Knowledge Center

Workcred has created these resources to help you better understand and navigate the credentialing system.


Variable Impacts of New Credentials for the Older Worker
Through the analysis, which is the first to use the Participant Individual Record Layout data files from the U.S. Department of Labor, this report examines the impact of new credentials on reemployment for older (50+ years) workers. Industry-recognized certificates and certifications were found to have the most value to older workers seeking employment after displacement with respect to reemployment and earnings.

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Dr. Swift's Views on Credentials and Assessing Quality
Workcred’s executive director, Roy Swift, highlighted the important work of Workcred and its impacts on the state of credentials during this Coffee With Joe interview. During the interview, Dr. Swift warns that the current credentialing system is fragmented and there are too many credentials that lead to nowhere. Consumers need to understand the quality and value of what credential they are selecting. That’s where Workcred comes in.

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Understanding Certifications
This report is intended as a primer to help policymakers and practitioners navigate the complex and little understood “wild west” of certifications. Awarded by industry groups, professional associations, and companies, 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.

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Embedding Certifications into Bachelor’s Degrees: Certification-Degree Pathways Project Framework
Workcred and its partners identified opportunities, challenges, and practical examples associated with integrating high-quality, industry certifications into bachelor’s degree programs in order to create more opportunities for students to earn credentials with labor-market value.

If after viewing the framework you have any feedback on the content of the report, examples of a certification-degree pathway, or ideas on how to shape future phases of this work, please let us know.

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Elevating the Visibility, Relevance, and Value of Certifications to Help Close the Pandemic Divide
As the COVID-19 pandemic has created a social and economic divide that disproportionately affects workers who had jobs in industries that may not recover to previous employment levels, Workcred provides recommendations to the certification community for action. Through this presentation given to certification experts at a Certification Network Group webinar, Workcred discusses ways to elevate the visibility, relevance, and value of certifications to help close the pandemic divide.

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Understanding Quality: The Role of States in Supporting Quality Non-Degree Credentials
Through this brief published in partnership with the National Governors Association (NGA), Workcred sheds light on the value of non-degree credentials as tools to empower workers and strengthen state economies amid the significant disruption caused by COVID-19. The brief provides several recommendations for state policymakers to consider as they recognize and support quality credentials for people re-entering or upskilling in the workforce.

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Credentialing and Academia
In the first edition of a new series of webcasts called “Xvoucher Shorts,” Jamie Mulkey, vice president of sales, interviewed Workcred’s executive director, Dr. Roy Swift, on the disconnect between credentialing organizations and academia, and some of the initiatives that Workcred is doing to facilitate understanding and foster relationships between these two groups.

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New Workcred Video Demystifies Different Types of Credentials
In a new Workcred video, “Differing Types of Workplace Credentials,” executive director Roy Swift, Ph.D., illuminates various types of credentials – including certifications, certificates, and licenses – to help people understand how they differ, and appropriate uses for each.

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Certification and Its Relationship to Further Learning
Certifications can lead to further opportunities for education and learning. This issue brief describes the relationships that can exist among certifications, degrees, credit for prior learning, and advanced education.

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U.S. Credentialing System
The U.S. credentialing system is complex and involves multiple organizations. The graphic depicts the relationship among the organizations that interact to form the U.S. credentialing system.

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How Do Credentials Differ?
There is a great deal of confusion in the marketplace about the various types of credentials, how they differ, and the appropriate use for each. This graphic depicts the elements of certificates, certifications, degrees, and licenses.

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The Many Faces of Certification
Certification is a term that is widely used in the marketplace to describe many different things. The graphic highlights different elements that are associated with the term certification.

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Types of Certificates
Certificates are awarded for different reasons. Some certificates are given after an assessment that measures learning outcomes, while others recognize attendance. The graphic shows the different types of certificates.

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Questions for Universities to Ask Certification Bodies to Assess Quality of Certifications
There are more than 5,000 certifications in the marketplace and it is challenging to differentiate them from one another. University faculty and administrators can use this set of questions to help them gather more information about certification bodies to determine whether it is appropriate to embed a specific certification into an academic degree program.

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Examining the Quality, Market Value, and Effectiveness of Manufacturing Credentials in the United States
U.S. manufacturing faces a skills mismatch: studies forecast an increase in output and productivity, but also predict a shortage of individuals with the right skills to fill the jobs. To help solve this mismatch and keep up with changing skill needs, a clearer understanding of how credentials are used and valued by the manufacturing industry is essential.

To help U.S. manufacturing keep pace with changing skill needs, the report details recommendations for multiple stakeholders:

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Call for a National Conversation on Creating a Competency-based Credentialing Ecosystem
The perpetually volatile economy is increasing risks for employers and job seekers. Within this environment, both are looking to workforce and education credentials to reduce their risk. The problem is that not all credentials have clearly understood market value. People seek guidance they can trust on the market value of different credentials so that they mitigate the risk of investing their time or money into education and training that will either not pay off with desirable employment or might even detract them from their aspirations.

The importance of understandable, reliable credentials as a common currency in an already complex marketplace is even more crucial.

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