Digital badging, also known as micro-credentialing, has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years. It is the process of awarding digital badges that recognise the acquisition of skills, knowledge, and achievements. Digital badges serve as an online representation of badges or certificates that were once only available on paper. They represent an individual’s acquisition of a particular set of skills or knowledge, along with the achievements they have accomplished in the process.
In today’s world, where lifelong learning has become key to staying up to date with trends and skills acquisition, digital badges have become increasingly popular and are now considered a significant trend in the world of online education. Notable companies such as Udemy, IBM, Google, and Amazon now offer badges as a way of accrediting their employees’ skills and knowledge. Genius Group has been using digital badging for its student community and employees for many years. It was also one of the first companies to start a point-based reward system – the more courses studied by the students, the more points they received. They find the whole skills acquisition and education process much more fun, interactive, and eventually rewarding.
But let’s look at the importance of digital badging for employees and students and explore examples from major companies such as Microsoft, Udemy, IBM, and LinkedIn, as well as Genius Group which has been at the forefront of this trend for years.
One of the most significant benefits of using digital badges is that they enable individuals to showcase their achievements in a standardised way. Having a digital badge represents the acquisition of a set of skills and is similar to how degrees or certificates in the physical world represent an individual’s achievements. Digital badges are a way to validate a particular skill or accomplishment and are being used increasingly to filter job applicants in hiring processes.
For a company like Microsoft, the Microsoft Certified badge represents the fact that an individual is an expert in Microsoft development, administration, and deployment. A digital badge can be shared on social media, added to resumes, and displayed on LinkedIn profiles.
Digital badges encourage individuals to continually learn and progress. As an individual earns a digital badge, they are motivated to keep adding to their skills and knowledge to earn further badges. This promotes continuous improvement and personal growth, creating a culture of learning and providing organisations with a competitive edge by equipping employees with skills that address business challenges effectively.
For example, Udemy provides digital badges for every course an individual completes. This not only incentivises users to take more courses but also showcases their dedication and expertise in a particular area of learning.
Standardised recognition of skills and knowledge
The use of digital badges provides a standardised method of recognition for skills and knowledge acquisition that was previously difficult to quantify or compare. The set of recognisable and transferable credentials provides a more meaningful method of assessing a candidate’s abilities than traditional resumes. It is helpful for HR management during recruitment, providing them with a more comprehensive and objective view of candidates’ skills and knowledge.
Genius Group is at the forefront of this trend, having introduced years ago digital badging and a point-based system (GEM) that recognises the acquisition of skills, knowledge, and achievements. GEM rewards points for specific course achievements and gives preferential rates to access new courses and seminars.
Cost-effective credentialing of employees
Digital badging presents a cost-effective way of credentialing employees in a particular skill or knowledge area. Offline credentials like diplomas, certificates, and degrees come with substantial operational expenses, including printing and document archival costs. The scalable digital badge system offers a cost-effective, streamlined way of delivering credentials over online platforms globally with no additional printing or costs associated.
Safe and secure
Digital badging is more secure than traditional documentation. Digital badges are awarded only after the completion of a course or successful product development, making them difficult to fake. This helps to prevent fraud, ensuring that credentials are accurately tied to an individual’s capabilities.
For example, IBM provides digital badges that are embedded with metadata, detailing the criteria required to earn the badge, ensuring a more thorough and objective view of a candidate’s qualifications.
Digital badges can help job seekers differentiate themselves from other candidates, showcasing their skills and demonstrating their commitment to ongoing learning and professional development.
Recent studies have shown that digital badges offer a competitive advantage in the job market. Digital badges are a powerful tool for enhancing your personal brand and helping individuals to find jobs in some of the most reputable companies. For instance, LinkedIn users who showcase their digital badges on their profiles enhance their profiles’ performance greatly.
Promoting lifelong learning
Digital badges can serve as an incentive for employees and students to continue learning. As they earn new badges, they are motivated to expand their knowledge and expertise. This not only promotes lifelong learning but also encourages them to remain relevant in their industry or field.
The workforce is evolving, with digital badging providing a standardised way of recognising and accrediting skills, knowledge, and achievements, replacing traditional paper documents. This digital approach increases the speed, security, and cost-effectiveness of managing employee and student credentials. Digital badging is essential for motivating continuous learning, promoting lifelong learning and skills development, and providing a more meaningful method of assessing an individual’s abilities and expertise.
Employers who provide employees with digital badges can foster a culture of learning and skill development that will positively affect their organisations. In conclusion, the use of digital badges for education, training, and skill development is on the rise, and we can expect companies to adopt this trend increasingly in the future.