2022 Guide: Online and In-Person Digital Badges

A digital badge demonstrates a skill or qualification earned from an online or in-person learning program. These digital credentials validate a specific educational accomplishment, proving to employers that you are the right person for the job. 

Consider enrolling in an online or in-person program that awards you a digital badge upon completion of the course. You can then display the badge on your website, online portfolio, LinkedIn page, email signature, or digital resume as a symbol of your accomplishment. 

Learn more about digital badge programs online and in-person below.

What Is an Online or In-Person Digital Badge Program?

A digital badge program is a learning or training program that provides you with a digital badge, or “e-badge,” on completion of the course. You can find these programs in various fields and disciplines. The learning provider will award you a digital badge that symbolizes a specific skill, certification, or another type of accomplishment. 

There are two ways to study a digital badge program:

  1. In-person at a physical college
  2. Over the internet

(Most digital badge programs take place online.)

Deciding whether to enroll in an online or in-person digital badge program depends on your preferred learning style, lifestyle, and budget. 

In-person programs occur at physical locations like universities and community colleges, where you interact with tutors, faculty members, and other students face-to-face. These courses let you learn at the same pace as other students and enjoy the social benefits of a traditional classroom environment. 

Online digital badge programs take place over the internet. An online program might benefit you if you want to learn at your own pace or balance your studies with existing travel, work, or family commitments. 

There are far too many digital badge courses to list below. However, here are some of the most popular ones: 

  • IIBA academic certificate/diploma (various business-related courses)
  • IBM digital badging program (various computing-related courses)
  • Open University badged courses (various courses)
  • Cisco digital badge programs (various technology-related courses)

Completing a digital program could lead to a wide range of career options. Depending on the program, someone with a digital badge might get a job as a: 

  • Programmer
  • Website designer
  • Business specialist
  • IT specialist
  • UX designer
  • Software developer
  • Marketing professional 

How Much Does a Digital Badge Program Cost? 

It depends on the school. However, digital badge programs are short courses that last several weeks or months and cost significantly less than a traditional bachelor’s or master’s degree.  

The International Institute of Business Analytics (IIBA) awards graduates with a digital badge after completing its Certification of Capability in Business Analytics (CCBA) course. The program costs $125. A certificate of higher education in any program at The Open University, which all come with digital credentials, costs around $8,800 (price correct as of August 2021.) 

An online digital badge program could work out cheaper than a classroom-based program because you won’t have accommodation or travel costs. If eligible, you could receive a scholarship or grant to reduce tuition fees on your course. 

Average Salary for a Digital Badge Program

Digital badge programs are a relatively new concept, and there is little salary data about graduates from these courses. However, here is a list of average salaries of popular jobs associated with these programs. (Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and correct as of May 2020.)

The mean annual wage for software developers is $114,270, or $54.94 per hour. The top-paying states for software developers are:

  1. Washington: $138,400 (mean annual wage)
  2. California: $137,620
  3. New York: $122,300
  4. Massachusetts: $119,790
  5. District of Columbia: $119,630

The mean annual wage for computer programmers is $95,640, or $45.98 an hour. The top-paying states for computer programmers are:

  1. Washington: $177,210
  2. District of Columbia: $119,010
  3. California: $107,300
  4. Virginia: $103,150
  5. Texas: $102,650

The mean annual wage for web developers is $85,490, or $41.10 an hour. The top-paying states for web developers are:

  1. Washington: $133,790 (mean annual wage)
  2. California: $94,960
  3. Georgia: $93,590
  4. Massachusetts: $91,480
  5. New Jersey: $90,710

What Is the Job Outlook for Digital Badge Program Graduates? 

It depends on the job. There will be a 10.1% increase in employment opportunities for software developers (systems software), a 7.2% decrease for computer programmers, and a 13% increase for web developers from 2018 to 2028, according to research from the Department of Labor and Projections Central. 

Courses in a Digital Badge Program

Courses in a digital badge program depend on the topic or discipline. For example, a digital badge program in coding might include Java, data structure, and data design courses. A web design digital badge program might consist of typography, responsive design, and artificial intelligence courses.  

Digital badge programs concentrate more on practical skills than academic skills. You might also learn transferable soft skills that broaden your career options. These soft skills include:

  • Problem-solving
  • Cooperation
  • Creativity
  • Calendar management
  • Dependability
  • Critical thinking
  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Self-motivation

FAQs About Digital Badge Programs

What jobs require a digital badge?

You can use a digital badge to further your career or increase your chances of landing a specific job. Here are some occupations that might benefit from digital badges:  

  • Computer programmer
  • Computer technician
  • Website designer 
  • Marketing professional
  • Web developer

Does a digital badge program offer good job prospects?

It depends on the job field. There will be job opportunities for some occupations associated with digital badge programs in the next few years, according to government predictions.

What are the different fields of a digital badge program? 

Popular fields of digital badge programs include:

  • Computing
  • Data science
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Marketing 
  • Sales

How long does it take to get a digital badge?

It can take just a few weeks to complete a digital badge program. Other courses might take a few months to complete full time.

What does a digital badge program curriculum typically include?

A typical digital badge curriculum includes classes that teach practical skills for a specific job type or industry. For example, a business management digital badge program might incorporate financial risk, sales, and customer service classes.

Summary Information

Program Options/Time Summary

  • You can earn a digital badge in as little as a few weeks.
  • You can display a digital badge on your website, email signature, digital portfolio, LinkedIn page, and elsewhere.
  • You can enroll in a digital badge program online or at a physical college.

Benefits Summary

The benefits of studying digital badge programs online and in-person include:

  • Get a digital credential that could impress future employers.
  • Share a certification or accomplishment online. 
  • Earning a digital badge online lets you maintain any existing travel or work commitments while you learn. 
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