Skills Badges

Skills Badges are offered to current UAlbany undergraduate and graduate students for free and are open to all majors. 

Professionals and students from other institutions may enroll in Skills Badges programs for a fee. 

Sign up today!

What is a Skills Badge?

Skills Badges at UAlbany provide an opportunity for learners to develop industry-recognized professional skills and competencies. These microcredentials allow participants to develop skills that are in demand for a number of careers.

Most Skills Badges are self-paced and delivered asynchronously online, requiring about 12 to 15 hours of work. Some Skills Badges are embedded in undergraduate and graduate courses, as indicated in the catalog descriptions below. 

The instructors are working professionals and academics who are experts in their field. These are not academic credit-bearing opportunities, but they complement existing curriculum by helping leaners obtain and demonstrate skills — whether they are industry-recognized “hard” skills, like a programming language, or “soft” skills, such as critical thinking.

Upon completion, participants can showcase the skills and competencies they learned in the program via work examples and a digital badge, which can be shared with prospective employers. 

 

Explore our Skills Badges

Sign up for a Skills Badge on the Center for Experiential Education's Marketplace site. Learn more about the badges below:
 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Fundamentals
Digital badge for Artificial Intelligence (AI) Fundamentals

Levels: Undergraduate students, graduate students and professionals 

Instruction Method: Online, asynchronous and self-paced  

Cost: Free for UAlbany students, $150 for non-UAlbany learners 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has permeated our everyday lives, automating systems and occupations that once required humans to function. AI has had tremendous benefits to the advancement of modern technology and has provided insight into data sets of unfathomable size.  In this program, we will examine the history of AI, break down the various sub-fields, uncover the algorithms and focus our vision for the future. 

Instructor Bio: 

Ian MacDonald holds a PhD and MS in Computer Science from the University at Albany and a BS in Computer Science from Siena College. He has been teaching computer science at both the undergraduate and graduate level for over 20 years as a full-time professor at The College of Saint Rose. In 2017, Dr. MacDonald took on the role of Dean of the School of Mathematics and Sciences at Saint Rose. His research interests include artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, and cyber security.

Sign up for Artificial Intelligence (AI) Fundamentals.

Cloud Computing with Microsoft Azure
Digital badge for Cloud Computing with Microsoft Azure

Levels: Undergraduate students, graduate students and professionals 

Instruction Method: Online, asynchronous and self-paced  

Cost: Free for UAlbany students, $150 for non-UAlbany learners 

Cloud Computing with Microsoft Azure covers the fundamental concepts needed to understand cloud computing on the Microsoft Azure platform. Microsoft Azure, commonly referred to as Azure (pronounced AZ-yur) is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through Microsoft-managed data centers. It provides software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and supports many different programming languages, tools including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems. 

This program will cover the essential terms and concepts as well as give students the opportunity to try deploying a simple web application to the Azure platform where they can see the application run in a web browser. Students will create their own free account on Azure that will be used in the course. This account can then be used after the course to continue their experience if so desired. There will be a combination of videos, readings, hands-on exercises, assignments and quizzes along with a final project that utilizes all the skills learned in the course. 

Instructor Bio:  

Jeff Yates has 10+ years teaching experience in university and college settings both in person and on-line formats. He holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Master of Business Administration degree as well as many tech industry certifications. Jeff teaches courses across the Informatics discipline from introductory courses in Information in the 21st Century to data analytics and advanced experiential seminars in the application of cloud computing technologies. He also works in the tech industry as a consultant in cloud computing and data analytics in diverse industries such as finance, manufacturing, engineering and energy. 

Sign up for Cloud Computing with Microsoft Azure.

Data Analytics Fundamentals
Digital badge for Data Analytics Fundamentals

Levels: Undergraduate students, graduate students and professionals 

Instruction Method: Online, asynchronous and self-paced  

Cost: Free for UAlbany students, $150 for non-UAlbany learners 

Data Analytics Fundamentals is designed to introduce learners to the topic of data analytics that can be applied to any industry. Data analytics is a discipline focused on extracting insights from data. It comprises the processes, tools and techniques of data analysis and management, including the collection, organization, and storage of data. It can be quite a complex topic, but this program will take a practical approach to the most common techniques for understanding and deriving knowledge from data. Program content will cover concepts needed to understand how to gather data, process it and derive understanding from the data by using data analytics tools and formulas. The course will utilize the Data Analysis Toolpak found in Microsoft Excel. 

Instructor Bio: 

Jeff Yates has 10+ years teaching experience in university and college settings both in person and on-line formats. He holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Master of Business Administration degree as well as many tech industry certifications. Jeff teaches courses across the Informatics discipline from introductory courses in Information in the 21st Century to data analytics and advanced experiential seminars in the application of cloud computing technologies. He also works in the tech industry as a consultant in cloud computing and data analytics in diverse industries such as finance, manufacturing, engineering and energy. 

Sign up for Data Analytics Fundamentals.

Essential Tableau Skills
Digital badge for Essential Tableau Skills

Levels: Undergraduate students and graduate students 

Instruction Method: In-person, embedded in School of Business courses 

Cost: Free for UAlbany students enrolled in courses offering the materials 

Tableau is an Analytic and Business Intelligence platform that is widely used by business analysts. Essential Tableau Skills earners have demonstrated foundational knowledge of the Tableau Desktop software to analyze data and share their insights. They can prepare and filter data to create different data visualizations, apply analytics to solve business problems, and build interactive dashboards to communicate their findings. 

Sign up: To learn more, please contact the School of Business Dean’s Office at 518-956-8320

Metaliteracy
Digital Badge for Metaliteracy

Levels: Undergraduate students, graduate students and professionals 

Instruction Method: Online, asynchronous and self-paced 

Cost: Free for UAlbany students, $150 for non-UAlbany learners 

Studies have shown that the majority of Americans overestimate their ability to evaluate information. Even more concerning, those who are the most confident about their abilities are more likely to share and perpetuate the spread of misinformation. Being able to evaluate information and use it ethically is critical in all professions and in all areas of one’s life.  

This program provides current and future workers with essential tools and strategies to critically consume and create information in a digital, social media-infused environment. Recipients of this badge will have demonstrated vital competencies as self-directed and civic-minded metaliterate learners who ethically produce and share information with others in both academic and professional settings. They will develop the skills and dispositions needed in today’s complex information environment using the metaliteracy framework, an empowering lens that promotes metacognitive thinking and lifelong learning.   

Instructor Bios:  

Kelsey O’Brien is an Information Literacy Librarian at the UAlbany. She works primarily with first-year students, helping them become comfortable with college-level research and learning. As a member of the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative, she helped revise the metaliteracy learning objectives and has co-developed and taught two ongoing metaliteracy MOOCs (massive open online courses). She has published and presented extensively on this topic, both nationally and internationally. Her research has also explored the use of gamification techniques in instruction, such as breakout rooms and digital badges. She co-authored and edited Teaching with Digital Badges: Best Practices for Libraries (2018, Rowman and Littlefield). 

Trudi Jacobson, MLS, MA, Distinguished Librarian, is the Head of the Information Literacy Department at UAlbany. From 2013-2015 co-chaired the Association of College & Research Libraries Task Force that created the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. She also co-developed metaliteracy. Her most recent work focuses on open pedagogy and how the students’ learning experience can be enhanced by metaliteracy. She regularly teaches an information literacy course for upper-level undergraduates that uses editing in Wikipedia as a way to understand core concepts from metaliteracy and information literacy. She is the co-author or co-editor of numerous scholarly articles and book chapters as well as 14 books, with the latest, Metaliteracy in a Connected World: Developing Learners as Producers, to be published in spring 2022. She holds the rank of Extraordinary Professor in the Faculty of Education at North-West University in South Africa. 

Sign up for Metaliteracy.

Mobile App Design
Digital badge for Mobile App Design

Levels: Undergraduate students, graduate students and professionals 

Instruction Method: Online, asynchronous and self-paced 

Cost: Free for UAlbany students, $150 for non-UAlbany learners 

What do Facebook, Airbnb, Uber and Robinhood all have in common? They all started out as one simple idea. One simple idea that a designer (and a team of developers) took and turned into a reality. These companies have grown to become billion-dollar organizations that are changing the world, and they all started with one simple idea.  

But how did they turn their ideas into reality? Intro to mobile app design will takes learners through the process that other teams go through to go from idea to functional mobile app. This program covers the entire app design process from creating a product brief and defining an idea to designing and creating a prototype. The program also explores how to take a design and turn it into a functional app. 

Instructor Bio: 

Jacques Bastien is a serial-entrepreneur, author, business coach and college professor. He’s the CEO of Boogie Brands, the company behind SHADE, Nappy, BoogieX and Snappy Booth. With his diverse professional background, he works with companies as a consultant helping them connect with their consumers, while also teaching his peers on how to build profitable businesses. 

Sign up for Mobile App Design.

Self-Publishing
Digital badge for Self-Publishing

Levels: Undergraduate students, graduate students and professionals 

Instruction Method: Online, asynchronous and self-paced 

Cost: Free for UAlbany students, $150 for non-UAlbany learners 

The Self-Publishing microcredential teaches participants how to write and publish a book. Students learn about the publishing process from beginning to end and learn how to create a book plan and outline, how to print a book and get it into stores like Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Walmart, etc. The book publishing process is broken down into 6 stages: planning, writing, designing, formatting, publishing and marketing. Participants will develop a book plan and outline for their own project. 

Instructor Bio: 

Jacques Bastien is a serial-entrepreneur, author, business coach and college professor. He’s the CEO of Boogie Brands, the company behind SHADE, Nappy, BoogieX and Snappy Booth. With his diverse professional background, he works with companies as a consultant helping them connect with their consumers, while also teaching his peers on how to build profitable businesses. 

Sign up for Self-Publishing.

Social Media Influencer Marketing
Digital badge for Social Media Influencer Marketing

Levels: Undergraduate students, graduate students and professionals 

Instruction Method: Online, asynchronous and self-paced 

Cost: Free for UAlbany students, $150 for non-UAlbany learners 

Influencers and brand ambassadors can be a powerful tool to grow the presence and impact of an online brand. Participants will learn how influencing using social media can be beneficial for business professionals, brands, entrepreneurs, and influencers. Discover how to develop, manage and evaluate a successful social media influencer campaign using influencers to help grow a business. Identify why harnessing the power of quality social media content and storytelling is vital to engagement and building trust. Develop digital skills and gain knowledge to develop a high impact influencer strategy on social media. Participants assess their digital footprint, influence style, and consider strategies for expanding them. 

Instructor Bio: 

Dr. Nancy Richmond is an innovative, versatile, and results-driven university professor, social media consultant and executive coach. She uses a fresh approach, creative solutions and data driven strategies to help organizations survive and thrive during times of growth, disruption and/or crisis. Nancy is recognized as social media authority with over 300,000+ followers. She shows leaders how to make radical shifts with digital media transformation.  

Nancy has worked with leading organizations including Florida International University, MIT, Harvard University, Northeastern University, University of Miami, Campbell Soup Company, NBC 6/Telemundo, National Career Development Association, French Consulate and National Association of Colleges and Employers. Clients include executives, start-ups, nonprofits and corporations. She has helped thousands of individuals and companies in the areas of social media, and leadership development from around the globe. 

Sign up for Social Media Influencer Marketing.

Social Media Management
Digital badge for Social Media Management

Levels: Undergraduate students, graduate students and professionals 

Instruction Method: Online, asynchronous and self-paced 

Cost: Free for UAlbany students, $150 for non-UAlbany learners 

Social Media Management prepares participants to plan, execute, and assess ways to use social media to collaborate and communicate more effectively. Discover what social media skills are required for leaders across every industry and profession. Learn how to maximize talent, energy, knowledge and innovation from customers and employees using social media.  

To stay competitive, professionals need social media skills that can give them a leading advantage to capitalize on the opportunities and disruptions that come with the connectivity of a networked society. Gain knowledge in how leaders can capitalize on online community building and authentic communication in an ever-changing digital world. 

Instructor Bio: 

Dr. Nancy Richmond is an innovative, versatile, and results-driven university professor, social media consultant and executive coach. She uses a fresh approach, creative solutions and data driven strategies to help organizations survive and thrive during times of growth, disruption and/or crisis. Nancy is recognized as social media authority with over 300,000+ followers. She shows leaders how to make radical shifts with digital media transformation.  

Nancy has worked with leading organizations including Florida International University, MIT, Harvard University, Northeastern University, University of Miami, Campbell Soup Company, NBC 6/Telemundo, National Career Development Association, French Consulate and National Association of Colleges and Employers. Clients include executives, start-ups, nonprofits and corporations. She has helped thousands of individuals and companies in the areas of social media, and leadership development from around the globe. 

Sign up for Social Media Management.

Solving Problems with Python
Digital badge for Solving Problems with Python

Levels: Undergraduate students, graduate students and professionals 

Instruction Method: Online, asynchronous and self-paced 

Cost: Free for UAlbany students, $150 for non-UAlbany learners 

Python is a powerful programming language, yet it can be learned rather quickly. Python is commonly used in industry for data analysis and rapid prototyping. In this program, participants will learn the fundamentals of the Python language through an iterative, tutorial-based approach, and be able to solve problems on their own. 

Instructor Bio: 

Ian MacDonald holds a PhD and MS in Computer Science from the University at Albany and a BS in Computer Science from Siena College. He has been teaching computer science at both the undergraduate and graduate level for over 20 years as a full-time professor at The College of Saint Rose. In 2017, Dr. MacDonald took on the role of Dean of the School of Mathematics and Sciences at Saint Rose. His research interests include artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, and cyber security.

Sign up for Solving Problems with Python.

Sustainability for Organizations
Digital badge for Sustainability for Organizations

Levels: Undergraduate students, graduate students and professionals 

Instruction Method: Online, asynchronous and self-paced 

Cost: Free for UAlbany students, $150 for non-UAlbany learners 

Sustainability for Organizations teaches participants to become change agents to help organizations reduce their social and environmental impact. This program explores the three pillars of sustainability, the UN Goals for Sustainable Development, the science behind climate change and practical examples of how organizations are implementing strategies. Learners apply these principles, complete exercises at the end of each module and finish with a proposed project. 

Instructor Bio:

Dr. Mary Ellen Mallia serves as UAlbany's Director of Sustainability, a role she began in January 2008. She received her BS in Economics from Siena College and started her career in the financial sector, first at a brokerage firm and then in financial management at GE in Schenectady. She left that position to pursue a career in education, obtaining her Masters in Secondary Social Science Education from UAlbany, and subsequently teaching Economics, Public Policy and American History at Guilderland High School for eight years before shifting to higher education with a specialization in Environmental Economics. While fulfilling her teaching duties, she pursued her Ph.D. at RPI in Ecological Economics, which she earned in August 2006. In her role as Director, she is charged with coordinating and advancing the sustainability efforts on campus, working with a multitude of academic departments, student groups and community organizations.  Outside of work, Mary Ellen has a deep devotion to nature, especially the welfare of animals. Currently she lives on a farm near Schenectady, NY, with her husband and daughter where they enjoy raising llamas and chickens. 

Sign up for Sustainability for Organizations.

Three Minute Thesis: Communicating Research to Broad Audiences
Badge Icon for 3 Minute Thesis Communicating Research

Level: Current graduate students 

Instruction Method: Online 

This microcredential is best suited for graduate students planning on participating in the UAlbany Three Minute Thesis Competition.  

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) cultivates graduate students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The first 3MT was held at The University of Queensland (UQ) in 2008 with 160 graduate students competing. Enthusiasm for the 3MT concept grew and its adoption by numerous universities led to the development of an international competition in 2010. The Graduate School at the University at Albany began hosting its own 3MT in 2019. This microcredential is open to UAlbany research master’s and doctoral students interested in developing and showcasing their research communication skills and participating in the UAlbany 3MT Competition. 

Sign up: This microcredential is offered by The Graduate School. To learn more, please email Shanise Kent at [email protected].