A More Equitable Education Future

November 14, 2022
  • Student Success
  • corporate
Graduate walking along a maze pathway.

Sponsored by Parchment

Education plays a key role in determining how we spend our adult life – a higher level of education can mean higher earnings, better health, and longer life. However, by the same token, the long-term social and financial costs of educational failure are high. Those without the skills to participate socially and economically generate higher costs for health, income support, child welfare, and social security systems.

For many people, landing a good job is the reason they go to college in the first place. Meaning, one of the most powerful levers to make society more equitable is a fair and inclusive system that makes the advantages of education available to all.  

In the past, the promise of a college degree was the defined way to get ‘There’ - and in many ways, it still is. However, today’s concept of education and work is shifting. ‘There’ is no longer set in stone; instead, ‘There’ is a moving target for each of us. One that changes and spans across our lifetime, considers the need for new skills, the desire for personal growth, and the idea that it’s okay to change our careers, try something new, or upskill to get the next job we want. 

Education has expanded significantly in the past half-century but hopes that this would automatically bring about a fairer society have been only partly realized. While many students can go on to university or college, many are still being left behind.

Learning & Employment Pathways

Education helps learners get employed and become more economically resilient but only recently are we acknowledging how different the pathway to education can be for learners. Some go straight to college and complete a 4-year degree in as many years. Others may complete some college, change paths or take a hiatus, then come back to their degree later. Many return to the education pathway related to upskilling or finding new employment prospects. Though the traditional degree pathway is often a reality for many we know, it’s not always an option for many learners around the world. 

Employment pathways are changing too. Gone are the days when a person committed to a job or career and stuck it out until retirement, regardless of their satisfaction in the role. Even those happy in their chosen profession will need upskilling, continued education, or retraining to align with growing technological advancements and new methodologies within their industry or scope of work. And what about new jobs in fields that don’t even exist today?

Because learning and employment go hand-in-hand, the need for transparency around all skills gained, competencies, and associated knowledge requires the need for a shared credential - public, easily accessible, and actionable. Introducing micro-credentialing strategies alongside the traditional degree pathways can help open the lines of communication between institutions and the workforce and ultimately close skill gaps. Ensuring students are capable and prepared to be valuable team members with lots to offer. 

Learners need to be empowered to share unique learning outcomes - such as soft and hard skills - quickly and efficiently. Simultaneously, the education sector defining and implementing a solution that verifies, validates, or confirms a person’s intended learning achievements and preparedness for a particular job or career is crucial for the future of employment.

Gaining Insights Into Skills Through Data 

Recognizing a learner’s skills is important for many reasons. With rapidly evolving technologies, shifting job markets, and the need for upskilling, credential transparency and the ability to collect skills-based credentials are more important than ever. 

Given the presence of technology at our fingertips, such as smartphones and internet connectivity, there are more opportunities to observe, record, and note achievements and milestones. The “big data” that is captured as learners leave traces of themselves on different sites and platforms creates the potential to convey a bigger picture about identity, knowledge, capacity, and achievement. Making the ability to recognize specific skills a powerful and efficient tool to bring meaning to datasets that reflect individuals and their achievements.

Furthermore, giving learners transparency into their learning experiences within an earned credential provides visibility into their developmental milestones. It also increases their confidence to better represent themselves in future employment prospects. Because of this, we will likely see an increase in the number of skilled workers across all socioeconomic backgrounds. Meaning better-skilled employees are happier and more fulfilled in their desired jobs or careers. 

If the promise of education is ultimately improving the quality of living, we must transform the way skills, competencies, and experiences are communicated amongst employers and workforces as a whole. 

If you’re interested in further discussion around skills-based credentialing and its impact on student employment, join us on Wednesday 30th November (2:00 ET, 11:00 PT) as we discuss how recognition (and the credentialing) of skills helps pave the path for greater employment opportunities, on-the-job success, and job satisfaction. Topics covered include:

  • Why collecting skills-based credentials and credential transparency is important

  • Ways that education is making skills public, easily accessible, and actionable today

  • What education needs to do to make skills and skill-based credentialing more impactful

Parchment believes credentials matter in the lifelong journey of a learner, from applying to college to advancing their career. We provide learners, academic institutions, and employers the ability to innovate, request, verify and share transcripts, diplomas, and other credentials in simple and secure ways. Are you ready to elevate your student credential experience? Start a conversation to get started.