College degrees are easy for HR people to understand. They have names that resemble the position (looking for an engineer? Look for engineering degree) and come, for the most part, from credentialed institutions.
"Badges", on the other hand, have no standards, no institutional backing, and nobody knows what they mean. Catherine Lacey, the woman who volunteers answering biology questions, would get big points in an interview saying that she volunteers rather than she's a "Level 40 Hero".
Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:I like the idea of more specific details.
The article suggests that a degree doesn't tell you much about what was studied, but all students get transcripts nowadays showing exactly what they took, and what grades they got for it (at least in this country) - employers already have access to that if they want it.
Matthew Brown wrote:all students get transcripts nowadays showing exactly what they took, and what grades they got for it (at least in this country)
that tells you what the class was called, but not what was actually studied. I have a class on my transcript called "topics in modern mathematics" (or something like that). Each professor could teach whatever he wanted, so what you learned depended on what prof you had.
I think the badge idea is interesting, but there would need to be some kind of standard, or accreditation agency. I mean, right now I could put up a web site that gave out badges, but they wouldn't mean anything.
I logged on to the site mentioned in the article, and looked at the Mathematics path. The first badge had me add up two 1-digit numbers five times. I even got the same problem twice within that set of five, and BAM!!! I had my first badge.
Not sure what that really qualifies me for, beyond getting out of first grade.
There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
I'm still not entirely convinced. If the badges are fine-grained enough to be more meaningful than a degree transcript, I reckon they'll become pretty useless because of information overload.
(I also have a problem with the conflation of training and education, which this doesn't do explicitly but it does seem to head in that direction, but that's a whole other debate that I don't really want to get into right now!)
While badges could be used for skills (if supplemented with non-online activities) like speaking, analysis, etc there is still the problem with info overload. If someone could group the skill badges into a useful program like a degree...
Concepts of a centralized/standardized body to issue the badges is fine. But for anyone the university degree should be the foundation which actually responsible for learning and/or achieving any other recognition properly in future.