Microsoft joins Degreed’s crusade to ‘jailbreak the degree’

Degreed, a San Francisco startup taking on traditional degrees and diplomas with a digital credential that reflects lifelong learning, has recruited its first corporate partner to its corner, Gigaom reports.

This week the startup said it will launch a partnership with Microsoft Virtual Academy, the tech giant’s online IT training site, which will give students who complete the program’s classes a way to display their achievements on Degreed.

Launched last year, Degreed, which has raised $900,000 in funding and just graduated from Kaplan’s TechStars-powered ed tech accelerator, gives users an online service for tracking all of their learning experiences. It includes traditional educational experiences (from colleges and graduate schools) but also gives people a way to share and “get credit for” learning on Coursera, iTunes and all of the other new educational platforms popping up on the web.

The point, as founder and CEO David Blake has said, is to “jailbreak the degree.” As people increasingly acquire skills through a diversity of online (and offline) experiences, Degreed’s goal is to give users and employers a more modular and digitally-relevant way of understanding a person’s skillset.

For now, the partnership only entails cross-promotion: once students complete a class on Microsoft Virtual Academy, they’re given the option to display their achievement on Degreed.

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