Validating Credentials is Key

February 7, 2018

Takeaways

It is foolish to think that one’s education is complete once their traditional schooling has finished.
We're using blockchain technology to disrupt the world of education certificates and badges, making them unfakeable.

Economic mobility rests on the opportunities that individuals are granted or seek out. Education plays a big part of that, which is why many professionals are now looking for continuous ways to improve their skillsets and keep up with the fast pace of change that we’re seeing across industries.

Easily accessible, traditionally cost-effective, and decidedly less time-intensive, online courses are becoming more prevalent and a lot more attractive to the employee. Although name-brand schools still seem to hold court in hiring practices, perceptions around online learning are slowly changing. 

Unfortunately a big problem remains: people can and do lie about their credentials.

So how do you skirt the lie and ensure quality?

For some time it’s been possible to issue highly secure, verifiable digital credentials. But even with highly secure, verifiable credentials, fraud is still a real concern of employers. Now, new technological advancements in the credentialing world have made it possible to issue credentials that are “unfakeable,” meaning employers can trust in their authenticity even if they aren’t familiar with the issuing institution.

This new technology relies on the blockchain. Most people hear the word blockchain and think it means the same as bitcoin. If you watch this video, you’ll see that blockchain is different. It is a groundbreaking new technology.

The blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of transactions; a network of computers that permanently and securely log transactions of any type. Using blockchain technology prevents the tampering of the records in question, enabling individuals and organizations to verify the transactions that take place.

Media outlets everywhere are writing about the industries that blockchain will disrupt with this new ability. The world of education certificates and badges is one of them.

If blockchain is used by an issuing organizing of online educational certificates and badges, it is indisputable that the education took place. HR departments can trust in the technology and know a credential is legitimate.

This is good news, because the future is continuous learning, and we need to remain nimble as needs continue to change. It is foolish to think that one’s education is complete once their traditional schooling has finished. It’s also foolish to not recognize that credential verification is a key component in this new paradigm.

To succeed in using online learning to close the skills gap and help fortify the current workforce needs, it must be a group effort between educators, business, and employees.  

Many employers are recognizing this need for authenticating online education – creating employment directories like our company and the nonprofit Credential Engine have.

Continuing to push aside the stigma of online courses and embracing an attitude of credible learning is key. We’re getting there.