Credentials Matter


Credentials Matter analyzes how the credentials that students earn align with real-world employer demand. The project includes a website and a series of reports informed by extensive collection and analysis of supply, demand, and alignment data of industry-recognized credentials in several states.  The initiative’s findings and recommendations help stakeholders better understand and evaluate credentials’ value in the job market.

In 2020, the project updated the website and published a new report to present and analyze credential attainment data from across the nation. offers:

  • Updated and expanded credential attainment data to reflect the most recent findings and the fact that more states are beginning to collect data.
  • Postsecondary credential attainment data to better explore the full impact of Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways that begin in high schools and terminate in postsecondary study.

Recommendations from the project include:

  1. Establish clear definitions and criteria for credentials of value—with the involvement of business and industry.
  2.  Collect data on industry credential offerings and attainment across secondary and postsecondary systems.
  3. Strengthen data quality. High-quality credential data are reliable, valid, complete and consistent.
  4. Regularly evaluate and provide transparent reporting of student outcomes associated with credential attainment.
  5. Expand access to and equity in high-value career pathway and credential offerings.
  6. Clearly communicate the value of credentials across sectors and audiences.


ExcelinEd, Burning Glass Technologies, Carnegie Corporation of New York


About This Project - Credentials Matter

CREDENTIALS MATTER INSIGHTS - Credentials Matter: COVID-19 Case-Study (2020)

CREDENTIALS MATTER INSIGHTS - A National Landscape of High School Student Credential Attainment Compared to Workforce Demand (2019)

CREDENTIALS MATTER INSIGHTS - Where Credentials Meet the Market (2019)

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