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The majority of people attending University do so to attain a degree that will hopefully lead to employment, but do traditional degrees provide evidence of learning to meet that goal? The CBI in collaboration with NUS in a report titled “Working towards your future: Making the most of your time in higher education” list the following skills sought by employers : • Self-management • Teamworking • Business and customer awareness • Problem solving • Communication and literacy • Application of numeracy • Application of information technology


Graduates should consider if their degrees (earned or prospective) meet these requirements and provide evidence for employers that they have them. The author’s own degrees have no indication in their titles nor module breakdown that he has any specific competency in many of the above skills; and it is left to the job seeker to prove at interview that they can provide these abilities to an employer.


A spokesperson for the CBI said “these skills can be gained not just by coursework, but by a whole host of other methods, such as participating in societies, volunteering and doing work experience.” and that “..universities need to explain these skills better and make sure they embed them in teaching.”


Digital Badges can be issued to explicitly recognise these skills and demonstrate to the prospective employer where and how they were gained and thereby provide a competitive edge to the jobseeker who can tailor their earned badge display


to show badges that meet the advertised employment criteria.


Professor Ian Glover of Sheffield Hallam University undertook research into the potential of Digital Badges in Higher Education and has stated, “There is growing recognition from universities and employers of the importance of learning and personal development that happens outside the formal curriculum. Open Badges are a way for students and graduates to evidence their own unique set of skills and experience, whether it is directly from their studies or


other activities in which they are involved.”


With graduates facing higher University fees and wanting to enter employment rapidly following graduation, Digital Badges offer a further enhancement to a C.V


demonstrating much sought after skills and abilities not otherwise evidenced; the graduate who has Digital Credentials for these skills may have an advantage over those who do not, depending of course on the credibility that employers give to these new credentials.


Useful websites:


1 2 3


http://openbadges.org Mozilla’s Open Badges project


www.itap.purdue.edu/studio//passport Purdue University’s Passport


www.digitalme.co.uk Badge the UK


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