Millions of college graduates face stiff competition in the job market. Most of the employers do not take the risk of viewing the resumes to schedule an interview for an entry-level position. A candidate may get called for an interview if he or she has an internship, a post-secondary degree, or certifications, etc.
To combat this, digital badges in higher education are emerging in recent years which provide the college graduates an opportunity to highlight their resume and showcase job-readiness in a faster and effective way. Several education institutions and credentialing organizations have added digital credentials to their programs. It is the preferred way to recognize micro-credentials that focuses on competencies or skills.
It is a recognition for the learning acquired by candidates outside the traditional academic records. It verifies the skill, competencies, or accomplishment earned in the learning environment (typically online environment). The credential envelopes all kinds of learning programs like training, boot camps, certifications, internships, volunteer work, continuing education, higher education, etc. These digital badges direct towards hiring goals as the candidates’ skills get verified at a faster rate.
While pursuing academics, students can take courses through extended learning and earn badges. The badges could be for workplace essentials, business writings, time management, etc.
The advantage of these badges is that they can be shared on their social media profiles like LinkedIn and personal websites. Badges showcase the world that you know the latest skills. These digital credentials are gaining traction in technology, healthcare, and finance as compared to other sectors because in these sectors, change occurs fast and one has to keep pace with the evolving changes. Moreover, the college degree might not map the skill necessary for a new hire’s role.
For instance, a resilience badge denotes that you have problem-solving skills and adaptability.
In brief, digital credentials denote the outcomes of education that can be communicated and integrated to get hired easily. Badges provide a competitive edge in a job market where the skills and competencies keep evolving.
However, when these badges are provided within an academic institute, the weightage may get reduced.
It is recommended to increase the candidates’ appeal to potential employers by earning badges that get validated by a third-party. A vendor-neutral credential provided by big giants like Microsoft, IBM, or well-renowned credentialing bodies like CredForce, Acclaim, Badgr, etc.
For instance, IBM’s cognitive class focuses on data science and cognitive computing. It provides more than 25 different types of badges in this domain.
The digital badges offered at IBM display the trending skills in areas like analytics, cloud, and cybersecurity.
The CredBadgeTM developed by CredForce for Institutions, credentialing bodies, and certified professionals gain employer visibility across digital platforms and social media channels. A few of the clients include BPO Certification Institute, Investment Banking Council of America, Data Science Council of America, etc.
Moreover, the highlight is that these badges from third-party require the candidates to take an assessment making the credential more authentic and employer-friendly. Badges represent skills at the nano level and facilitate the badge earner to create an online digital resume displaying the specific skills and get noticeable from the prospective employers.
It is a win-win situation for both employers and academia as well.