There are a number of reasons why you might want to learn more about the academic and professional credentials of a female business owner or entrepreneur. You may want to know more about how your credentials will be verified or treated from a client or employer point of view. You can also check on business partners or potential new employees, which also makes it important to understand these credentials.
Many educational and professional qualifications are public records, so you can do a free search by name and find them.
However, not all, and some are not necessarily easy to find.
Below is a guide on what you need to know about credentials and how to verify them, if necessary.
When you hear the term “credentials” it usually refers to a qualification, which can be academic or educational. Credentials may include, for example, degree programs that someone completes. Credentials can also be professional qualifications such as work experience or professional certifications.
Educational credentials include a college degree or bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, a doctoral degree, a doctoral degree, and a professional school degree. A professional school degree includes, for example, medicine, teaching, or law.
Professional credentials may include licenses, membership in professional associations, apprenticeships, or trade certifications.
Growing complexity of educational documents
In the last decade or so, education documents have become increasingly complex and difficult to navigate if you check them out. Employers are struggling even though most of them require college degrees.
Many hiring managers and business leaders say they receive resumes with powers they’ve never heard of. For this reason, it’s sometimes better to hire someone to ask what they’ve learned rather than relying on credentials alone.
There are even fears that some of the certificates are fake.
There are more certification programs every year, but some employers say that if it’s not a degree, they can’t accept a certification at face value because they don’t know how rigorous the training is or even what it’s supposed to mean.
According to the non-profit organization Credential Engine, there are about one million educational documents, including certificates, licenses, badges, industry certificationsand apprenticeship.
This number has increased since the pandemic as more people have sought additional education and training.
About 80% of job openings require at least some post-high school training or education, but many business leaders fear that colleges are throwing away anything that can make a profit and call it a badge or a certificate.
Some call the growing number of certifications the wild west because there is currently no set of standards or system in place to help employers define or measure quality. This does not mean that education and training documents are invalid, it just becomes difficult to distinguish between what is and what is not.
Employers need to be critical and will have to take their time to test these credentials.
About a quarter of adults in America do not have degrees, but supporters of these programs say they promote fairness. Consumers can get a job without wasting time and money on higher education they don’t really need.
The Credential Engine is currently working on creating a credential registry. The hope of the organization is that, along with eventually listing them all. They will also determine if they are accredited, how long it takes them to earn, and the types of jobs the skills are suitable for.
There is also a growing industry of evaluators who focus on credential quality for hiring managers and universities.
Authority against certification
We tend to use the terms credentials and certification interchangeably, but there are some differences.
Credentials must be something issued by a third party. The third party must have an authoritative authority, and their issuance is indicative of someone’s qualifications or competence in the subject matter.
Certification is a formal process that certifies qualifications in a subject. A person receives their certification by showing that they are qualified for a task or job.
Certificate programs are a form of educational program. Upon completion of the certificate program, participants receive a certificate of completion in lieu of an educational degree.
How can you verify professional credentials?
Since there is currently no system in place, some work may be required to verify someone’s professional credentials. First you will use the information the person gives you to make search for their name on the internet. This will point you in the right direction if you confirm that they are who they say they are.
You cannot rely solely on documentation from the applicant alone.
Once you’ve done your general background research, you might want to consider verifying someone through a third party, or contacting the organization or company they say issued the credentials. You must ensure that if you are conducting a formal background check for employment purposes, you or the third party service you use complies with the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
How can you check someone’s education?
It might be a little easier to check someone’s education. You can run a background check that will show you the dates someone attended school. Verification of educational records should also include proof of attendance.
It is important to check education as studies show that almost 80% of job seekers have lied on their resumes or would like to do so.
Conducting a background check as well as a general background check on someone not only helps you hire the right people qualified for the job at hand, but also protects you from liability if you are a business owner.
Most education data checks are repeated as needed, and in some cases these checks also show honors earned and GPA.
Education background checks do not usually check for licenses or professional credentials. You will have to check them in other ways, such as those listed above.
Finally, to verify someone’s education, you need their full name, the name and address of the institution they received their degree from, dates of attendance, the name and area of their degree, and the applicant must provide you with a signed authorization.