By Tamara L. Burk, Ph.D.
What is a virtual badge? Virtual badges provide an opportunity to highlight critical performance; offering an advantage to all involved in the employment process (job seekers, current employees, potential employers and/or existing employers). They are a verifiable way for individuals to showcase their development of a particular competency. This could include topic areas such as social justice, resiliency, problem solving, or collaboration (just to name a few). Recent research has indicated 62 percent of human resource managers were advocates of badge programs and recognized the benefits they provide to all involved.
How are virtual badges used in the workplace? Virtual badge opportunities offer employers a way to better understand their employees’ areas of competency and strength. They also help those earning the badge feel more confident. Together, this provides a win-win situation for both the employee and employer.
How are these badges displayed? These badges appear on virtual resumes as a visual symbol of achievement and provide an additional layer to resumes and ePortfolios offering more in-depth explanations and verifiable information. Anyone can access a virtual badge and quickly gain insight on the specific skill achieved and how the badge was earned.
Where and how can these badges be earned? At Columbia College, we already offer numerous badge opportunities for our students and we are constantly growing this program. We are now expanding this program to The Women’s Business Center of SC and will soon be launching several badge opportunities through this platform. I encourage you to engage in earning these badges.
How can you learn more about badge opportunities? As we continue to dive even further into the digital realm, The Women’s Business Center of South Carolina at Columbia College is consistently looking for easy and effective opportunities to move their members and partners forward. Stay tuned to the Women’s Business Center website (wbcofsc.com) for more information and launch dates for these opportunities.
By utilizing virtual badges, students, job seekers and business professionals have a way to highlight their skills and showcase them to the right audience. They will provide an avenue for personal growth while highlighting individual achievements. The current launch date is anticipated in the beginning of 2021.
About the Author
Tamara L. Burk holds a doctorate and education specialist degree from the College of William and Mary and two professional development certificates from Harvard University and the Terry College of Business. She is a professor of communication and leadership, the John Reeves Endowed Chair of Leadership Studies, and the Director of the P.L.A.C.E. (Philanthropy, Leadership, and Community Engagement) Program, and the Center for Leadership and Social Change at Columbia College.