The emergence of alternative credentials
The landscape of post-secondary education is changing with the emergence of new credentials
that are engaging millions of learners. So-called “alternative credentials” – such
as micro-credentials, digital badges and industry-recognised certificates – have expanded
their scale considerably, as a consequence of a rising demand for upskilling and reskilling,
as well as a sharp reduction in the unit cost of provision made possible by digitalisation.
Higher education institutions, businesses and other institutions are actively offering
alternative credentials that help learners acquire new skills, update their existing
skills and signal the competencies they already have. Despite an increasing volume
of these new credentials, great uncertainty persists. This working paper aims to assist
policy makers across the OECD by defining terminologies, identifying the characteristics
of these credentials, looking at providers and learners of these credentials, and
examining how employers and governments perceive these credentials.
Published on March 16, 2020
In series:OECD Education Working Papersview more titles