- Education Design Lab will implement a two-year study and expanded pilot on the value of "mobility skills credentials" in hiring, particularly for historically underserved learners. The new initiative, called BadgedToHire, will build on the company’s current campaign that connects business and educators in order to design micro-credentials that validate the skills most in demand in today’s market.
- Three regions will begin the pilot program, coordinating with the University of Maine, San Jose State University and Central New Mexico Community College. The Lab will work with these educators and their employer partners over the next two years to study awareness and acceptance of digital credentials.
- The three institutions were chosen based on their extensive outreach into underserved communities including African American, Native American and Latinx populations as well as active duty military, veterans and students based in rural areas.
Self-taught workers — often workers in tech fields that are in high-demand — can have a hard time showcasing their skills and capabilities. Many employers have already turned away from GPA and college degrees as indicators of a worker's potential success, opening the door to non-traditionally trained workers; in turn, employers and learning providers are experimenting with digital credentialing and badges as a means to verify a person's abilities.
Collaborations between businesses, educators and government agencies have sprouted a number of similar pilot programs throughout the country regarding portable credentials. Credly announced a collaboration with the American Council on Education in 2017, and IBM started experimenting with digital badges that year to help employees demonstrate their gained skills. Even highly specialized skills, like agile project management, are starting to see the use of badges and other credentialing.
HR may be struggling to catch up to this new mode, a previous Allegis Group report showed; companies largely still rely on outmoded employment models, including in employee training and development, in a time that may require a more innovative approach, Allegis said.
A separate study by Intrepid noted that employers may be missing the mark, as far as learning programs go, either by investing in the wrong training or by doing little more than paying lip service to their programs. But, perhaps in response to rising demand, more industries are embracing forms of digital learning to meet demand, including companies in hourly workspaces such as food service and retail. Digital credentials, too, are helping employers and employees alike bridge the skills gap.