LinkedIn expands one-click certification validation pilot program
If you've got it, as the saying goes, flaunt it. And most tech professionals who have got IT certifications would probably like to do just that. A certification is a mark of distinction, a signal that the bearer has dedicated hours of study and practice to mastering difficult concepts. It's the kind of thing that you want employers and colleagues to know about you.
The problem, over a number of years now, has been that it's difficult to convey at a glance what a certification means. If a potential employer, for example, doesn't recognize the acronym "CCNA," then all you've done to your resume by including that information is add a potentially glamorous dash of mumbo-jumbo.
Digital badging advocates have been trumpeting the potential of certification badges, which are sort of like interactive IT passport stamps, for years. A recent development unveiled at LinkedIn doesn't quite get us all the way there. The professional networking website is definite moving in the right direction, however, with a feature that lets members potentially add certs to their profile with a single click.
Announced at the end of November, this innovation is the fruits of a yearlong pilot program involving participation from a select group of certification and training providers including Microsoft, Pearson, Coursera and Aspiring Minds. The one-click functionality only works if your certification provider has enabled it (which likely involves paying a fee to LinkedIn), but the special feature, called Add to Profile for Certifications, is now available to providers everywhere.
Add to Profile for Certificaitons was initially unveiled in November 2013. Upon completion of a certification course with a participating provider, LinkedIn members receive an e-mail with a link asking whether they would like to display their accomplishment in their profile. If you accept, it's a simple matter clicking a "save" button to list the certification, date of completion, and a digital logo on your profile.
Add to Profile for Certification doesn't solve all of the problems that have bedeviled the digital badging crowd. If you have a pile of Oracle certifications, for example, but Oracle isn't a participating provider, then you're stuck with the usual text-only mumbo-jumbo. The new tool does provide an easy means of displaying your credentials where employers might look for them, however, and it creates a verifiable linkage between you and your certification provider. We could be headed in a very interesting direction here.