Think of some of the world’s biggest digital companies: Google, Cisco, Red Hat, even Hubspot. They’re all pioneers within their specific industries – thought leaders that constantly impart new insights and strategies on their audiences. Yet, these companies have something else in common – something many people don’t think of when the term “thought leadership” comes to mind. They each have their own training or certification programs.
The benefits of these programs are twofold. First, they help people in the industry, including current employees, prospective candidates and people not aligned with the business, stay abreast of the latest information and strategies. Second, they give the companies that create them a reputation for thought leadership.
Think about it. These businesses have so much knowledge that they can create courses or tests that indicate a high level of achievement in their respective fields. Still, it’s not just corporate organizations that have these kinds of resources. Industry groups like the American Marketing Association, the American Payroll Association and others use training materials, too. The training they provide professionals is indisputably beneficial (many offer certifications that help people get better jobs), which then increases their public standing.
Creating development programs – whether for internal employees or the external community – can bring similar benefits to your business. They’re great for companies in competitive industries with constant changes and innovations (such as human resources or law) and those creating products that require training (like software).
Internal or external: Who are development programs for?
At this point, you might be wondering which option is better: to create development programs only for your internal employees or to open these opportunities to others in the industry? Both have their benefits and drawbacks. Internal programs may not receive the same level of awareness, but external ones require far more resources.
Ultimately, what matters most isn’t who you create these programs for but how those who complete them show their accomplishments. That’s why your business should offer digital badges or certificates no matter what option you choose.
These are credentials that people can display on their LinkedIn and other social media profiles, spreading awareness of your programs and increasing interest from other parties. Even if such programs are for employees only, the digital credentials will still generate interest among people in the industry.
If you need a way to validate your professional development programs (and perhaps increase your visibility as an industry thought leader), look no further than Parchment! We’re the leading digital credentialing service and can help you create certificates and verifications tailored to your needs.