Certifications as a Vehicle for Increasing Labor-Market Mobility

The current and potential roles for industry and professional certifications as a vehicle for increasing labor-market mobility is the focus of a two-year study with Corporation for a Skilled Workforce and George Washington Institute of Public Policy, funded by Lumina Foundation. The research will also uncover where certifications present the risk of being dead-end credentials that can limit access to opportunity, and how to instead ensure certifications serve as part of lifelong pathways for advancement.

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.

Now, more than ever, is an important time to understand the value of and how certifications can play a vital role in addressing re-employment, re-deployment, and re-education challenges that workers face in the current labor market as workers, companies, and educators are all scrambling to make changes that help them adjust to rapidly changing labor markets during and post-pandemic. An initial report, Understanding Certifications, was developed to offer a comprehensive overview of the diverse landscape of certifications; the final results of the study are expected in the fall of 2021.

Funded by: Lumina Foundation

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