Digital Credentials: How digital badges can impact your international trade career


Digital badges floating around a circle on maroon background

Digital badges floating around a circle on maroon background

Never before has applying for a job – or finding job candidates – been easier. But as employers and potential employees connect easily over the internet, the online hiring process can be difficult from both ends.

Job candidates can have a hard time standing out among a seemingly endless pool. Hiring managers can have a hard time weeding through countless applications to determine who would truly be the best fit for the company.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created additional challenges for both employees and employers. Especially in the field of international trade, disruptions to supply chains and other aspects of business have required companies to be agile and responsive.

For many businesses, that has brought the need for new skillsets or areas of expertise from employees. As businesses look to fill those needs internally and externally, professionals in international trade have needed to acquire or market their skills for the changing business landscape.

That’s where digital credentialing comes in. More and more, professionals are seeking out training that will grow their skills while demonstrating their proficiencies to potential employers.

Digital badges, offered by companies such as Credly, are another way to recognize professionals that have met educational or professional experience benchmarks. Digital badges are easily shareable by job candidates and simple to verify for potential employers.

Standing out from the crowd: Digital badging credentials for professionals

By now, most people are familiar with the disconnect in employment: Professionals often lament how hard it is to find a job, while businesses claim they have plenty of openings but lack qualified candidates. Many experts say this disconnect comes from the so-called “skills gap”.

Up to 80% of employers say young professionals lack the skills and experience they need to succeed in the workplace.

This skills gap can be especially pronounced in fields such as international business and trade. Professionals in the field know that there are many areas of specialization, and college courses often offer a broader understanding of the field as a whole.

More targeted digital badges can also help trade professionals better communicate the scope of their education and skills with potential employers.

Taking the time to earn and share digital badges can pay off for professionals at any stage of their career.

One recent survey of 400,000 people worldwide found that 76 percent of professionals who earned a new certification saw a salary increase or promotion.

FITT has seen this play out with its own CITP certification: According to a FITT CITP salary survey, CITP®|FIBP®s in Canada on average earn CAD $52,000 more than the median salary.

Building the right team: The benefits of digital badging credentials for businesses

From hiring to retaining staff, digital badges also provides a major benefit to businesses. Businesses are increasingly moving to skills-based hiring. Rather than looking for educational or experience-based pre-requisites that a broad range of candidates might meet, companies are searching for a specific set of skills that will meet the company’s operational need or growth goals.

Digital badges allow hiring managers to quickly see how a candidate fits the company’s needs and to see what special skills the employee brings that  fill knowledge or skill gaps within the company.

Digital badges can also add an objectivity to the hiring process by allowing hiring managers to easily compare candidates’ education and experience.

“Employers must hire qualified personnel in any discipline to ensure that they get the most value from their employees. Hiring certified employees allows companies to get their employees working in what’s important faster,” said Emiliano Introcaso, CITP, Knowledge Product Manager for Export Development Canada and supply chain management professor at Sheridan and Seneca colleges.

In addition to signaling key skills to employers, digital badges also communicate something important about the type of employee the candidate will be. Professional certifications generally indicate that a candidate is willing to learn and grow their skills. That growth mindset can pay off for companies as they continue to grow and adapt to new markets and new market developments.

Connecting employees to skills-building opportunities allow companies to develop their existing talent to meet their future needs. Not only does that benefit the company, but it allows employees to grow with the company.

This can help with retention because employees can continue to advance their careers, and educational opportunities are often seen as a major benefit to motivated employees.

Once those employees have developed additional skills, they add value to the company and reduce costs by building those skill sets in-house, removing the need to bring in additional employees or find outside expertise.

“Bottom line – in-house experts’ salaries are less costly than third-party consultants. Then, in-house experts train internal employees to at least level up,” said Audrey Ross, CITP, Import & Export Compliance Manager at Orchard Custom Beauty.

“The more people thinking globally, the better growth you will have.”

Statistics demonstrate the value of investing in upskilling employees for business. Companies that invest $1,500 or more annually per employee for professional development report an average of 24%higher profit margins than companies who don’t make the investment.

Digital badging credentials for international trade

FITT has long met the demand for professional education and credentialing in international trade, to help employees and employers develop the key skills needed to expand to new markets and adapt to the ever-changing international business climate.

To date, more than 37,000 professionals around the globe have taken advantage of FITT’s professional training and/or earned FITT credentials.

To keep up with the changing demands of the increasingly digital employment environment, FITT is offering digital badges that can be easily shared by international trade professionals and verified by the companies looking to hire those with specific skills in international business.

FITT’s digital badges will serve as a digital representation of meeting the requirements of FITT’s training, certificate, diploma and CITP designation.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributing author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forum for International Trade Training.












About the author

Author: Jennifer Nesbitt

Jennifer Nesbitt is a New York-based freelance copywriter. A former journalist and graduate of Penn State University, Jennifer now writes about a variety of topics, including business, technology and marketing. She is passionate about helping companies develop their brands by providing compelling copy that adds value to their online presence.

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