digital badges education

Different Types of Certificates and Overview of their Perks

Giovanna Pergher
Malte Zander

Founder and CEO

Jun 24, 2021
4 min

An overview of the different types of Digital Certificates and how they positively impact Brand Recognition

Online certification courses are increasingly becoming more popular during the pandemic, as the internet and the Education field work together to provide higher education to students despite halting in-person classes. 

The Conversation reports that enrolment in online certification platforms surged to 640% from mid-March to mid-April of 2020. A significant reason for this massive trend was driven by online courses, as they provide flexible learning options and focus on specific areas of improvement.

Unlike typical online classes, these certifications do not have any prerequisites and allow everyone to earn qualifications in a specific field of expertise. This allows anyone, for instance, to earn an online software engineering degree without spending the same resources it takes to achieve a traditional degree. 

In this article, we’ll outline the different types of certificates you can acquire online and provide you with a comprehensive overview of their perks. 

1. Certificates of Completion

Certificates of completion are amongst the most basic certificates awarded by the best online certificate programs.

These certificates are often granted for compliance training and completion incentives.

This can be helpful in preparing learners for industry-specific evaluations or kickstarting the process of earning an advanced degree. 

On the other hand, they can also be used by prospective employers to determine whether an applicant’s abilities align with their skills requirements.

In fact, online learners can take advantage of certificates of completion, and set themselves apart from employment competitors by showcasing their skills. Completion certificates formalize their efforts and provide authenticity to the skills they acquired. 


2. Nanodegree Certificates

A Nanodegree certificate is a Digital Education Certificate, earned from completing an online educational program that assists students in developing specialized skills in a specific area.

Its primary target market are professionals who want to gain innovative skills or improve their existing abilities without putting their careers on hold. 

Unlike traditional teaching methods, Nanodegrees use creative presentations to help everyone understand that the displayed skills can be immediately applied in a real-life setting.

Often, the learning process is done through projects, case studies, hands-on experiments, and test cases. They typically feature a top-notch online curriculum built by industry leaders and taught by expert instructors. 

While there is no exact duration to complete a Nanodegree, these can usually be earned in six to 12 months, depending on the study subject and the platform that provides the course. 

3. MOOC Certificates

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Certificates are recognitions awarded by virtual courses, generally available for free.

MOOC also promotes the re-use and paraphrasing of learning resources. This way, anyone can acquire new skills, advance their career, and achieve quality educational experiences effectively. 

These Certificates often use traditional course materials, such as problem sets, readings, and filmed lectures and interactive channels (like social media and user-forums) to support community interactions amongst learners and educators.

MOOC also offers a flexible learning schedule, in addition to the sustainable development of goals and an improved access to higher education. 

However, it's relevant to note that while MOOC courses are free, Online Certificates are only awarded after the learner paid a fee.

4. Social Media Certificate

A Social Media Certificate can take up 2 forms: recognition for the knowledge of social media platforms, or a Digital Certificate that is meant to be shared on Social Media.

Here, we'll focus on the former.

This another recognition that a learner can gain from an Educational Technology Certification, online. They are often used by forward-thinking employees to lend credibility to their skills and stand out from the pack.

With Social Media Certificates, candidates signal perseverance, dedication, and a full understanding of the industry to potential employers. 

These Certificates also help fill the gap in a resume, or in an online job profile for individuals without a traditional college degree.

It can also aid career advancement, while helping you position yourself in the field as a trained social media expert. It can be especially helpful considering Social Media is a constantly-evolving field that requires experts with innovative skills to navigate through it successfully. 

5. Certificates of Verification

A Certificate of Verification is an online credential earned from taking mission-critical learning courses.

These Certificates are awarded when online learners have completed and passed comprehensive examinations, conducted by an exam provider. 

They are relatively common in high-tech business sectors such as programming, cybersecurity, and incident prevention, which require specialty knowledge and carryn extreme consequences.

Verification certificates also display dedication to the learner’s profession and provide confirmation that they have the right skills and abilities necessary to react to changes. This can be critical in the event of an audit or compliance check-up.

By verifying employees’ abilities to perform specific tasks, organizations reduce the likelihood of hefty fines and penalties as a result of failing to adhere to specific standards, hence protecting their overall reputation. 

Improving Overall Reputation using Digital Certificates

Establishing a positive business reputation is essential in generating opportunities and distinguishing yourself from competitors, especially in the tight online learning market.

One way to establish presence and stand out from typical learning platforms is to use powerful software solutions such as VirtualBadge to recognize learners of their achievements and increase overall reach. 

VirtualBadge is brimming with dynamic features such as data insights, badge design, participant badges, event creation, and LinkedIn certificates to promote online courses and attract more sign-ups.

It also offers a Free Plan on top of its paid Pro, Expert, and Custom packages. 


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