Best (free) Badges for Students

Misty Decker


Open Badges are official credentials proving you have a certain skill or knowledge, but not quite to the level of a full certification. Employers are increasingly looking for documented skills through Open Badging. But how do you earn Open Badges and which ones are the best ones to pursue? IBM alone offers over 2,000 badges but only a small percentage are appropriate for students.

In this update to her popular blog, Misty will explain Open Badging, how students can earn them at no cost and how to best leverage a badge into job opportunities. She will take you through her short list of the best free badges offered by IBM that are accessible to students and the most valuable as a qualification for job opportunities.

Link to the recording:


Photo of Misty Decker

What happens when you find a job that leverages almost 30 years of experience in fulfillment of a lifelong personal mission? Misty Decker finds herself in exactly that position as the Program Manager of the Master the Mainframe contest. Since 1991, Misty has held a variety of technical, managerial and project management roles at IBM. Always eager to learn new things and attack new challenges, she has been a z/OS Release Manager, a Development Manager for IBM Z firmware, and led the IBM Z Customer Advocate program. A passion for students and education led her to join University Alliances, creating collaborative research opportunities between IBM and universities around the world including weather modelling, radio telescopes and medical records research. In the IBM Z Academic Initiative program, she worked with hundreds of schools to add technologies to the curriculum IBM clients needed most and ensuring students were connected to job opportunities. She currently manages the Master the Mainframe contest, known worldwide for broadening students’ perspective of the range of computing and providing them the credentials they need for top enterprise job opportunities. She has presented hundreds of times to high schools, universities and academic conferences, becoming known for her ability to explain complex technical concepts in ways that anyone can understand and her dedication to every student’s future.

Misty holds a BS in Mathematics from Virginia Tech and MS in Information Systems from Marist College. Misty is also active in the community, currently serving on the Board of Directors for Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union and singing alto in Cappella Festiva Chamber Choir. She is married with two children and lives in Rhinebeck NY.

Twitter @mistymvd

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