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Learners & Earners

Definition: Individuals of any age engaging in learning and work through traditional or non-traditional means

Examples: College or university students, professionals learning on the job or through training programs, individuals pursuing skills-building life experiences

Roles and Workstreams


  • Consult in research and pilot efforts — providing critical user perspective and contributing experience and feedback to ensure continuous user-centered design
  • Take part in data tracking studies to share longitudinal impact stories.


  • Ask institutions to issue credentials as verifiable credentials that can be incorporated into LERs
  • Learn more about skills-based approaches to learning and career advancement and how LERs might support


  • Curate and share skills using LERs
  • Share experiences with using LERs with friends, classmates and colleagues on social media channels and learning communities


  • Submit LERs as part of application processes for jobs and education opportunities

Action Areas

There are key action areas that we believe LER ecosystem stakeholders should focus on to make significant progress towards adoption in service of equity and opportunity. All action areas rely on the participation of stakeholders in pilots, research and advocacy initiatives.

Promoting Adoption

Identify the advantages of using LERs, as compared to current practices, towards stakeholder goals and agendas. Define metrics for success and develop data driven value propositions.

  • Participate in research and pilot efforts, providing critical perspectives that ensure technology, tools, and systems unlock opportunities

Gathering Data on Impact

How do we know LERs are effective in unlocking opportunities for learners and streamlining processes for employers and educators? Stakeholders across the ecosystem must collect empirical data that confirms value statements about LERs and identifies areas for improvement in work streams.

  • Contribute experience and feedback to credential issuers and verifiers, considering how and where LERs have led to opportunities across the learning journey.
  • Manage and share credentials using LER technologies including mobile and web wallets

Support Degree and Skills Based Systems

LERs can be issued for large scale achievements like diplomas and degrees or for more granular ones like courses or even individual skills and competencies. The ideal LER Ecosystem will support recognition of learning and abilities obtained through both traditional and skills-based systems.

  • Ask institutions to issue their credentials as LERs and request that they familiarize themselves on skills based approaches to learning and career advancement
  • Share experiences with using LERs with friends, classmates, educators, and colleagues on social media channels and learning communities
23.9% of participants indicated that during the application and/or interview processes, they believed that they had endured various types of discrimination because of their education levels.
— Inclusive Design Principles for Learning and Employment Records: Co-Designing for Equity — Digital Promise, 2022

Business Case

Higher earning potential - broader access to a wider variety of jobs without traditional systemic hurdles

Smarter, quicker access to opportunities - a more intuitive user experience that makes it easier to apply for jobs, learning opportunities, benefits, unemployment insurance, etc.

Social Case

Control of data and digital identity - learners become the owners of credential data and are able to access and share this data however they choose

Planning and pursuing opportunities - a better understanding of qualifications and requirements for particular careers can enable learners to catalog existing skills and plan for additional learning

This work was supported by a grant from Walmart