badges to bolster their own social presence.  As a reward for greater awareness of skills, client confidence grows.  While clients expect partners to have verifiable skills, digital credentials help to build trust and confidence in a chosen supplier. 

3)         Keep skills current and builds brand loyalty – digital badges can be used as a stepping stone to full certification with improved pass rates.  When IBM completed a quick study in one area of its business, test takers who had completed badge activities to prepare them for an exam, found their pass rates increased 58% versus those who did not earn progression badges along the way.  As mentioned before, badge earners tend to return for more, therefore, building brand loyalty for the company while widening the skill base for the chosen technology and driving more opportunities for the channel. 

4)         Reduce staff turnover and attrition - it’s not all about exams – how many times have you hired someone with the perfect CV only to discover they have little or no practical experience or common sense?  Because digital credentials acknowledge a broad spectrum of CV-worthy activities they provide a more accurate picture of potential candidates.  Skills are no longer just about qualifications but need to include experience and expertise. Badges can help identify whether someone has a broad and shallow knowledge versus a narrow and deep understanding in a certain area – there are places for both but they need to be assigned to the right tasks and the differences acknowledged.   

5)         The benefits of digital credentials being monetized – we have already talked about how more visual digital badges are and the ease with which they can be shared on social media - saving valuable marketing budget.  However, probably the most effective method of valuing digital credentials is by measuring the decrease in support calls.  If you can involve your customers in the scheme, there should be a visible reduction in support calls, which are typically related to a lack of education and training. A win - win result all round.

Hopefully by now you are asking, ‘how can my organisation get involved with digital credentials or badges?’ The answer is easy – simply contact the Academy team.  Vendors have multiple badges and deciding which will be most valuable to your business can be challenging. It’s a good idea to put a specific programme together and this is where the Academy team can help.  Remember, you may already have the skills and experience to register for digital credentials straight away.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Find out more by contacting the Avnet training team today on +44 (0)1344 355 866 or by email at Academy.uk@avnet.com.

 

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