Cs Get Degrees on the Blockchain
Whenever I engage in conversations about blockchain in the context of education, I can't help but think back to that young man in Florida that pretended to be a medical doctor. I think of how much education is required to become medical doctor, and how I tend to check educational background when choosing healthcare providers. And I think of how the odds of success (well, as long as it lasted anyways) for this kid's scam may been decreased if we had a sort of public or permissioned private blockchain for educational and occupational credentials. For some occupations, like medicine, the process to become credentialed is a successive one that requires individuals to meet specific benchmarks along the way. And once one becomes credentialed, there are routine reporting requirements to maintain those credentials.
As you can guess, for many occupations that require credentials or licensure, there is a pretty significant paper trail generated. From high school diploma or GED, to an undergraduate or technical degree, to license applications and continuing education requirements, there is information being generated at every turn. A standard repository for verified information that is created along the way sounds like a no-brainer to me. Not only would this information be helpful to credential/licensure boards (i.e., no more "please send us every transcript from the past 15 years"), it would also be useful to consumers and clients in the general public.
One of blockchain's greatest attributes is its immutability (or its inability to be changed) and this trait lends itself to blockchain's reliability. These traits are likely drivers behind a number of companies that have decided to take on the problem of standardizing recordkeeping and access to verified credentials using blockchain. Obviously, these types of solutions are only viable if institutions and other stakeholders are willing to adopt them but this problem is not unique; adoption is the challenge with most blockchain-based solutions.
As a member of an occupation that requires umpteen years of school, numerous standardized tests, a recounting of my entire life history, and yearly educational requirements, I'm in favor of anything that lightens my paper load. What about you? Are you comfortable with a world in which a potential client may be able to log in to a portal and verify your educational history? What about access to records of past professional discipline? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @blockchainblawg.