Far from running out of steam, the trend to digitize everything that can be digitized seems to be accelerating. Diplomas, emblematic both in their format and the symbolism they convey, are not to be outdone. Digital diplomas are now emerging, and with them new uses set to revolutionize the worlds of students, universities and employers.
What are the particularities of digital diplomas, and why are they a better option than the traditional formats? BCdiploma gives you a picture of the benefits of digital diplomas, and the uses that can be made of them.
What is a digital diploma?
Definition of a digital diploma
Academic diplomas as we know them are an institution: a more or less decorated piece of paper bearing the name of its holder and the discipline in which they have obtained certification, a degree title, a qualification, etc. Some people still refer to it as “official parchment”! This “official parchment” is often awarded at a ceremony, then scanned multiple times, and, finally, in the best of cases framed and put on display as an object of proof that the student has successfully completed their university course.
A digital diploma is a digital version of this traditional document. It is similarly awarded at the end of a university course, and contains the same information:
- Name and date of birth of the graduate
- Year of graduation
- Title of the course completed
- Name of the issuing institution
The probative value of the “digital diploma” is strictly the same as that of its paper version, since the technology used, and blockchain technology in particular, makes it possible to guarantee the authenticity of all the data presented.
Digital diplomas are already widely used in France
Even if we do not think of them in these terms, many well-known diplomas have already been or are in the process of being digitalized, for example, in France, the Baccalauréat, BTS qualifications, and many other higher education courses. Indeed, when they are supported, the Diplôme.gouv.fr platform already allows students to access their diploma certificates online.
What are the advantages of digital diplomas compared to a traditional certificate?
1. Losing and having to reissue copies of diplomas are a thing of the past
Unlike its paper version, a digital diploma is impossible to lose, and, once issued, is always accessible. This means that universities waste less time and money producing duplicates of such important documents. For their part, students, who sometimes have to apply quickly to continue their studies or for their first job, have to wait less to receive proof of the completion of their studies.
2. Digital diplomas are more secure
A digital certificate offers much better security than a physical diploma, which, in any case, is often scanned, and may then easily be modified for fraudulent purposes. On the other hand, a digital diploma, with blockchain certification, is:
- Impossible to counterfeit, resolving the problem of fake diploma certificates
- Available for life, even if the entity that issued is dissolved
- Instantly and automatically verifiable, whereas classic diplomas are time-consuming to validate.
3. A diploma available in all formats and all circumstances
A traditional academic diploma often ends up hanging on a wall or lying at the bottom of a drawer, while various photocopies and scans of it are passed around. A digital diploma can be shared with as many people as needed, while maintaining exactly the same value and validity. The technological progress of digital credentials has made them independent of the format in which they are presented. Digital diplomas can therefore be sent and opened in all formats, and even shared on professional social networks! It will always be readable, verifiable and valid, in addition to being more easily accessible.
Finally, the two formats can also be combined, offering graduates:
- A digital credential for portability, security, and ease of sharing; and
- A physical diploma, awarded at the traditional graduation ceremony, which can be put on display at home, and includes a QR code allowing the digital version to be instantly verified.
Set up digital diplomas with BCdiploma
BCdiploma specializes in supporting organizations in the process of creating and issuing Verifiable Credentials, the new international standard for digital diplomas. In particular, we help universities and education and training institutions to digitalize diplomas and certifications that they issue to their students and graduates. The implementation of blockchain digital certificates at the University of Lille is a telling example of the benefits of such collaboration. To learn more about the opportunities offered by the use of blockchain technology, explore our site!