A couple of weeks ago I posted here about how the Professional Examination Service was staking out a spot in digital credentialing, and also backing the Mozilla Open Badge Infrastructure. What was missing at the time was a hook-up with a major certification sponsor. Yesterday, CompTIA announced partnerships for digital credentialing for its certifications with two organizations, neither of which is the Professional Examination Service. Looks like this space is about to go into "free-for-all" mode!
The CompTIA press release in question is entitled "New Credentials Validation Service Available for CompTIA Certified IT Professionals," and it reports that the association has teamed up with Blue Ribbon Techs and Zylog Systems (Canada) Ltd. "to allow IT professionals to include validation of their CompTIA credentials in their online job profiles."
On the one hand, I'm glad to see this happening, on the other...
So now, that makes at least three companies that I know of that are seeking to get in on digital credentialing. And perhaps that's also a response to the concern I voiced in my July 10 blog ("Could a Digital Credentials Clearinghouse Be in the Offing?") as to whether or not what the Professional Examination Service (PES) wants to charge for digital credential service might preclude it from becoming a real player on this scene. CompTIA is known for cutting its business relationships to the bone, in the interests of keeping costs down, and I have to believe it's telling that they decided to go with partners other than PES.
What I don't know just yet -- but am taking steps to ascertain -- is whether or not either or both of these new offerings will also support the Mozilla Open Badge Infrastructure standard. I certainly hope they will, but that remains to be determined. Certainly, if this marketplace is about to get crowded, as so often occurs when hot new markets emerge to be served, I'm in favor of providing as much structure and support for standards as circumstances will allow. I'm also wondering when and how the other 800-lb gorillas of IT certification -- namely, Certiport, Microsoft, and Cisco -- will weigh in on this situation. It seems we live in interesting times!