More and more people are taking advantage of the abundance of free and low-cost courseware available online from top research universities, like the EdX interactive classroom project launched by Harvard and MIT earlier this year. But, short of earning an actual degree, it’s always been difficult to translate the knowledge and skills you've acquired to a prospective employer. The New York Times takes an informative look at the development and spread of Mozilla’s Open Badge project, which combines the "trophy" incentive of online gaming with a simple way to verify students’ achievements. The article posits that top schools are able to offer inexpensive online courses and badges without threatening their core businesses. And while the ubiquity of the college degree means a real shakeup of the education market is likely a long way off, as alternative credentials gain acceptance, it could just be a matter of time.