In the world of digital transformation, business leaders know having expertise on specific technical skills is crucial to unlocking the value of their organization, but hiring and retaining qualified talent is harder now than it ever has been before.
Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global talent shortage is on track to reach 85.2 million people by 2030, and software companies must be able to develop experts on their comprehensive and complex solutions. For that reason, ForgeRock created ForgeRock University to provides professionals with world-class education and training so they can learn how to architect, build, and deploy advanced Digital Identity solutions.
Individuals can start the program without any baseline knowledge of ForgeRock technologies and develop the robust skill set needed to become a ForgeRock Certified Access Management Specialist or a ForgeRock Certified Identity Management Specialist through self-paced, on-demand or classroom training. Progressing even further in their skill development, individuals can build the competencies needed to become Accredited Consultants and Mentors on ForgeRock solutions through additional performance-based testing.
While the purpose of ForgeRock University was to offer a way for professionals to grow their skill set and become experts in these comprehensive solutions, our team faced a dilemma not uncommon among training providers: Engagement levels in courses significantly dropped off before students received their certifications.
We noticed that, without any recognition of achievement along the way, some students simply lost the motivation to continue through a series of courses. Others didn’t know where to start their learning journey or what path to take toward certification from the very beginning. Therein lied our challenge: to make the pathways toward certification clear and actionable, with meaningful recognition at key milestones of achievement along the way.
We knew ForgeRock University already had a solid foundation for learning, so rather than reinvent the entire training program, we implemented one simple but impactful change—offering a series of digital credentials along the path to certification.
By joining the learning programs together with digital credentials—which are verified, portable evidence of achievement—we encouraged learners to see the entire journey through. These digital credentials were a beacon of achievement at every key milestone, marking the path that starts with the essential product and industry knowledge, and then continues through the core and advanced ForgeRock skills before resulting in certification.
Since implementing digital credentials, ForgeRock students are invested in and engaged with their courses. As evidenced by the high rate of individuals who accept and share their badges, the ability for individuals to get real-time, positive feedback from their professional network has proven to be motivating for them in diving into the next course on the way to certification. For that reason, we’ve made a point of issuing a digital badge as quickly as possible so learners can share their accomplishments online at the moment they feel most proud of their hard work. For many learners, the ability to create a collection of badges can be a driver, along with the ability to share the badges as they are collected on social media, which increases their visibility as skilled professionals, while also increasing ForgeRock’s brand awareness.
The addition of digital credentials has directly impacted ForgeRock’s certification test volume. That single adjustment in the program resulted in a 751 percent increase in exam volume within just six months. But that increase wasn’t a one-time anomaly. Certification test volume climbed 96 percent year-over-year.
ForgeRock issues digital badges through digital credential leader Credly. We’re able to utilize the reporting features within Credly’s Acclaim platform to identify where students are in their learning journey, then use this insight to deliver targeted communications that guide students toward the next relevant step. Whether it’s a reminder to register for a course or additional information on preparing for certification, we can follow students through their journey and keep them on track to achieve their professional goals.
With this information, we now understand who our learners are. We understand what they do and where they are and what they’re interested in. And, most importantly, we’re able to help them see what they are capable of. Digital badges allow us to lay out meaningful pathways to promote lifelong learning for professionals looking to become ForgeRock masters.
Kevin Streater is vice president at ForgeRock University, where he heads the global education business. Prior to ForgeRock, he held senior roles at The Open University, Europe’s largest higher education institution, and Sun Educational Services, part of Sun Microsystems. With 25 years of experience in Technical Learning & Development, Streater is a specialist in IT curriculum design, competency assessment, digital credentialing, and educational technology. Streater is chair of CEdMA Europe, the IT vendor training directors trade association, and is a trustee and chartered fellow of the British Computer Society, chartered fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, and fellow of the Learning and Performance Institute. He holds a BSc. in Computer Science from City University, London, and an MBA from The Open University. Connect with him on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinstreater