Near-Future Watch: Digital Merit Badges for Job Seekers

The New York Times has another look at the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Merit Badge Project:

The MacArthur Foundation is putting millions of dollars into a competition to spur interest in a new type of badge — one that people can display not on their clothing but on a Web site, blog or Facebook page while they are looking for a job.

The badges will not replace résumés or transcripts, but they may be a convenient supplement, putting the spotlight on skills that do not necessarily show up in traditional documents — highly specialized computer knowledge, say, or skills learned in the military, in online courses or in after-school programs at museums or libraries.

Brilliant idea. One can easily imagine that the online learning community will rally around this. Authenticity will be verified by the issuer. A crucial feature.

This will be very helpful in job searches, helping people find job positions that align closely with their official credentials.