To truly understand what the future holds for education credentials one must first understand what they mean today and how human needs evolve. In the general sense, education credentials are documents that prove and highlight that a person has successfully achieved to complete a seminar, course, degree or a diploma program of such. They are either printed on paper or instances of digital documents such as certificates, badges, or diplomas.
Are they important, and if so, why?
As progress in academic life is becoming increasingly important in finding jobs, credentials are now considered the ultimate tool of that educational and academic qualification. Why is that important? What the business world is trying to do with this approach is to determine the necessary skills for their operations, so they put their trust in the credentials. They believe that these documents show and document the proficiency gained by achieving the qualifications of the educational activity that they represent. So, eventually these documents became a necessity for everyone who is seeking a job.
But do they really fulfill their role?
Unfortunately, no. Any credential that is created in a traditional way has some limitations to it. They often give the mere overview or the title of the educational activity they are given for but not much else. The business world is looking for a way to assess the skill sets of the individuals and the best that they can get is how much that credential is offering. So, by giving only shallow information, they fail this role that the world is expecting of them.
What about the future?
As I briefly mentioned, the future of any concept is highly dependent on the human needs. This is why the credentials have been the subject to certain changes in the recent years. There have been some new solutions to make them more useful and more to those needs. In this sense, credentials are becoming more informative about the educational content they are associated with. For example, the “Smart Certificate” concept by Sertifier, provides detailed information about course content, skills that are gained after completion of that program, course instructor, hours spent, etc. These make it possible to understand the capabilities of any person in a very specific area, which is very valuable for human resources management. That is why the business world wants to identify these information beforehand.
This is made possible by making them available online. Holding that much information on a piece of paper does not always guarantee a valid value added; however, when they are traceable and easily accessible on a digital platform, they create immense possibilities.
So, it is safe to say that this is a preview of the future. A future where your college degrees are handed to you as digital credentials, in which all of your college life, skills, and experience is stored. You will not bear the burden of promoting yourself and explaining what you can; your documents will do it for you. They will do it with such certainty that the business world will achieve the lowest skill-to-job friction, which will have a huge economic impact.