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University of Phoenix digital badging supports career development of Master of Business Administration degree

By Sharla Hooper

National Career Development Month highlights opportunity of high value MBA degree  

November is National Career Development Month and an opportunity to highlight tools, resources, and actions individuals can take to evolve and develop their career path. In the current job market, skills often matter nearly as much as a degree. At University of Phoenix, the availability of digital badging adds a new tool for demonstrating skills within the Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) program.

The MBA is a career development path with established value; a recent Wall Street Journal analysis found that 98% of MBA programs leave students with manageable debt loads given their new career and income enhancement opportunities.

Digital badging is the culmination of a skill-mapping process in program and curriculum development. University of Phoenix relies on Bureau of Labor Statistics and a strategic collaboration with Emsi Burning Glass, a leader in labor market analysis, to identify skills currently in demand. The University of Phoenix utilized this research and data analysis to map in-demand skills to the MBA program. Digital badging allows learners to share their new skill on digital platforms and with their employers.

“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,” states Kevin Wilhelmson, dean of the College of Business and Information Technology at University of Phoenix. “We are pleased to see how well-received it is by our students.”

One example of how skills-mapping leads to digital badging is the University’s Leading Change course in the MBA program. Research and data show a need for business professionals to understand how to build healthy and effective organizational cultures. Assessing organizational cultures is a skill mapped back to the course. Assignments include assessing an organization’s culture and performance and creating a change management plan using that insight to implement changes. Students can utilize that plan to demonstrate to their employer, or potential employer, they can lead change by understanding organizational culture. In turn, upon successful completion of the assignment, the students receive a digital badge to display on their resume, social networking sites, or job boards.

Two of the University of Phoenix’s most popular programs, Master of Business Administration and the competency-based Master of Business Administration, are currently fully mapped to skills, with more programs and associated coursework in the process of being skills-mapped. The accredited MBA programs are fully online, taught by faculty with an average of 26 years experience, and cost $698 per credit; the competency-based MBA costs $300 per credit and can be completed online within 12 months.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit