Digital Credentials: 7 Reasons Why Colleges Need to Offer Them


Traditional paper-based degree programs are costly and take time. Digital credentials cost less and let employers see that the candidate has the skill to do the job. They give colleges options to create revenue and increase enrollment. Read these 7 points about how digital credentials create better degrees, pathways, and records. 


Digital Credentials Can Lead to Better Degrees

First, digital credentials let colleges show their courses are up to date. Leaders can break traditional degree programs into micro-credentials. Learners complete micro-credentials to earn a badge. Participants earn a badge to show a single skill, like lab safety. Badges can be combined to create a digital credential, like for a lab technician supervisor program. Thus, they can be used by schools to add the latest research discoveries or new laws to keep the topic up to date. Also, these learning bytes let schools swap outdated content on the fly. Micro courses reassure learners that they are getting the best degree for the workforce.


Better Records

Besides that, they give degree programs a portability traditional paper programs do not have. Many achievements are locked in databases that learners cannot access. Therefore, they let people review a learner’s records. Job prospects can share their achievements with employers. Paper degrees have some cons. They get lost. Paper certificates can be faked. In addition, digital records reduce the propping up of academic records.


Digital Credentials Provide Better Security

Yes, digital records are more secure than paper records. Most importantly, digital credentials survive if a school closes. Verifiable records are still available. Digital credentials built on blockchain offer access in a variety of situations. Yes, this cloud-based system offers better protection against data loss and learner access. In addition, they are easy to verify. Sophisticated providers give learners a QR code to add to their resumes. Potential employers scan the code to view the applicant’s skills. Likewise, schools can view the incoming student’s needs.


Better Decisions

Most importantly, digital credentials help deans make better decisions about course offerings. They leave a data trail. This data gives colleges insight into which courses are performing and which are floundering. Leaders can decide where to invest and where to cut with confidence. Also, this data lets colleges predict course timing with greater accuracy. Plus, this data helps schools look at the pipeline of students who will need the course and when. Furthermore, schools can consistently promote courses in a certain way. Students can take a course as it fits their schedule rather than waiting for it. 


Digital Credentials Help to Improve Enrollment Numbers

Also, colleges with digital offerings get more students. Last year, enrollment in short-term credential classes increased by 70%. Colleges continue to face enrollment declines. Micro-credentials bring learners like professionals to the classroom. They take a course. A digital record exists. Then the student comes back. Upskilling and digital credentials play well together. Colleges that reduce larger courses into smaller credentials win because they can increase enrollment numbers.


Better Relationships

Also, micro-credentials help schools build better relationships with students. Traditional processes are time intensive. They are expensive. Paper records have many limitations. Therefore, learners move between learning institutions throughout their lives. Over a lifetime, it is easy to lose track of achievement records. Here, digital credentials earn their keep. Students do not have to keep track of certificates for the myriad of courses they completed. Everything is in one place. Colleges can partner with students for the duration of their careers.


Digital Credentials Support Better Partnerships

Likewise, schools can build better relationships with businesses. Schools have an evergreen pipeline of students. Businesses have a robust partner willing to upskill the workforce. In addition, schools can grow with a business and a learner. Besides that, all sectors can offer them. Financial, nonprofit, health, and IT sectors use digital credentials now. Colleges have the opportunity to partner with these industries to create digital credentials.


In sum, digital credentials offer colleges opportunities. Schools with a willingness to give digital credentials get access to more students. Most importantly, these schools gain a powerful decision-making tool that enables them to save costs. Colleges need to pursue digital credentials as a way to build long-term relationships with students and businesses. 


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