Publications and Events: Articles



January 24, 2024

Three Perspectives on Workforce and Credentialing Trends for 2024
The new year is an opportune time to take a deep dive into key issues that will impact credentialing and the workforce. Three members of Workcred’s board of directors shared expert insights and perspectives on workforce and credentialing issues, as well as factors, such as emerging technologies, that are revolutionizing careers.

By: Roy Swift, Workcred; Beth Carlson, Raytheon Technologies (retired); Larry Lynch, National Restaurant Association; and Dr. George Westerman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Published by: ANSI


September 12, 2023

Shifting to a Skills-Based Workforce: Q&A with SHRM Foundation Program Director Clayton Lord
Much has changed in the hiring process over the past several years: recruiting has gone digital and organizations have shifted their focus to skills-based assessment of applicants to match candidates with in-demand jobs. In a recent interview, Clayton Lord, director of foundation programs at SRHM, spoke with Roy Swift, executive director of Workcred, about how employers are dismantling barriers to skills-based hiring, and how employers and job seekers alike can embrace this change.

By: Roy Swift, Workcred; Clayton Lord, SHRM
Published by: ANSI
May 22, 2023

Enabling a Skilled and Diverse Engineering Workforce with Non-Degree Credentials
The last decade has seen several innovations in engineering education. Non-degree credentials – stackable educational credentials that may be offered for credit or as part of non-credit programming – can enhance the educational opportunities for both degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking engineering students across their academic and professional career trajectories. Though still early in their development, non-degree credentials have the potential to broaden access to engineering, support the knowledge, skills, and abilities of diverse learners, and strengthen the engineering education-to-workforce continuum.

By: Isabel Cardenas-Navia, Workcred; Helen L. Chen, Stanford University; Abisola C. Kusimo, Stanford University
Published by: Routledge in International Handbook of Engineering Education Research


June 3, 2022

What’s in an Industry Certification or Designation?
Certification. Certificate. License. Designation. When it comes to educating and distinguishing yourself in a professional field, what’s in a credential? This article explains the various types of credentials, how they differ from one another, and the components that go into a certification program.

By: Cynthia Woodley, Workcred Board of Directors
Published by: CSA Journal
May 9, 2022

Supporting Employees and Employers Post-Pandemic with Skills-based Credentialing Programs: Q&A with Roy Swift, Executive Director of Workcred
As the economy continues to recover from the pandemic, employees are seeking to advance their careers while employers search for qualified workers. Skills, skills-based hiring, and the array of credentials have been the subject of many news stories and articles surrounding the burgeoning job market. ANSI’s affiliate organization Workcred focuses on these issues through its efforts to strengthen workforce quality by improving the credentialing system, ensuring its ongoing relevance, and preparing employers, workers, educators, and governments to use it effectively.

By: Roy Swift
Published by: ANSI
April 15, 2022

How Digital Credentials Are Transforming the Workforce
Digital credentials are poised to replace traditional resumes as the primary signal of achievement of learning due to their increased functionality. However, the ability of all learners and organizations to participate in the use of digital credentials is central to using this technology to change the talent marketplace. As secure, validated and immutable, digital credentials have the potential to transform the workplace of the future.

By: Isabel Cardenas-Navia, Workcred
Published by: Training Industry


September 2021

Certification-Degree Pathways: Aligning Undergraduate Curriculum to Industry Credentials and Professions
Recently published in Handbook of Research on Credential Innovations for Inclusive Pathways to Professions, this chapter focuses on creating certification-degree pathways as a new and emerging practice for the education-to-work ecosystem and provide insights on this new way of thinking about certifications and their inclusion in post-secondary curriculum. This chapter also contains an overview of certifications, an analysis of post-secondary curriculum, a detailed framework for embedding certifications into undergraduate degree programs, examples of certification-degree pathways, and future opportunities for research and the development of further pathways.

By: Karen Elzey, Isabel Cardenas-Navia, and Janet Forte, Workcred; Julie Uranis, UPCEA; Andrea Rodriguez, APLU
Published by: IGI Global
Summer 2021

Everything You’ve Ever Learned
Learning and Employment Records (LERs) offer a promising solution to the challenge of capturing and communicating the skills of individual workers to a wide selection of potential employers, and they may equip employers with the tools necessary to maximize hiring, promotion, and upskilling. LERs are digital records detailing a person’s education, training, and work experience, and are verified through a distributed system similar to blockchain. At their best, LERs could form an “internet of skills,” empowering individuals to share their knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as showcase their professional accomplishments. However, because this technology has the potential to transform society, LERs require careful, deliberate design to achieve more equitable, socially desirable outcomes, rather than intensifying existing inequities or disproportionately benefitting one group over another. As the movement to create LERs and its associated standards takes shape in the United States, we must deliberately ensure that they serve the needs of all, particularly disadvantaged workers. Published in Issues in Science and Technology, Vol. XXXVII, No. 4, Summer 2021.

By: Isabel Cardenas-Navia, Workcred; and Shalin Jyotishi, New America
Published by: Issues in Science and Technology
July 20, 2021

Increasing Value Through Certification and Degree Pathways
Certification and degree pathways offer higher education institutions an affordable, scalable approach to align degree programs with industry needs, and give employers a strong signal of an individual’s work-relevant skills. These pathways are a transformative approach offering students greater value – the analytical skills they need to be lifelong learners (degree) as well as the technical skills they need to immediately contribute as professionals (certification). And, aligned with both student goals and industry needs, they better position students in their field and give employers better prepared workers.

By: Karen Elzey and Isabel Cardenas-Navia, Workcred
Published by: The EvoLLLution
May 10, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a growing demand for education and training beyond the confines and commitments of traditional multi-year programs. Stackable credentials have existed in the higher education space for a while, but have gained increasing attention as the pandemic has forced leaders to seek ways of making higher education more accessible and flexible.
By: Roy Swift, Workcred; and Eric Bing, the College of Health Care Professions
Published by: The EvoLLLution


July 1, 2020
This article emphasizes the relevance and importance of integrating quality, industry certifications into degrees to ensure better outcomes for students. Such outcomes may include higher salaries, higher rates of hire, and faster promotion tracks.
By: Karen Elzey, Workcred; and Shalin Jyotishi, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)
Published by: RealClear Education
May 25, 2020
The work of Workcred and its partners on embedding certifications with degrees is highlighted through this Q & A segment, which emphasizes the importance of collecting data from certification bodies to better understand whether the combination of degrees and certifications leads to better labor-market outcomes for individuals.
By: Karen Elzey, Workcred; and Holly Zanville, Lumina Foundation
Published by: The EvoLLLution
February 25, 2020
American factories are about twice as efficient today as they were three decades ago. They’ve also automated many low-skill factory jobs and created new, high-skill jobs requiring workers with more advanced levels of education. This evolution has led to a growing gap between the manufacturing jobs that need to be filled and the skilled talent pool capable of filling them. So, how do we build education pathways that can address this skills gap? Workcred and partners believe one solution is embedding high-quality, industry-recognized certifications into college degree programs.
By: Isabel Cardenas-Navia, Workcred; and Shalin Jyotishi, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)
Published by: IndustryWeek


March 14, 2019
Through this article, Workcred executive director sheds light on credential use in U.S. manufacturing as revealed in the recent Workcred manufacturing report. He also delves deeper to expose just how credentialing can improve what matters most: helping employers keep pace with the demand for new and changing workforce skills.
By: Roy Swift, Workcred
Published by: IndustryWeek


May/June 2018
When it comes to issues impacting our nation’s economy and global competitiveness, workforce development rises to the top. Even as unemployment drops, our nation faces a skills mismatch. Credentials have become a hot topic and are frequently cited as the solution to the nation’s workforce issues. From certificates and certifications to licenses, badges, and microcredentials, credentials have skyrocketed in number and variety in recent years. But simply increasing the number of credentials is not the answer. In fact, it creates even more confusion about whether a credential has quality and market value, or if it is a “ticket to nowhere.”
By: Roy Swift, Workcred
Published by: Society for Standards Professionals, in Standards Engineering
April 2018
There is growing confusion in the marketplace over the number and type of credentials entering the market. What do they mean, and how can one tell the wheat from the chaff? In this article, Workcred discusses industry-based credentials and hallmarks of quality, which is key to advancing the workforce and improving the overall performance of the labor market.
By: Roy Swift, Workcred
Published by: Originally published in the Journal of Interprofessional Workforce Research and Development, Volume 1: Issue 1


March 9, 2017
The last decade has seen huge growth in the variety of credentials, and this has fueled confusion among job seekers and employers. We can do better, and Workcred is here to help.
By: Roy Swift, Workcred
Published by: Industry Today, Volume 20: Issue 1


March/April 2016
We’ve all heard terms like certificates, certifications, badges, and licenses . . . but what are they worth to the workforce? Today’s US credentialing system is fragmented and complex, leaving job seekers and employers alike to navigate the credentialing maze without a guiding compass. Workers, job seekers, and students struggle to determine if a credential will get them where they want to go, if they have to renew it and how often, and whether it will be a stepping stone to higher-level credentials. At the same time, employers want to know what competencies a credential holder has, how it compares to other credentials, and how much to trust the claims made. Credentials can act as the critical connection that both job seekers and employers need to identify real knowledge and skills, and match them with appropriate opportunities.
By: Roy Swift, Workcred
Published by: Society for Standards Professionals, in Standards Engineering