When we launched Trailhead over a year ago, we had no idea how far it would go. Our incredible trailblazer community has shown us the way, quickly exceeding our wildest dreams by collecting 850,000 badges and crushing 3,500,000 challenges.  We’re constantly reminded about how learning new Salesforce skills impacts our trailblazers’ lives as they land dream jobs, celebrate exciting promotions, and wield new technologies to build the social, mobile, connected, and intelligent apps of tomorrow.  We come to work every day knowing that our mission is not only to make learning about enterprise software more fun (Catter, anyone?), but also to empower our trailblazers—those who pave the way to innovation with business know-how and technology—to reach astonishing heights.

Introducing Trailhead superbadges

To better equip you for your career, we’re launching a groundbreaking milestone in your learning adventure—Trailhead superbadges, new skill-based credentials designed by Salesforce to highlight your advanced admin and developer skills.  The first four superbadges cover Lightning Experience, Apex, Reports & Dashboards, and Security. More superbadges covering additional in-demand skills are in the works.

If existing Trailhead badges represent what you’ve learned, superbadges prove that you can take what you’ve learned and apply it to solve complex, real-world business problems.  To earn a superbadge, you’ll be given abstract business requirements that you’ll use to devise concrete solutions to complete a series of hands-on challenges.  These challenges motivate you to think critically to determine design choices and best practices based on business requirements just like you'd get on your first day on the job.  

We've been working closely with Salesforce PMs, community MVPs, and other experts to tailor these challenges to reflect a ton of different roles and functions so you have the tools you need to self-validate in any given functional skills.  

Think of superbadges as the final exam or capstone project for a university class, but way more fun since superbadges are dipped in Trailhead’s secret sauce.  You’ll get instant feedback letting you know you’re on the correct path or steering you in the right direction.  No more biting your nails waiting for exam results.  How cool is that?!

What do superbadges mean for employers?

There’s a huge need in the marketplace right now for Salesforce-skilled admins and developers.  Jobs in technology and IT are projected to grow faster than ever, fueled in large part by cloud computing, big data, mobile, and IoT.  Over 1 million jobs will be created in the Salesforce ecosystem alone by 2018.  Salesforce Partners are sharing in this rapid growth:  “Cognizant’s Salesforce practice is the second largest practice in the global ecosystem and is still experiencing double digit growth,” says Jay Noble, AVP - EAS Cloud Customer Solutions Group at Cognizant.

It’s no secret that Salesforce skills are in-demand as one of the fastest growing and most lucrative tech skills to have on a resume.  But since eight in ten employers are struggling to find enough skilled talent and keep existing staff up-to-date, we need to empower as many people as possible to hit the ground running and fast.  Says Cognizant’s Jay Noble, “Our clients ask us to provide them with skilled developers, business analysts, technical architects and project managers and we are challenged with finding high quality people with these skills.”

Trailhead already helps employers like Vlocity train and onboard employees.  James Goerke, Customer Support Lead at Vlocity, shared, “The hands-on learning that Trailhead provides is already a valuable part of Vlocity's training and onboarding process. Superbadges will streamline our recruiting process by making it easier to assess a candidate's skills with real-world scenarios."  With superbadges, employers get excellent pre-assessment screenings maintained by Salesforce experts that cover the latest technologies.  

Employers can save cost and time from creating their own challenges while at the same time providing an added benefit for candidates who walk away from superbadges with a marketable credential.  "Finding scalable ways to assess candidates' skills, such as Trailhead superbadges, is crucial to our recruiting efforts and our dedication to business transformation through Salesforce," says Jolene Chan, Chief of Staff for Bluewolf, an IBM Company.  Superbadges will also help employers reach a larger, more diverse pool of talent thanks to the democratizing effect of digital credentials.

More opportunities for more people

Since launching in 2014, Trailhead has mapped learning journeys for anyone who wants to wield Salesforce skills, no matter your race, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical ability, learning style, location, beliefs, or economic background.  As long as you can access the internet, the trail is there to guide you.  

Now with superbadges, we’re leveling the playing field for all trailblazers to gain credible real-world experience so you have clear pathways to stellar jobs.  You can gain the skills and experience you need to level up your career while balancing everything you’ve got going on: your loving family, existing job, and fun hobbies (like hiking …. we 💖  hiking).

Whoever you are, whatever you aspire to be, you should have the skills you need to get an awesome job.  Trailhead shows you where to start and where to go next to achieve those goals.  All you need to do is take the first step.

It’s time to unlock your Salesforce superpowers and earn your first superbadge!  We promise you’ll feel even more super once you’ve proudly displayed your superbadges on your LinkedIn profile.

This is your resume reinvented.  Doesn’t that look awesome?  We can’t wait to hear what you think.

About the Author

Sarah Franklin, SVP and GM of Salesforce Trailhead, is an innovative marketer and product owner.  She specializes in bringing emerging technologies and trends to market and has a unique blend of technical expertise and business acumen.  Sarah is passionate about making learning accessible and fun to empower everyone to have amazing careers in technology with Salesforce.  She is proud to work with a team of the best and the brightest and strives to make a difference and learn something new every day.