Digital Credentials and the Last Mile to Employment

Thursday, November 17, 2022 at 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Virtual Event

The Digital Credentials Consortium (DCC) is a university-led effort to build an infrastructure for digital academic credentials that can support the education systems of the future. Housed at MIT and made up of 12 leading universities with expertise in the design of verifiable digital credentials, DCC is an active participant in the W3C VC-EDU task force and explores the design and governance of a technology infrastructure for academic credentials.

In this talk, MIT research scientist and DCC advisor Philipp Schmidt will moderate a discussion about the DCC’s latest research, published in the report “Credentials to Employment: The Last Mile.” As part of an effort supported by Walmart to broaden adoption of digital credentials for learner and employment records, the DCC sought to better understand the barriers to using digital academic credentials in the “Last Mile” of education to employment pathways. The project team conducted research through semi-structured interviews with businesses, credentialing platforms, and higher education institutions who issue credentials. Panelists Brandon Muramatsu, Associate Director for Special Projects at MIT Open Learning, Sean Murphy, Director for Opportunity at Walmart, and Sharon Leu, Executive in Residence at JFFLabs, will discuss the report’s findings and share their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges in widespread adoption of digital credentials in academia and industry. An audience Q&A will follow.

This event is free and open to the public. Click here to register on EventBrite.

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Philipp Schmidt

Philipp Schmidt is a Research Scientist at MIT Open Learning, where he advises the Digital Credentials Consortium, as well as interim CTO of The Center for Reimagining Learning (tCRIL). Prior to joining tCRIL, Philipp was the Director of Digital Learning at the MIT Media Lab. He has extensive experience developing technology-enabled programs that increase opportunities for learning and education. Philipp founded Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU), a non-profit that provides wrap-around support for online courses through a network of public libraries, serves on the board of College Unbound, a degree-completion college for adult students, and was a founding board member of the OpenCourseWare Consortium. He holds a computer science degree from FH Furtwangen in Germany and an MBA from MIT.

Sharon Leu

Sharon Leu is an Executive in Residence at JFFLabs at Jobs for the Future, a national nonprofit driving the design and scale of technology-enabled approaches to promoting economic advancement. Sharon is focused on building infrastructure for a skills-based talent marketplace, promoting credential interoperability standards, and empowering individuals to use their data to access opportunity. Prior to joining JFFLabs, Sharon led postsecondary education innovation initiatives at the US Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology.

Brandon Muramatsu

Brandon Muramatsu is Associate Director, Special Projects at MIT Open Learning, where he works at the intersection of learning, innovation, and scale. His work focuses on online and digital learning to improve teaching and learning with a focus on open education. Brandon leads the design and implementation of local, national and international strategic education initiatives at Open Learning. He manages learning technology and curriculum development projects, including the design of web applications and software tools for educators and learners to develop/author, use, reuse and share digital learning resources. He also works with faculty to implement learning technologies in their classes and with their students. Brandon Muramatsu earned his B.S. (1993) and M.S. (1995) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Sean Murphy

Sean Murphy is a Director on the Opportunity team at, where he supports Walmart’s philanthropic efforts in developing the infrastructure needed to empower the development of a skill-based workforce system, which will enable all learning to count. In doing so, his work has led to Walmart investments in efforts such as the U.S. Chambers T3 Network, National Governors Association, MIT Media Lab, among others. Before joining in 2019, Mr. Murphy gained experience in the workforce space as an associate director for Pacific Mountain Workforce Development, leading projects that focused on populations such as veterans, justice involved youth, and others, as well as having worked within public policy/community engagement for U.S. Senator Patty Murray, and other congressional and statewide elected leaders in Washington state.

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