In recent years, skills-over-degree hiring has been sweeping through some of the world’s leading tech brands including Google, Apple, and Microsoft. IBM is another big contributor to this change, having coined the term ‘new collar jobs’ for roles that require specific skills rather than a specific level of education. This was reflected in IBM’s hiring practices, and saw the percentage of open jobs requiring a four-year-degree drop to under half in January 2021, down from 95% in 2011. As more organizations see the benefit of hiring based on skill, candidates notice this hiring change and are excited for the opportunities this creates. 

What is learning momentum?

Learning momentum is the motivation candidates have to pursue continuous education. Candidates enroll or sign-up to a training program or certification to gain knowledge or skills based on their desire for a certain role or on instruction from their employer. After completing their first program and earning their first certificate of completion award or digital credential, learning momentum is the motivation that the candidate feels to find a follow-on course that will develop their skills further. Alternatively, they may find a supplementary course that allows them to develop additional skills relevant to their role or ideal career path. On average, we see candidates earning between three and four credentials each. As certification programs become more accessible, this number could soon increase. 

Why is learning momentum important?

Candidate eligibility is changing. As previously mentioned, some of the leading tech names are already placing a greater emphasis on skills-over-degree hiring. The barriers that were increasingly keeping candidates away from higher education, like cost and time, are less restrictive in professional certification and training. Employers are also seeing a greater demand for internal learning and development. They are more inclined to offer training through MOOCs (massive open online courses) and dedicated training providers which are more cost and time effective compared to traditional higher education degrees.

Learning momentum is important because it keeps candidates motivated and excited on their learning journey. The more they can develop their skill sets and expand their knowledge, the more opportunities they create for themselves. Sometimes this motivation comes about, not just for the potential career opportunities created, but simply because the candidate has an affinity for knowledge and is keen to keep learning throughout their life.

How do digital credentials promote learning momentum?

Digital credentials promote learning momentum by making it easier for candidates to identify learning pathways. Digital credentials contain all the details of the issuer and link directly to the issuer website, enabling candidates to easily navigate and browse the available programs. Dedicated credential pages now feature a ‘Suggested Credentials' tab which candidates and third-party users can explore to find additional relevant credentials. 

Suggested Credentials Page View

Issuers can create groupings of relevant courses that appear on the dedicated digital credential page. Once the candidate earns their credential, they can see what the next recommended credential is immediately from their credential as indicated by the issuer. Issuers can also include a link to enroll on the next recommended credential within the credential email. This ensures that the candidate will see this when they open and engage with their credential and increase the likelihood they will keep learning. 

Credential Delivery Email Example Screenshot

Digital credentials promote learning momentum by increasing visibility into the next recommended steps for candidates. As an earnable, shareable award, digital credentials also promote learning momentum by providing a dopamine boost on delivery. Candidates are proud of their achievement and receiving their digital credentials is not only exciting, but a career-advancing moment that they are keen to celebrate. 

How can issuers further promote learning momentum?

Awareness of issuer programs and credentials directly impacts how likely candidates are to enroll. The greater awareness issuers can generate, the higher their enrollment numbers and the more likely candidates are to remain with the issuer to take multiple courses. Growing awareness can be costly, and many marketing channels use a pay per click model that if done poorly, can lead to a lot of lost spend. There are a number of channels that issuers can utilize to increase awareness, including social media platforms, internal and external newsletters, paid ad placements, and the issuer’s marketing site. Each channel takes time and expertise to properly optimize and manage and when done well will greatly increase awareness and trust in the issuer.

Shared Digital Credential Example

Issuers using digital credentials benefit from another marketing tool - their candidates. By encouraging recipients to share their newly earned digital credential, they increase visibility to the issuer’s target audience. Everytime the recipient gets engagement through comments, likes, and shares, they are further motivated to earn more credentials they can share with their network. Their peers, friends, and family see their celebration and the success they achieve through earning their credential and increase their own motivation to learn. 

Utilize A Spotlight Directory

Accredible’s Spotlight Directory feature enables issuers to build a branded, browsable directory of their certified individuals. Each profile contains information about the candidate including their held credentials, the depth of their knowledge, experience, and skill sets, their location, how to contact them, and whether they are open to employment opportunities. Being featured in a directory of certified individuals is a career-defining event for candidates. It allows issuers to position themselves as a market leader and create talent pipelines with employment partners. Employers see Spotlight directories as a good source of suitable candidates that hold a specific level of industry knowledge. 

Branded Spotlight Directory Example

Issuers using Spotlight can set custom criteria for profile details and filtering, and give candidates the ability to manage their own profile information including their employment status. By informing candidates on the benefits of being included in the issuer directory and guiding them on maintaining their profile, learners gain increased learning momentum to ensure their profile stands out against their peers.

Opt-In to Recommendations™

Recommendations is Accredible’s most recent solution for providing increased exposure for issuers and their credentials. Issuer credentials are placed in front of highly targeted audiences to increase awareness, encourage enrollments, and drive revenue. Recipients gain ongoing value from Recommendations as they are intelligently connected to credentials that are most relevant to their learning journey. These smart course suggestions help to inspire and motivate learning momentum and increase the average number of credentials a candidate chooses to pursue. 

Recommendations CourseFinder View Example with Featured Credentials

Recommendations serves credentials in three locations across the dedicated credential page, the suggested credentials tab, and within CourseFinder search results. Issuers pay per click generated on their credentials and can choose to pay a higher per click fee to have specific credentials set as Featured. Featured credentials appear higher across all the Recommendations placements and are tagged as ‘Featured’. Issuers using Recommendations can track where and how their credentials are being engaged with. They also retain control over credential placement visibility. Issuers can turn certain placements on or off for their credentials, and opt-in or out of having recommended credentials from other issuers appear on their own credential pages. Explore Recommendations further in our Recommendations release article.

In Summary

Issuers that cater to, inspire, and motivate learning momentum in their candidates see better results in enrollments, course completions, and continuous learning. Candidates that are not left guessing on the next recommended steps and are given clear guidance on what credential to earn next are more likely to take additional courses. By placing focus on improving visibility into relevant credentials and credentials that serve a candidate’s career goals, issuers make it easy for learners to keep learning. 

Digital credentials, including digital certificates, digital badges, and blockchain credentials, help issuers to motivate learning momentum through:

  • Instantly receivable credentials via email that include links to relevant follow-on programs
  • Easily shareable credential awards that drive awareness for the issuer and enable candidates to celebrate their career-advancing achievement with their networks
  • Increased visibility into relevant follow-on or next recommended credentials from the dedicated credential page and suggested credentials page
  • Increased visibility and ease of access to the issuer’s website from the dedicated credential page

Using Accredible, issuers can create a branded, browsable directory for featuring their certified credential holders, opt-in for Recommendations to present their credentials to an engaged audience of credential holders, fully brand the credentialing experience for their learners, and reduce the time and costs of issuing physical credentials. To learn more about Accredible or our digital credentialing solution, contact sales or to see digital credentials in action, request a platform demo.

Further Reading

Digital credentials provide powerful marketing tools for issuing organizations. Through shared credentials, issuers increase their brand awareness, attract new candidates to their programs, promote learning momentum, and drive revenue. Download the Digital Credential Marketing Strategy Guide for actionable advice and guidance for building digital credentials into your marketing strategies. Use the information and print-friendly checklists provided in this guide to:

  • Increase online visibility
  • Impact brand recognition
  • Encourage recipient social sharing
  • Engage with target audiences
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