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Degreed: The World’s Curated Pathway To Expertise By Creating Lifelong Learning As A Daily Habit

According to Degreed, it is the new answer to the question, "Tell me about your education." Thus far, after delving a little deeper into Degreed’s platform, I agree with this answer.

Degreed’s homepage displays a message to the prudent: “Stay ready for what’s next.” I find this message both forewarning and inspirational. The image behind this message is that of a seemingly determined women, dressed professionally, in a sprinter’s stance with possibly a podcast playing in her earbuds. Perhaps the implicit visual message is don’t get left behind, and stay focused, for a race—perhaps towards new ways of learning and business—is underway.

Degreed’s target market includes gateways for individuals and businesses. The value proposition for the individual is ownership, growth, and certification of expertise and skills. The value proposition for businesses is growth through discovery, development, and measurement of organizational skills and needs. In short, Degreed has explicitly targeted early adaptors, or pioneers. In all, they report that they are helping more than three million people at more than 150 organizations.

My focus for this blog will be my individual account registration experience and entrée into Degreed’s orbit. As with most web-based platforms, one must agree to all terms and conditions, otherwise, you forgo your right to access the site. Interestingly, access to this skill-based website includes those aged 13 years old and up. I am left wondering what impact Degreed will have upon the legally aged teenagers that seek to use this platform precluding their work experiences?

Once your password is cleared, to get started, you are welcomed to identify and then progress in your current skills as well as to learn additional skills. You then select your current or desired role (i.e. Chief Executive Officer). Initially, you are only able to select one. You then choose desired skills that you would learn at which point the curation of your learning experience begins. In my case, 20 suggested skills where provided to build on. I opted to select all 20. After selecting the skills you then rank each skill on a 1-8 scale from beginner to expert.

The learning tools include thousands of articles, videos, books, podcast, courses, events, and more. As you navigate the curated content, you further refine your learning feed. Embedded through the registration and learning experience are achievement levels and motivating messages such as “I like you, you’re serious about learning stuff!”

I will have the opportunity to establish friendships on Degreed, receive daily and weekly digest emails, as well as occasional tips. Furthermore, I can customize my Profile (picture, bio, and location) and make it visible to the public or visible to me only. Additionally, the learner can also become the teacher. This is accomplished by activating the Create a Pathway feature. In short, you begin curating people’s learning by creating a pathway for increased knowledge on a specific topic.  For example, the State of Illinois, created Illinois Pathways, STEM education initiative designed to support college readiness, according to its description. Other examples include onboarding new employees or showing paths to promotions. Multiple collaborators can add to your pathway. Additionally, lessons and sections can be created to form a syllabus of sorts.

Other content providers that you can integrate with Degreed include Alison (courses), Code Academy (tracks), Good Reads (books), Khan Academy (videos and assessments), Plural Sight (courses), Pocket (articles), and Treehouse (courses). Additionally, Degreed has recently partnered with Alexander Forbes, a pan-African diversified financial services firm operating in Retirements, Wealth, Investments, and Insurance markets, according to Degreed. Forbes employees—through the Degreed platform—have access to all the courses, videos, articles, books and podcast. With respect to this individualized, low cost, and scalable learning, David Blake, CEO of Degreed stated the following:

 “This is a momentous event for Degreed as we partner with one of the most innovative companies in Africa, Alexander Forbes,” said David Blake, CEO of Degreed. “Alexander Forbes’s vision to better the people and companies of Africa through learning perfectly aligns with the mission and purpose of Degreed. We’re excited to create the next generation of experts in Africa.”

This article was such a pleasant surprise to read. I am very intrigued by this effort, for Africa is truly poised for such a learning platform like Degreed—especially for the youth population that require access to learn new skill sets for new opportunities in this global economy.

In sum, I was able to add two articles to my portfolio and earn points in the process. Indeed, this is the new way to build, share, and teach. The starting pistol has sounded, will you leave your starter’s block or miss the race?

Ramel Dixon