It’s hard to predict when inspiration will strike, but all anyone can do is try to be as prepared as possible to make sure they have the requisite skills and competencies to convert the rapid firing of synapses into a tangible business plan or presentation that others can get behind.
Last month you may have read our post about the iDEA Programme (Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award) and the partnership with the Nominet Trust and the Duke of York, which aims to support young people who have a creative spark of entrepreneurship and help them pursue their ideas in order to make them a reality. There is a competition to find the best digital business ideas, which runs every year from October to March, in three stages. However, the iDEA Programme is not just there for when someone has already had their eureka moment, but also offers young people the opportunity to learn skills and earn recognised badges that will not only help them when and idea comes to them, but also improve their employability.
Microsoft is one of several partners contributing to a library of industry endorsed badges. Young people can take any badge in the library at any time via the iDEA website regardless of whether they are currently taking part in the iDEA competition. The Web Starter Level 1 badge from the Microsoft Virtual Academy is designed to teach essential programming skills, such as how to build an example of a real HTML5 and CSS3 webpage.
Learning new skills through the iDEA Programme and having them recognised not only furthers the prospects of young people in terms of getting their start in the working world, but it better equips them to undertake and succeed in the practical tasks and disciplines that are required by employers will expect of them.
The digital badges available on the iDEA website provide a place for young people to discover, earn and display Open Badges. Digitalme have provided the expertise to help industry partners create and launch their badges. Tim Riches CEO of Digitalme says:
“As a leading partner driving the Open Badges movement, we understand the value for young people in being given relevant, interest driven opportunities for learning. The iDEA programme offers a fantastic opportunity for young people to gain digital and enterprise skills, recognised by a powerful group of industry partners.”
It is this acknowledgement of skills that is driving a new thrust in education. Students themselves are more aware than ever of the value they can add to themselves by undertaking badges and other extra-curricular qualifications. As well as learning the base skills that make them more desirable candidates for employment or higher education places, it also lets employers and admissions staff know that these young people have a desire to succeed, and the self motivation to go out and make things happen for themselves.
So even if you’re still waiting for that spark of genius to strike, you can still prepare the ground for that light-bulb moment by adding more skills to your repertoire and proudly displaying them on your digital profile.