University of Phoenix students in the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree program can now easily display their skills to potential employers via digital badging. Digital badges provide evidence of skills developed during courses taken as part of the MBA program, which have been carefully tracked to align with skills that are in demand from employers.
University of Phoenix uses a sophisticated system to identify in-demand skills that draws on statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as labor market analysis from Emsi. These skills are then mapped to learning opportunities within the MBA program. Available MBA digital badges include:
- Business Administration
- Business Strategies
- Organizational Structure
- Human Resource Management
- Organizational Culture
- Change Management
- Innovation Leadership
- Performance Management
- Training and Development
There are also two nursing-related badges for Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Preparedness (CA). The badges themselves are issued through a partnership with Credly, a leading digital credential provider.
These badges come at a time when employers are increasingly looking for skills development among candidates, and some 64 percent of executives believe that lifelong learning is essential. And while microcredentials such as digital badges are still considered a supplement to traditional degrees, they are a highly visible way to quickly communicate a candidate’s qualifications on LinkedIn and other social platforms.
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Real World Skills Developed In University of Phoenix Classes That Translate to Digital Badges
Experiential learning that draws directly from the professional world is a hallmark of the University of Phoenix education model. Students follow a Learn, Practice, and Apply learning framework as they are led through exercises that simulate real business challenges by experienced faculty. College of Business and IT faculty at University of Phoenix have an average 29 years of industry experience and 15 years average of University of Phoenix teaching experience along with high student ratings. Faculty provide critical feedback, additional support and assessments to guide students from learning to mastery.
In one essential skill-building course, Leading Change, taken as part of the University of Phoenix MBA program, students learn how to build strong, functional organizational cultures. During the course, students assess the culture and performance of a business and then design a change management plan. Not only do students gain experience in a critical business skill as part of the course, but their aptitude allows them to earn a digital badge that immediately broadcasts their competency to potential employers.
More than 83 percent of students are employed while taking classes, and many are pursuing degrees in order to advance or transition in their careers. The badges students earn can help them demonstrate what they are learning on LinkedIn and on their resumes.
Students are responding well to the badges, says Kevin Wilhelmson, dean of the College of Business and Information Technology at University of Phoenix, adding: “This intentional approach of skills-mapping leading to badging keeps the MBA program and courses focused on bridging the gap between what a student learns in the classroom and what they can speak to in career conversations.”
Online MBA Options from University of Phoenix
To begin to gain real-world skills and earn skills-based badges to display on resumes and social media, prospective students must first choose the MBA program that is right for them. University of Phoenix offers two online MBA programs. The first is a traditional online Master of Business Administration (MBA) accredited by the ASBSP. This program can be a good fit for students who prefer a group setting, already hold a bachelor’s degree and have never studied business. This MBA degree program is eligible for transfer credits.
The University also offers the competency-based education (CBE) MBA program, accredited by the ASBSP. This program is designed for students who already have a bachelor’s in business or management and have at least three years of work experience in a corporate setting. The CBE MBA at University of Phoenix builds on students’ established skills and uses a theoretical framework to test their competency around business challenges that they are likely to encounter in the workplace.
Students can choose a program based on their background, learning style and preferred time commitment. The traditional MBA takes 16 months to complete, with students completing one course at a time. In contrast, the competency-based MBA can be completed in just one year, with four courses taken concurrently and much learning happening independently.
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