Digital Badges Capture Critical Skills at California Cybersecurity Education Conference


SHREVEPORT, La. — Attendees at the 2019 Community College Cyber Summit (3CS) will have the opportunity to take the skills they learn with them long after they leave Bossier Parish Community College.

Digital badges, or micro credentials, are a graphical representation of a person’s abilities and competencies, combined with a verifiable description of the knowledge and activities it took to earn it. They are highly visual and optimized for sharing on social media channels and professional networks. 3CS is partnering with SynED, a California-based non-profit that helps colleges and universities utilize technology and experiential learning, to provide digital badges to its attendees, presenters and workshop participants based on professional or personal achievements.

“The digital badges give community college faculty the opportunity to document their continuing professional development in a way that is visible to the entire cybersecurity community,” said conference chair Robert Spear.

Attendee badges are available to anyone who attends at least three conference sessions and completes feedback forms, along with completing the overall conference survey and submitting a “quotable quote.”

Anyone who presents at the conference, submits presentation materials and completes the feedback form is eligible to earn a presenter badge.

Individuals who complete Cybersecurity Skills Development Workshops are eligible to earn badges that correspond to each workshop:

  • Hands-On Cryptography
  • Secure Scripting
  • Intro to IBM’S QRadar
  • Cybersecurity Skills Journal

The workshop badges at 3CS align with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) framework, which means they are directly applicable to industry standards. Anyone can click on the badge to see exactly what went into earning it, which is important for complex fields like cybersecurity.

“The badges provide engagement for the 3CS community. In addition to links to external resources and workshop materials, the badges include metadata of the knowledge and skills participants demonstrated in the Cybersecurity Skills Development Workshops,” said Casey O’Brien, executive director and principal investigator at the National CyberWatch Center, which organizes the conference.

Lee Yarborough, the leader of the California Digital Badge Initiative at SynED, thinks about digital badges as an extension of a resume, which shows what jobs a person held but nothing about their specific skills or how they acquired them.

Digital badges provide that much-needed context for the employer to determine which specific skills a candidate has. They are also machine readable, which is critical as the hiring process adapts to AI.

“Hiring is now more skills and competency based, and employers want to verify that candidates know the skills they list on their resume,” Yarborough said. “An employer can click on a badge and, in an instant, it tells a better story than a resume or transcript ever could.”

3CS will be held July 30-August 1 at Bossier Parish Community College and Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel and Casino in Shreveport, Lousisana. For more information about digital badges at the conference, visit

About 3CS

3CS is organized and produced by the National CyberWatch Center, National Resource Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance (CSSIA), CyberWatch West (CWW), and Broadening Advanced Technological Education Connections (BATEC), which are all funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The outcomes of 3CS leverage community college cybersecurity programs across the nation by introducing the latest technologies, best practices, curricula, products and more.

About SynED

SynED is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting educational excellence by providing higher education professional services to facilitate the development of new models of curriculum, industry alliance, service, and delivery.


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