In order to make that happen we need an open platform for digital certificates and reputation. Using the blockchain and strong cryptography, it is now possible to create a certification infrastructure that puts us in control of the full record of our achievements and accomplishments. It will allow us to share a digital degree with an employer while giving the employer complete trust that the degree was in fact issued to the person presenting it.
The trail of credentials and achievements that we generate throughout our lives says something about who we are, and it can open doors that allow us to become who we want to be. Some credentials, such as university degrees, are more important than others. But at the end of the day, all of these credentials represent experiences that are part of our lives.
Ideally we should be in charge of our own credentials, similar to the journeymen carpenters who carry around their books of stamps and references. But most of the time we have to rely on third parties, such as universities or employers to store, verify, and validate our credentials. Job seekers have to request official transcripts from their alma maters (and typically pay a small fee), and employers still need to call the university if they want to be sure that a transcript wasn’t faked. It’s a slow and complicated process, which is one reason why degree fraud is a real issue. (A few years back, even our very own MIT Admissions office realized that its Dean didn’t actually have the undergraduate degree that she had listed in her application). Making certificates transferable and more easily verifiable is one advantage of digital systems.