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University of Phoenix announces milestone issuing over 600,000 digital badges for working adult learners 

By Sharla Hooper

University of Phoenix digital badges help working adult learners demonstrate skills attainment and workplace relevancy and opportunity

University of Phoenix is participating this week in the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Conference, Booth #1417, and celebrating the milestone of 601,589 digital badges issued to the University’s working adult learners in skills-tagged curriculum programs since September 2021, for skills obtained in undergraduate, graduate, and professional development courses. Digital badges are available in 48 degree programs and students can earn badges through additional opportunities in select programs as well as professional development courses.

A recent SHRM study advocates that in a tight labor market, equitable “whole person” hiring that considers life skills, aptitude, and skills-based employment practices rather than focusing solely on degrees can help address workforce challenges. University of Phoenix anticipated this market transition and introduced digital badges for single or combinations of skills obtained in select undergraduate, graduate, and professional development courses. Digital badges offer students a clear way to communicate exactly the skills they have learned to current and potential employers.

“In today’s job market, skills matter. Employers of all types are increasingly focusing more on skills, in and outside of degrees,” states John Woods, Ph.D., provost and chief academic officer. “We want our students to find value both in their degree and also throughout their learning journey. Digital badges provide assessed evidence of skills that learners have gained in their degree programs or courses and support their efforts to more quickly identify career opportunities and transitions.”

As of June 2024, University of Phoenix offers 384 digital badges for assessed skills and has issued over 601,589 digital badges to more than 173,000 learners. Since launching digital badges in 2021, University of Phoenix has seen the monthly acceptance rate grow and it currently stands at 62%. 

The University offers badges for undergraduate courses required in most degree programs. Called the Phoenix Success Series, these courses provide undergraduate students the opportunity early in their programs to earn digital skills badges including: Intentional Communicator, Reflective Communicator, Reflective Decision Maker, Reflective Problem Solver, Strategic Problem Solver, and Intentional Problem Solver. New badges have been added for skills in Quantitative Reasoning, Qualitative Reasoning, and Teamwork, Collaboration and Conflict Resolution. There have been 377,875 Phoenix Success Series badges earned as of June 2024. Additionally, the University provides digital skills badges aligned with University Learning Goals, for which 212,117 digital badges have been earned.

University of Phoenix continues to develop new badges in response to labor market changes, highlighting durable as well as technical skills that have become more prominent in recent years. New badges for skills obtained in College of Business and Information Technology programs and courses include Data Driven Decision Making, Organizational Leadership, and Relationship Building in the Bachelor of Science in Business program (BSB), and Business Planning, Financial Management, Operational Efficiency, and Strategic Leadership in the Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) degree program. The College of Nursing has developed an Emergency Preparedness badge in the Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) degree program, and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences has developed a badge for Crisis Support available in Master’s of Science in Counseling programs

University of Phoenix works with labor market researchers including Lightcast, Industry Advisory Councils, and expert faculty in their fields, to identify, tag, and map employer sought-after skills in curriculum, and students’ progress are made visible through their profile dashboard. Students can then claim digital badges, using the Credly platform, to display skills across multiple platforms including resumes, social media and digital platforms as proof of learning for potential employers, current employers, and colleagues.

In 2023, the University’s innovative skills-aligned curriculum culminated in 100 percent of associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs open for new enrollment being fully skills-mapped.  The University issued a white paper in November 2023 providing a foundational reflection of the University of Phoenix focus on providing career-relevant, skills-based education and authentic assessment for working adult students. 

As a member of the SHRM Recertification Provider network, University of Phoenix offers eight non-credit, self-led professional development courses that provide recertification credits for the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP®) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP®), focusing on topics including diversity, equity and inclusion, communication leadership, and business acumen. Each course aligns to the SHRM Body of Applied Skills and Knowledge™ (SHRM BASK™) and provides 30 professional development credits (PDCs) upon successful completion. SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP, SHRM BASK, and SHRM Body of Applied Skills and Knowledge are registered trademarks of Society for Human Resource Management.

University of Phoenix has a SHRM Affiliated Student Chapter, dedicated to the professional development of students pursuing careers in human resource management, business administration, industrial and organizational psychology, and closely related fields of study; currently enrolled University of Phoenix students are eligible for a discount on SHRM memberships.

Learn more here about the SHRM annual conference.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix innovates to help working adults enhance their careers and develop skills in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, skills-mapped curriculum for our bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and a Career Services for Life® commitment help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit