Certification-degree Pathways Project

Last Updated: 03/12/2024

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Higher education faculty and staff are often unfamiliar with industry certifications. They likely do not know which certifications, when paired with an undergraduate degree (particularly one in the liberal arts) will improve a graduate’s job prospects. Some such pairings can lead to unique career opportunities. For example, a degree in Spanish, when  paired with a certificate in medical interpretation, can lead to a career in health care, translating for non-native English speakers.

Lack of knowledge too often denies students the chance to benefit from embedded certifications. Further, because certifications typically are earned outside higher education, postsecondary leaders struggle to obtain the certification curriculum, even if there were opportunities to include it in courses and programs. How learners would finance such certifications is another question.

Workcred─in partnership with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and its permanent partner, the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU), and the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) ─are addressing this issue. It has identified opportunities, challenges, and practical examples associated with integrating high-quality industry certifications into bachelor’s degree programs. The goal is to create more opportunities for students to earn credentials with labor-market value.


Workcred Inc., APLU/USU, UPCEA, Lumina Foundation


Embedding Certifications into Bachelor’s Degrees – https://workcred.org/Documents/Embedding-Certifications-Into-Bachelors-Degrees-Certification-Degree-Pathways-Project-Framework-Report-November-2020.pdf


Questions for Universities to Ask Certification Bodies to Assess Quality of Certifications – https://workcred.org/Documents/Questions-Universities-Should-Ask-Certification-Bodies.pdf

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