Badgr and Emsi Announce Partnership to Advance Skills Portability and Transparency

Concentric Sky and Emsi announce groundbreaking new partnership connecting skill-based micro-credentials with real-time labor market insights

Badgr Team

September 4, 2020

The rapid pace of technological change calls for innovation in how education providers represent - and how employers use and understand - student learning and competency.

This month, a partnership between Badgr, the world’s fastest-growing credential network, and EMSI, a market leader in the field of economic modeling, will deliver on the promise of this innovation by uniting micro-credentials with in-demand skills backed by real-time labor market insights and live job postings.

The employment situation reveals an evolving challenge for employers and job-seekers

In July of 2020,

  • In the United States, unemployment has grown to 16.3 million, or around 10% of the total workforce (not adjusted regionally or demographically), according to a United States Bureau of Labor Statistics report.
  • According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of unemployed workers has grown to 12.4 million, or roughly 7.5% of the total workforce.
  • Finally, in July 2020, a month marked by some relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures in many Member States, the euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 7.9 %, up from 7.7 % in June 2020. The EU unemployment rate was 7.2 % in July 2020, up from 7.1 % in June 2020.

Each one of these individuals (over 40 million) possesses and will continue to acquire meaningful skills and competencies over their lifetime that will allow them to compete in an increasingly uncertain and competitive job market. Call it a “skills gap” or not; it’s clear that some gap exists in our ability to match workers to jobs at the pace needed by employers. The ongoing COVID pandemic has only increased the urgency of creating scalable mechanisms to better connect learning outcomes with the job requirements.

The skills gap manifests in three crucial ways:

  1. Employers cannot make verifiable, skills-based decisions about which candidate has the right set of skills for the roles that they are hiring for or should be hiring.
  2. Job seekers cannot determine which roles require their specific set of skills or how to privately and securely communicate their growing skills on an ongoing basis.
  3. Professional Development providers cannot easily connect and scaffold the learning experiences they provide with the marketable skills those experiences offer.

Starting today, Badgr’s growing network of over 25,000 digital badge issuers will have the ability to connect any of their awards with EMSI’s robust collection of 30,000 marketable skills. Issuers of digital awards can quickly and seamlessly align skills like adaptability, collaboration, empathy, and resilience to any digital badge created using Badgr Pro.

Enabling beneficial change

For Job Seekers

Job seekers can use Badgr’s portable learner record to showcase and celebrate their unique portfolio of skills-aligned digital credentials that they’ve earned from any Badgr’s growing 25,000 issuer network. Each award, including those visualized and scaffolded along pathways, can help them make informed decisions about which job roles or learning opportunities they are qualified for, or match their evolving skillset. By merely clicking the skills their credentials include, learners instantly connect with real-time labor market information and live job postings.

For Employers

Once shared, employers may review any candidate’s portfolio of skills-embedded digital credentials and make informed decisions about which candidate is the best fit for their team. This new integration of Badgr and Emsi’s real-time labor data tools also helps employers and program designers make informed decisions about which skills may be needed to help them maintain a competitive advantage in a rapidly evolving, 21st-century economy. Additionally, insights provided by skills data also help employers identify workforce trends and learning experiences that can unlock opportunities to upskill or reskill their existing team members.

For Institutions and Professional Development Providers

Using Badgr’s comprehensive learning ecosystem development tools, institutions, and professional development providers can create learning experiences and recognition systems that capture and recognize learning wherever and whenever it occurs. Each learning experience is recognized using open, verifiable, and portable digital badges that seamlessly connect learning evidence with valuable skills data. Moreover, individual learning experiences and overall learning progress is scaffolded using Badgr Pathways. These stackable skills bridges put each learning achievement into context while laying the groundwork for measuring a learner’s lifelong learning journey and automatically creating a marketable and job-embedded portfolio.

To meet the current employment landscape demands, employers, job seekers, and professional development providers will need increasingly sophisticated tools to make informed decisions. Employers need to tools to make proactive, skills-based decisions about which candidates are the right fit for their organizations. Job seekers will need the ability to earn recognition for and communicate the value of their unique skills in a way that helps them find the right opportunity. And providers of professional development will need to establish the currency of their professional learning experiences by aligning them to in-demand skills.

Image: This [demonstration badge]( illustrates how skills may be connected with digital badges using Badgr.
emsi integration demo badge

Enter Badgr’s newest integration: The Emsi Open Skills Library

Concentric Sky (makers of Badgr) and Emsi today announce the integration of Badgr and Emsi’s Open Skills Library. Badgr is the world’s fastest growing credential network, serving over 25,000 organizations in over 160 countries. Emsi is a market leader in the field of economic modeling and labor market insights. This new collaboration will directly connect the skills-aligned digital badges issued via Badgr with Emsi’s rich skills taxonomy and associated labor market data.

“In order to have currency, a skill must have an independent definition,” said Wayne Skipper, Founder and CEO of Concentric Sky. “By combining the power of verifiable digital credentials with Emsi’s library of workforce skills, this new partnership will greatly simplify the work of organizations that seek to create stackable, skills-based training programs - as well as making it much easier for employers to understand the outcomes of such programs.”

A recent study estimated that over 300,000 digital credentials are being offered by organizations within the US alone. This trend has been accelerated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as organizations of all types look for ways to rapidly digitize their learning outcomes to better serve job seekers.

Emsi’s Open Skills Library identifies nearly 30,000 skills from hundreds of millions of job postings, résumés, and professional profiles and is updated every two weeks. Each skill in the library has a public page that describes the skill, highlights related skills, and lists the top companies that include the skill in their job postings. This new integration makes it easy for Badgr users to design micro-credential programs that focus on portable, workforce-relevant skills and directly connect learners to job opportunities that require those skills.

Luke Jankovic, Emsi’s EVP for higher education, noted, “We have opened our skills library up as a small contribution to a shared vision for a learning and employment system that works better for individuals, institutions, and employers. This partnership is a great step in making that vision a reality and we couldn’t be happier about it.”

By partnering together on this and other shared initiatives, Concentric Sky and Emsi aim to help learners and job seekers worldwide understand how their credentials translate into the skills that lead into a successful career or promotion. With growing interest in non-degree and skills-focused training programs, this powerful combination of solutions from Concentric Sky and Emsi will enable the design of high quality, stackable programs designed to upskill and reskill workers by combining online certificates, industry certifications, apprenticeships, and micro-credentials.