Jan 13, 2021

3 min read

Demand For Certifications Increasing During Pandemic

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 will result in a good job. Adults who are considering enrolling in education are more likely than before (66% vs. 50%) to prefer non-degree pathways, with many expressing a consistent preference for non-degree and skills training options.

How Has the Pandemic Impacted Certifications?

Fifty-six percent of the surveyed certification bodies agreed that demand for their certifications has gone up. When asked for reasons for the increase, the top three reasons were: COVID-19 pandemic, demand from individuals, and demand from employers. A small number of certification bodies also indicated that this increase was also supported by their shift to online proctored exams.

Demand for New Certifications

The top responses for the focus of these new certifications were: specialized certifications (with an existing occupation), micro-certifications (assessing for a set of specialized competencies), and certifications in new areas or occupations.

Very broadly, this data suggests that many of the same trends being seen at postsecondary education institutions also exist at certification bodies. The COVID-19 pandemic is universally impacting postsecondary credential providers as individuals seek new training and credentials to buoy their current employment, re-enter the workforce, or transition to new employment.

Individuals and Employers Recognize the Role of Certifications

As will be detailed in a follow-on blog post, certification bodies are well-positioned to support these individuals as part of their credentialing journey.

This is the second post in a three-part series. You can find the first post in this series, Certification Bodies are Well-Positioned to Link Data and Deepen Understanding of ROI of Certifications, here.

Methods: Workcred surveyed a group of 30 certification bodies across multiple industry sectors over a period of two weeks. Workcred received 25 responses to the survey, 24 of which were complete. The survey was delivered and replies collected using SurveyMonkey.

Originally published at on January 13, 2021.