The future Credential Engine is building is one where students and workers will be able to search for credentialing information as easily as we search for flights and hotels on the Web. A future where credentialing organizations will have a clear understanding of trends in the credential marketplace, and how they link to labor market demands. And a future where employers will be able to find the credentialing partners that meet their needs as well as assess the qualifications of applicants from programs new programs they’ve never heard of. To build this future, it is critical to have a common credentialing language that is adopted as the standard language on the Web. It is through this adoption that the credentialing metadata Credential Engine houses will be able to unleash its full power to bring transparency and credential literacy to the marketplace.
Credential Engine has already developed this common language, known as the Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL). Using the CTDL will allow for credentialing information to be described in a manner that creates credential comparability for the first time on key areas such as competencies, cost, and labor market information across all credentials – whether you’re comparing traditional degrees to one another or a digital badge to a Ph.D. Never has a language like this existed before. What’s more, the language is now mature enough that Credential Engine’s technical team has approached the global standards bodies for web languages and metadata – Schema.org and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) – to seek a pathway for adoption as the official descriptor language for credentialing data.
Credential Engine has recently successfully achieved the first step in this process through the creation of the Educational and Occupational Credentials Community Group by W3C. The aim of this community group is to show how educational and occupational credentials may be described with Schema.org, and to propose any additional terms for schema.org that may be necessary. It is through this group that Credential Engine aims to make the case for the CTDL’s adoption as the first-ever common credentialing language for the Web.
We encourage everyone to join this group and contribute to its work. With your help, Credential Engine looks forward to bringing a common credentialing language to the Web, and credential transparency to all.
About the Author: Carrie Samson is the Communications Manager for Credential Engine.