Digital Badges for Vets Contest

Veterans can have a hard time translating skills learned in the military into a neat summary on a resume, so the Veterans Affairs Department, with help from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, has kicked off a contest to develop digital badges.

The badges are online records of achievements that allow recipients to display skills obtained through non-traditional learning, such as work-related training and online courses.

The Badges for Vets contest -- also backed by the Education, Energy and Labor departments -- piggybacks on the existing Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition administered by MacArthur and the Mozilla Foundation, which has created digital badges for non-traditional learning.

The VA wants to develop badges that "make it easy for employers to see veterans for who they are: highly qualified individuals in any job applicant pool," VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said.

VA Innovations Initiative will award up to three $25,000 prizes in five categories to teams that demonstrate they can develop and deliver digital badges representing skills learned in the military that are desired by civilian employers.

Entries in the contest are due by Jan. 12, 2012, and winners will be announced at the Digital Media and Learning Conference in San Francisco Feb. 28-March 3.

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