Master the Mainframe User Group - Group home

Best (free) Badges for Students

By Misty Decker posted Mon December 02, 2019 08:10 PM

What's a credential?
When an employer wants to know if you really understand a topic, they look for an official credential.  Your diploma or degree is a credential.  A certification is a credential.  But these things all take years to earn and sometimes you want to prove you have learned a skill that is a bit smaller.  The smaller but still official credential is exactly what Open Badging is meant to be.

IBM is a leader in Open Badging, with hundreds of badges available, many of them you can earn by taking a free online course and passing the exam.   Bonus!  Employers can search for candidates based on the badges they earn using the Acclaim Talent Match tool.  

So I asked employers for the top badges they look for on resumes. Here's your short list (you're welcome).

Have Employers call you!
I've heard from a number of employers that they take the list of people that have earned these mainframe badges and ask them all if they would apply for their internships and entry level positions. Mainframes are essential to most of the world's top companies but it's not a very common skill. So employers go out of their way to find candidates with these skills.

Master the Mainframe Part 3 (or at least Part 2)
Master the Mainframe Meetup Facilitator
Mainframe Application Programming - DB2 and COBOL
Networking on z/OS Foundations 
z/OS Introduction Workshop

Blockchain - the next big thing
Blockchain is at the very early stages of becoming a skill required for employers. But it's also a skill that few other people will have a credential for and your school is probably not teaching yet.  Here's your chance to learn it on your own and get an official credential too.

IBM Blockchain Essentials V2
IBM Blockchain Foundation Developer
Build an IoT Blockchain Network for a Supply Chain

All things Data and Analytics
Many more jobs will need the ability to understand Data and do Analytics than just data scientists. Marketing, management and even finance jobs are looking for these skills.

Big Data 101
Data Science 101
Hadoop 101
Spark Fundamentals 1
Python for Data Science

And a couple more essentials
I don't want to leave out some basic Cloud skills. The IBM Cloud is available for free for students and faculty and gives you access to some really great tools like Watson Analytics.
IBM Cloud Essentials

I'm also including a badge for basic Design Thinking skills. Hopefully your future job role includes this method of creating products and services with the customer constantly in mind. But even as a student, you will find it's a terrific way of organizing team projects, quickly identifying what's important and collecting input from everyone (not just the loud people on the team).
Enterprise Design Thinking Practitioner

There are a ton of these classes at and be sure to check out the multi-course learning paths.  

Have fun "learning and earning" badges!