More colleges and universities are turning to digital badges as a means to help students—including returning graduates—demonstrate their mastery of specific skills to potential employers, according to Inside Higher Ed.
Badges are intended to enhance degrees, not replace them. In the Illinois State University honors program, students can earn digital badges for both coursework and for related hands-on experiences. “That could include academic achievements, like seminar course or biology lab work, or noncollege skills learned through internships or volunteer work,” wrote Paul Fain in the article.
The honors program determines the criteria for each badge and may require faculty and/or students to provide documentation or work samples. Students can decide which badges are viewable, so they can tailor their profile for the type of jobs they’re seeking.
Some badges provide official verification that a student did indeed serve in a certain capacity, such as being a campus peer mentor, or participated in a project or activity.
Other institutions are using badges to designate specific technical skills attained by students, such as information technology or advanced manufacturing.