The State of Certifications
Despite a forecasted recession, the labor market is still seeing an increase in jobs (+3,15,000 in August) and job seekers. To stand out from the crowd, stay relevant, and not miss opportunities, jobseekers are taking remote certifications from technical organizations worldwide. Multiple books have been written about how certification plays a massive role in professional growth. It would be foolish not to acknowledge the benefits certification programs bring to organizations.
To stay on top in today’s competitive world (not just for customers but also for talent), organizations offer high-end certification programs to their employees, for training and keeping them current with the dynamic changes in their industry. Be it cloud computing, project management, cyber security, or data analytics, organizations are increasingly investing in the development of their teams through certifications.
A decade ago, certification programs were predominantly brick-and-mortar, but things have changed. More and more organizations are moving certification programs online to ensure learning continuity in today’s remote-first world. However, these big changes aren’t without challenges.
Though the business world was already headed toward adopting technology to increase efficiency, the onset of COVID-19 triggered digital adoption to fast-forward. With so many certification providers having to go from offline to online virtually overnight, many failed to create a safe and secure online learning and certifying environment. Statista says internet users worldwide saw approximately 52 million data breaches during the second quarter of 2022. But security fails are not the only challenge these organizations face today.
Concerns in the Changing Technology Certification Landscape
We recently surveyed certification leaders at top technology companies about their certification exam delivery. Here, we summarize the survey's top concerns for their technology certification leaders.
Outdated Certification Programs
Most participants feared their certification program was substandard. They pointed out how the programs are not ready for the future. In an ever-changing, tech-savvy world, it is imperative to stay updated. To ensure that your teams are fully aware of the latest developments, build a stable, efficient training and certification program.
One example would be performance-based exams. While skill-based assessments and certifications are aplenty, not many organizations realize the significance of performance-based assessments and certifications. Having a documented skill is a solid first step, but it’s vital to know where, how, and when to apply that skill. This is where performance-based exams come in. Unfortunately, it is one of areas where many organizations lag behind.
High-Cost, Unscalable Solutions
Building sustainable products and solutions involving cutting-edge technology takes a lot of time, effort, and money. This holds true for proctoring solutions as well.
The participants in our survey cited the high cost of the proctoring solutions as one of the reasons why they have trouble adopting an online certification program. This is the case when software providers design products without keeping the client's requirements in mind. Every organization looks forward to scaling up with time, so it only makes sense to build solutions to scale. Vendors should focus on helping solve the client’s challenges within their stated budget today, but with the ability to grow for tomorrow.
Intrusive Security Concerns
When organizations started moving their certification programs online, one of the most discussed topics was how to assess candidates without jeopardizing the integrity of the exam. This is where the concept of remote proctoring plays a role. Remote proctoring enables test-takers to write an exam regardless of location while maintaining the exam's integrity.
The online exam proctoring market is projected to reach over $1.1 billion by 2027, according to Research And Markets.
However, like any technology solution, remote proctoring has faced apprehensions from many users. Some of the participants pointed out that the intrusive nature of the online proctoring experience is preventing them from growing their expert community.
One way this can be solved is through training and technology. While training the employees on the basics of remote proctoring is essential, it is also critical to train the proctors to ensure no malpractices or misconduct happens during exams. However, proctoring must be balanced with privacy concerns. This is where AI-enabled proctoring is beginning to provide answers and alternatives to human proctoring.
Lack Of Accessibility
Diversity and inclusion are no longer just check-box items. The changing dynamics among employees have now made organizations realize the significance of diversity and inclusion.
While the offline world is putting effort into making people feel included and heard, the same is not always the case in the online world. Many felt their certification exams were not accessible to everyone. They do not have the multi-lingual capabilities they desire, much less the recognized W3C standards.
The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.
Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and Inventor of the World Wide Web
Exams should be constructed to meet the diverse needs of candidates. By not having an inclusive and accessible certification program, organizations are missing out on a large pool of talent with high potential.
Poor User Experience
Let’s address the elephant in the room – not every certification exam delivery process is well designed or user-friendly. In a traditional setup, in case the test-taker runs into any problems, the proctor (aka. invigilator) can help immediately. However, in an online exam, getting immediate assistance can be difficult. Add a poor User Interface (UI), and you have a sloppy certification program everyone dreads.
The User Experience (UX) of your online certification program dictates more than just the test-taker’s perception of the assessment platform or satisfaction with their test-taking experience. It directly relates to their learning outcomes and mastery of an assessment or course. If your test-takers can’t navigate an exam, use critical accessibility features, or find support resources easily, their overall opinion of the organization will be negatively impacted.
How Talview Proctoring for Certification Providers Can Help
The Talview Proctoring Solution for Certification Providers is designed with the needs of technical certifications and test takers in mind. The solution can help orchestrate everything you need to proctor certifications online while providing a smooth, accessible experience and 24/7 real-time support to test takers. With Talview’s AI-powered automated and live remote proctoring solutions, you can simplify and ensure your entire process's integrity, security, and compliance. With Talview, you can quickly and effectively automate, assess, and authenticate the exam delivery and proctoring process from virtually any device.
Talview will be at TSIA World Envision in October. TSIA is a conference focused on global learning experiences, with leaders from across technology and services industries sharing data, insights and guidance for today’s ever-changing technology landscape.
Talview will be presenting a session October 17 & 18, at 12:30 PM in booth #519: Expert Playbook for Launching and Scaling Certification Programs, presented by Sundar Nagarathnam, Advisor to Talview and an innovative pioneer in technical education and certification programs, along with Sanjoe Tom Jose, CEO, Talview.