University of Phoenix has announced an innovative alliance with Credly, the world’s largest digital credential network, to allow students to generate and share proof of verified, career-relevant skills. Alongside its degree program development work with EMSI Burning Glass, teaming up with Credly to provide skills-aligned digital badging is yet another way that the University is ensuring its learners have access to employment opportunities.

What Are Digital Credentials?

Whether on or offline, credentials acknowledge an individual’s achievements and act as proof of qualification, competence and skills. Today, digital badges are a common way to showcase, access and verify accomplishments online.

Additionally, including skill tags with digital badges helps identify the skills that a candidate has demonstrated to achieve a credential. Digital badges have become ever more popular among higher education learners, allowing them to accumulate verifiable online credentials to better serve them as they embark on their career paths.

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Since its founding in 1976, University of Phoenix has dedicated itself to providing degree programs mapped to careers, offering curriculum and learning outcomes relevant to current workplace requirements and improving students’ and graduates’ chances to thrive in the world of employment. Now, through its collaboration with Credly, the University is offering a new way for students to share their skills and evidence of learning experiences.

Credly: The Common Language of Verified Skills

Credly hosts a digital credential network that connects users and helps them share their knowledge, abilities and skills. Through the specialist platform, individuals can share badges to the blockchain, which is a digital record of transactions securely linked and distributed to a network of computers. Once added, stored data verifies the validity of the badges, with the result being a profile of portable, trusted, digital credentials accessible to both learners and potential employers.

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CEO of Credly, Jonathan Finkelstein, believes that people can better realize their full potential in the labor market if they are able to present reliable, valid and real-time proof of their abilities.

A Pearson business, Credly makes talent more visible and opportunity more accessible. The organization works with over 2,000 employers, certification programs, workforce development initiatives and training organizations to attract and retain talent, verify the credentials of prospective employees, address skills gaps and provide data-driven insights about workforces.

Additionally, since its launch in 2012, Credly has issued in excess of 50 million professional credentials to over 25 million people, helping them boost their online professional profiles and maximize their chances of securing their ideal roles.

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Preparing Learners for the Labor Market

Through its unmatched global network of credential issuers and leading organizations, Credly is now helping University of Phoenix students translate their learning experiences into employment opportunities.

John Woods, Ph.D., provost and chief academic officer, stated that the University is proud of its highly collaborative work with the network. He explained that this agreement will help align students’ degrees and courses with the skills employers are seeking and bridge the gap between what students learn in the classroom and what they need to know in the workplace.

Woods added that the tools and resources Credly has provided will prove invaluable to students, who now have the means to transform the skills and knowledge attained during their higher education into verifiable digital credentials, meaning they can “Career with Confidence™”.

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Finkelstein acknowledged the University’s efforts to help learners and employers better connect by “advancing the vision of a world where opportunities connect with skilled talent – equitably, efficiently, and at scale”.

A Career-Aligned Approach to Higher Education

Advancing the accessibility of digital credentials is yet another step the University has taken toward helping ensure its students are graduating career ready. Prior to its relationship with Credly, the University collaborated extensively with EMSI Burning Glass, a leader in labor market analysis, to prioritize skills-based learning for students. This collaboration involved using data about workplace trends and requirements to actively align program coursework with the skills employers are seeking.

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By analyzing data from government labor sources and job postings, EMSI develops algorithms to identify current, in-demand skills. The University uses this information, as well as counsel from its experienced  faculty and feedback from industry advisory  councils, during program and curriculum development to embed these skills into learning outcomes.

For example, the University has tied its Leading Change course in the Master of Business Administration program to the skills shown as integral to employers. Research showed a need for business professionals who know how to build healthy workplace cultures, so this is a skill integrated within the course with a related assignment. Students can use the work on this assignment to demonstrate to employers that they understand how to lead change through organizational culture.

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Digital badging is the recent culmination of this skill-mapping process, and students’ progress is now visible through their Credly profile dashboard. They can display their skills across multiple online platforms including social media and resumes as proof of learning. Woods is confident that the University’s innovative approach to seamlessly tying skills-aligned degree program content to digital credentials will empower its learners.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continuously striving to advance the educational goals of adult and nontraditional learners, supporting students who are navigating degree programs and career options in a fast-evolving world. The University’s degree programs link to hundreds of sought-after career paths including those in nursing, business and cybersecurity. The University provides flexible start dates, relevant courses, interactive learning and scholarship opportunities to make it possible for anyone to earn the degree they need. For no additional charge, the University’s Career Services for Life® program helps active students and graduates better pursue career. Learn more about University of Phoenix.

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