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Increase the Marketability of your Certification Program with Digital Badges

April 29, 2019

iStock-481350706Like many initiatives, a strong credentialing program can gain momentum, visibility, and recognition through the use of technology. Evolllution's guide to digital credentials discusses how everyone can benefit from digital badging:

"The increased interest in digital badging is now further reinforced by other broader market dynamics:

  1. The advancement of global collaborative and shared economies which brings heightened calls for transparency;

  2. Exponential technologies which are enabling expansive digital environments; and

  3. The desire to develop and recognize a common suite of global competencies, or 21st-century skills, to promote global talent migration."

Digital badges can transparently and succinctly communicate the value of your program to certified professionals and their employers. If you aren't already using digital credentialing, here are a few ways digital badges can support (and even grow) your certification program:

Digital badges increase the employability of professionals who complete your program.

As persistent skills gaps remain in the current labor market, hiring the right talent is critical to the success of businesses. As a certifying organization, you can help solve this problem and you can do it in a way that is mutually beneficial. 

According to CareerBuilder, 51% of employers are moving to competency-based micro-learning; digital credentials support this shift. If professionals obtain a credential demonstrating that they have a specific competency or skill, a digital badge can help employers find candidates with those specific skills or competencies through a quick LinkedIn or electronic job board search for certified professionals displaying this badge. Whether it's one badge or a whole collection of digital badges, potential employers and colleagues get the full picture of professional skills and accomplishments.

Since your certification offering is more easily searchable, and digital badges communicate the skills in your program more clearly, it’s easier to market and then get your program's certified professionals employed. And the more easily organizations can employ those certified professionals, the more your program’s value becomes recognizable and valuable to all parties.

Badges are highly visible.

Digital badges provide individuals with a high-tech recognition for the achievements they earned and their ability to succeed professionally. With a digital badge, earners can share their skills and achievements on professional networking and social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and their own websites. In fact, according to a recent LinkedIn study, LinkedIn profiles with certifications and badges are viewed six times more often than the average profile. 

You can see where this is headed – with certified professionals sharing their badges across social media channels, job boards, in their email signatures, and on their websites, the visibility of these badges multiplies. With your logo on the badge, your program is distributed across all of these channels. They're using your badge to help them get a job, and as the grantor of the badge, your program gets some great free marketing.

Digital Badges create a positive and secure experience.

Using digital badges also helps foster a great experience not only for employers looking to hire candidates from your certification program, but also for candidates receiving your program's credentials. From the collectability and shareability across social media to the gamification aspect of collecting and displaying badges, digital badges add a competitive and fun element to the professional world. This is even more important in a time when millennials are dominating the job market. Providing a technologically-advanced way to showcase their achievements is even more appealing to new generations in the workplace, so this increases the chances of these candidates completing your program.

Perhaps most importantly, the security of badges also instills confidence in all parties. Badges maintain sound technology through an infrastructure that uses shared and open technical standards, and each badge links to unique, verified data, making them more reliable, secure, and holistic than a traditional certificate or recitation on a resume. This positive experience encourages word-of-mouth accolades for your program to other potential candidates and organizations.

The need for certification is increasing as the global job market's demand for an up-to-date skills-based workforce and the demand for job-ready individuals increases. Digital badges provide credential issuers with opportunities to streamline the credentialing process while optimizing spend, growing awareness of their brand or program, increasing the employability of professionals certified with their credentials, and existing in the digital space with a badge that is recognizable and verified.

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Douglas M. Winneg Douglas M. Winneg is the Executive Vice President, PSI Services LLC. Doug has worked in the Academic and Certification Assessment space for 18 years. Both as head of the PSI Services Education group, and prior to that as CEO and founder of Software Secure, acquired by PSI in 2016, Doug has designed assessment systems and services with a single objective, to promote test integrity. As CEO of Software Secure, he was the designer of the company’s patented Securexam Lockdown technology and Remote Proctor products. Doug has lead the design of secure computer-based testing systems for higher education and K-12 online education programs and national certification providers in the United States, Canada, The Netherlands and The United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa. Doug received his J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from Swarthmore College.