Certificates vs Badges When to use each of them

Certificates and badges are both forms of digital credentials that are used to recognize and validate an individual's skills, knowledge, and achievements. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are some key differences between the two that can help determine when to use one over the other.

Feb 9, 2023
5 min
|      by
Giovanna Pergher
digital badges education

One of the main differences between certificates and badges is the level of detail and information they provide. Certificates are typically more detailed and include information such as the name of the individual, the course or program they completed, and the date of completion. They may also include the name of the institution or organization that issued the certificate, as well as any accreditation or quality assurance information. In contrast, badges are more concise and typically include less information. They may simply include the name of the badge, the issuer, and a small icon or image.

Another important difference between certificates and badges is the level of rigor and assessment that goes into earning them. Certificates are typically awarded for completing a course or program of study, and often require the individual to pass an exam or demonstrate their knowledge through a project or assignment. Badges, on the other hand, are often awarded for a specific skill or achievement, and may be earned through a variety of means, such as completing a quiz, participating in a workshop, or demonstrating a skill through a portfolio.

So when should you use certificates and when should you use badges?

Certificates are a great option when you want to recognize and validate an individual's completion of a formal program of study. They are often used by educational institutions and professional organizations to certify that an individual has completed a course or program and has demonstrated a certain level of knowledge or skill. Certificates can also be useful for individuals looking to build their resumes or advance their careers, as they can serve as proof of their skills and qualifications.

Badges, on the other hand, are a great option when you want to recognize and validate an individual's specific skills or achievements. They can be used in a variety of settings, such as in the workplace, in educational institutions, or in online communities, and can be earned through a variety of means. Badges are a great way to recognize and acknowledge an individual's achievements and can be used to build motivation and engagement.

In conclusion, both certificates and badges have their own unique use cases and can be used to recognize and validate an individual's skills and achievements. Certificates are great for formal program of study while badges are great for specific skills and achievements, and the choice between the two will depend on the needs of the organization, the type of recognition being awarded, and the audience the recognition is intended for.

This comparison will give you a further inside on the disadvantages and advantages that each badges and certificates have:

Badges vs Certificates Comparison

And you might have the questions now: Can I issue both?  

And yes you can. It has become more common to see badges being used to build learning paths within a course. So, for example, with each completed module of this course, your students would get a badge. Upon the completion of the course, the students would then receive their certificates.  

This practice allows education providers to keep their students motivated throughout the complete duration of the course.

If you are looking so easy, secure and automatic ways to issue certificates and badges, check out Virtualbadge.io! You can start a 7-days free trial in any plan and start issuing today.

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