With a solution like Examity, certification providers can have the best test development and delivery solution, coupled seamlessly with the best online proctoring solution, perfectly adapted to their specific needs and criteria.
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The Future of Online Certifications
Thierry Berthou, Examity’s Director of Business Development, has been working in the computer-based testing industry in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States for almost 20 years. During that time, the need for online certifications has boomed. He explores recent trends in online certification programs, their benefits, and what the future potentially holds for them.
Have there been any recent trends to testing with certification programs that you’ve noticed?
The past few years have provided ample evidence of the benefits associated with moving online, and education and testing are certainly no exceptions. For many organizations, the move to online learning and testing provided the answer to an existential crisis during the last pandemic. Over the years, I have witnessed a dramatic shift from a somewhat monolithic “one-size-fits-all” model to a position where certification providers can now pick and choose and mix and match the different aspects of an end-to-end solution. That includes learning management and candidate management systems, as well as test development, test delivery, and proctoring solutions.
The ability to integrate best-in-class solutions has given certification providers the opportunity to have the “best of both worlds”. With a solution like Examity, they can have the best test development and delivery solution, coupled seamlessly with the best online proctoring solution, perfectly adapted to their specific needs and criteria.
How do online certification programs help reduce costs for both organizations and test-takers?
Online certification programs offer greater flexibility and convenience, not only providing better access to valuable credentials, but also significantly reducing costs. Test-takers can test at any time from anywhere, even from the comfort of their own home, and they no longer have to spend time getting to and from a physical testing center with limited hours. Online certifications also reduce transportation and accommodation costs for test-takers, reduce operational and logistical costs for organizations, and reduce stress for everyone.
Some may question if there is a trade-off in terms of security. My answer is, “not at all.” In fact, quite the opposite. For instance, Examity’s candidate-to-proctor ratio is among the lowest in the industry, and certainly much lower than in a physical testing center. The outcome to this is that an organization’s tests are delivered more securely, and with a more personal and human touch.
What types of online certifications are in-demand right now? What types do you think we will see an increasing demand for in the future?
Supply chains and labor markets are being severely disrupted by multiple recent events. In my opinion, many people are now using this as an opportunity to skill up and leverage the employment opportunities this has created. The information technology sector, for example, was an early adopter of online certifications, and will remain a staple in the sector. Online certifications will also continue to be important in finance, healthcare, and other regulated industries.
My observation is that the present trend is to acquire contiguous bite-size learning components and cleverly combine them in such a way as to build up your own custom skills profile, perfectly suited to achieve your career goals. I also foresee an increase in pre-employment screening to attract the best talent, from far and wide, to operate in remote and hybrid working environments.
What is some advice you can give to organizations looking to build online certification programs?
My advice is to shop around and to not necessarily procure everything from a single vendor. Best-in-class providers, such as Examity, have a compelling interest in forming strategic partnerships with other best-in-class providers in the online testing space. Choice is on the menu, so why settle for a set meal when you have access to the à la carte menu?
What do you predict for the future of online certifications and online certification programs?
The ultimate objective in the certification space is to develop standards of excellence for certification, to equip our labor markets, and to satisfy the demand for qualified and trusted professionals. I predict an increased credentialization of skills and expertise in all aspects of our knowledge economy, with a particular focus on AI, robotics, and renewable energy. Great people make great businesses. From a limited pool, I foresee that firms will increasingly seek to attract and retain the best talent, and the candidates who are best equipped to fill these positions will thrive.
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