Roy Swift, Executive Director of Workcred; Eric Bing, Chancellor and CEO of The College of Health Care Professions

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a growing demand for education and training beyond the confines and commitments of traditional multi-year programs. Millions of Americans remain unemployed, and they are desperate to quickly obtain the training, education and credentials they need to find a new foothold in a transformed economy. At the same time, over 60% of Americans say they would now prefer to pursue non-degree options, according to new research from the Strada Education Network. …


Several factors may deter older workers (age 50+) from pursuing training. Some might question the return on investment for new skills and credentials as one approaches traditional retirement ages. Others likely feel extreme anxiety about reentering the classroom after decades away from educational institutions. Paying tuition can be a challenge at any age, and the financial implications of taking time out of the labor market to pursue training are perhaps more severe for adults with mortgages and other fixed expenses. On the employer’s side, stereotypes and prejudices likely exist concerning older workers’ abilities to absorb new knowledge and learn new…


Certification bodies provide broad access to materials, education, and/or training for certification exam preparation, ranging from endorsed curriculum delivered by postsecondary higher education institutions to self-study guide to online courses. Nearly 70% of certification bodies provide study guides to all individuals seeking their certifications, and work with a wide variety of education and training providers. This data strongly suggests that materials, education, and/or training is broadly accessible to individuals who are seeking certifications.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of accessibility to education and training for individuals who are seeking new credentials. …


Survey data showing that demand for certifications is increasing due to the pandemic is consistent with what is seen with other credentials. This data strongly suggests that individuals and employers see certifications as a pathway to new and/or continued employment. The survey also showed that certification bodies are working to develop micro-certifications and specializations in certifications. This may reflect an emerging trend toward micro-credentialing that has emerged in postsecondary education.

The pandemic has resulted in significant displacement of workers from their jobs. Recent surveys from Strada have shown that approximately half of individuals believe that pursing more education or training…


Survey data shows that certification bodies are ready to participate in linking their administrative data with other administrative data, in terms of already collecting data or being willing to collect additional data needed for accurate data matching. Linking this data will allow certification bodies to better understand and serve their clients, as well as significantly deepen the understanding of the role of certifications in credentialing pathways and their impact on wages.

The Need for Centralized Data on Certifications

Transparency and quality assurance of non-degree credentials are critical to understanding the value of non-degree credentials to individuals, postsecondary education institutions, employers, and policymakers. A recent survey on recently…


Certifications have the potential to be useful tools in addressing re-employment, re-deployment, and re-education challenges that workers face in the current labor market.

The most recent Strada Education Network findings show that Americans feel stuck in their current employment situations and remain skeptical of the value of credentials and education to advance their careers. More than half surveyed said they do not believe a good job is within their reach, and 44 percent said they are not equipped with the right skills and credentials.

Workcred is focused on solutions to these workforce challenges and is working to educate the public…


Understanding Certifications

Help in navigating the complex and little understood “wild west” of certifications

Enormous economic shifts predating and accelerated by the current worldwide pandemic caused by COVID-19 — and the growing awakening to racial inequities in the U.S. — are creating a labor market in which the use of certifications has the potential to grow significantly. But what exactly is a certification? And how does it differ from other types of credentials?

Perhaps the least understood credential, certifications are awarded based on an individual demonstrating, through an examination process, that she or he has acquired the knowledge, skills, and…


We are in credential chaos. The word “credential” is frequently confused with “certification” and “certificate,” but it is actually an umbrella term that encompasses both and other types of credentials.

Through Workcred’s newly released video,“Differing Types of Workplace Credentials,” Dr. Roy Swift, Workcred executive director, highlights the differences among credentials and the appropriate uses of each.

Refining credentialing language will help clarify understanding for workers and employers alike. Just like we are precise in defining job roles, we need to be much more precise about what we are saying about what is required in the credentialing world, so that the…


There is a lack of understanding in the workforce of the different types of credentials and how they can work together to improve student success and employability outcomes. Certifications can be used to enhance a college education with specific skills needed by employers, resulting in students earning a certification while pursuing their degree or earning a certification at the end of their degree program, achieving a more comprehensive education. Certifications within degrees may also increase students’ chances for summer employment and work-based learning experiences during the academic year, as well as lead to promotions and wage increases prior to, or…

Workcred

At Workcred, we connect and educate stakeholders to create a more integrated and effective credentialing system. Learn more at https://www.workcred.org

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store