Badges, We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges

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In the era of technology, everything’s digital these days. From shopping, to education, and even to graduation. Everything has moved onto our screens and tablets and we’re living with it. But what are digital badges and what’s up with them? Are they even worth anything?

Without talking about it in detail, and dissecting the topic through different angles, it is not right to make a conclusion. First, let’s talk about digital badges and mention their history and how the modern world views digital badges and their relevance in today’s world.

What Are Digital Badges?

Wikipedia defines digital badges as proof against an achievement, skill, accomplishment, or quality.

Let’s say someone recently enrolled themselves for a painting course online. It took them three months to complete that tedious course and now they are finally done with it. Now they want to join a painting school, and the school wants some achievement or accomplishment or proof that the person has done painting before.

How do they show them? Through a digital badge, of course. Read more about digital badges here. Digital badges have linked people, which is actually quite true. They have made our lives easier, but is that their only use? Let’s talk about it.

The concept of badges became popular with the Russians. They used badges to represent accomplishment or achievement in wars and fights. In the modern era, there are actually different types of digital badges that exist. There’s test badged digital credentials, digital certificates, and digital badges.

Digital Credentials

We mentioned how almost the whole world has switched to online platforms. Digital badges are not that bad after all, in fact they display valid credentials of people and authenticate their achievement or quality.

Physical credentials are in physical form, while digital credentials are in digital form. There are several ways one person’s achievement can be recognized. Digital badges are just one way. These digital badges can be of training completion certificates or perhaps a fitness course.

However, the digital badge should clearly display the authentication of the person. Their name, information about their credential, expiry rate (in some instances), and the issuer. These details may change with countries and laws.

Digital badges are not limited to achievements only. There are digital badges for completing internships with companies or places as well. Since internships are really important for college, students need to realize that having a digital badge for their internship is just as important. The importance of internships is often understated, but college students realize how essential internships are in strengthening their resume.

Advantages of Digital Badges

Let’s start by mentioning paper credentials first. Already due to mass deforestation across the globe, the temperatures are rising globally. This is making the atmosphere worse. Not to mention that it can take several processes for physical credentials to come into being. Let’s say, if all of that could be saved. If all those processes could be avoided, and all that paper, or leather could be used someplace else. That’s how digital badges help us and make a little effort in saving the planet.

Plus, credentials these days are not easy to work around. Especially physical credentials. They are subject to theft. Your physical credentials can be stolen, or worse, taken by someone else who hasn’t achieved what you have. Forbes identifies how compromised credentials can become a huge threat for people who don’t know how to protect it properly.

Secondly, digital badges will make people hungry for growth. Human beings by design are motivated by achievement, accomplishment, and recognition. Digital badges do just that. They add value to a person and allow them to improve and grow with time.

When a person stacks achievement upon achievement and digital badge upon another digital badge they become eager to get more. This can make lives meaningful and allow people to learn new skills. Achievement motivation is actually a concept whereby people try to motivate themselves by achievement. This holds true for a large majority of people and they navigate their lives through this approach.

So instead of memorizing knowledge, students can actually learn a thing or two that they can use in the real world. So the old quote, badges we don’t need no stinking badges might not apply in this era after all.

Thirdly, more and more associations are now realizing the importance and relevance of digital badges. They now believe they are important for every individual and people need to pay attention to learning new skills and accomplishments if they want to join their company.

Disadvantages of Digital Badges

While it’s true that businesses and organizations have become modernized and they rely more on technology and the Internet now, some are still stuck in the past. Businesses and even some governments still don’t fully believe in the Internet. This is probably because they don’t understand it that well. Whatever the case, they may not recognize someone’s digital badge and disapprove of it. Whereas if they had a physical badge they would recognize and accept it.

Secondly, digital badges can act as a deterrence for people who don’t have many already. It can even make people go after badges, not learning or acquiring a new skill or gaining something. This might become another rat race where people are only concerned about gaining a thing that is trendy.

It is true, though. People may start acquiring digital badges to flaunt in front of their family or friends. This is never a good indication, as this can also result in fraudulent activities where digital badges are produced and sold to people. In countries where there’s less regulation of laws and less involvement of authorities in these matters, fake digital badges might already exist. People may have “authentication” even though they haven’t achieved or accomplished anything.

So can we still say badges we don’t need no stinking badges and is it still applicable?


Not really. Digital badges are actually really helpful. They can prove a person’s worth without them having to go through the ordeal of passing a live test or a live demonstration of their talent. Plus, physical credentials can get lost. Whereas digital credentials are always available. The company or organization that issued it will almost certainly have the record. They will issue it again for you. So now you don’t even need to worry about carefully locking away your physical badges anymore. You can rely on digital badges to do the same job for you, but only better. If people want to walk toe to toe with this era, then they will need to recognize digital badges.


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