Industry Credentials & Education Performance Data System


The National Student Clearinghouse launched the Industry Credentials and Education Performance Data System in February 2020. The new service brought together for the first time academic and industry credentials into a common data system. This allowed educational institutions, states, and industry credential providers to understand the pathways between education and certification attainment.

The Clearinghouse was also working with the U.S. Census Bureau to look at aggregate labor market outcomes related to industry certification and education attainment.

The Industry Credentials service focused on answering an array of questions important to credential providers and employers once data populates the system:

  • What academic courses effectively contributed to the industry credential?
  • How many learners received an industry credential, and can that number be counted as a success for the postsecondary institution?
  • How do credential and education attainment contribute to learner success?
  • What are the most effective pathways for different types of learners?
  • What credential(s) and education pathways provide the most value?
  • What is the credential’s impact on learners’ wages?

The initiative:

  • Collected industry-based credentials data while respecting the privacy requirements of all parties.
  • Provided student-level education data related to enrollment and degree and aggregate reports that provided details related to education attainment, programs of study, and demographic information.
  • Complied with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other applicable laws.
  • Used industry-standard data validation best practices.
  • Offered customer support from the Clearinghouse throughout the process.
  • Responded to the nation’s call for evidence of education competency and new skills.

Entities which hold industry credentials data submitted their data following an implementation guide (Industry Credentials Implementation Guide) issued in February 2020.


The initiative was launched at a time of growing recognition of the importance of industry credentials (certifications) among the wide array of credentials available in the U.S. The many collaborations of corporations to develop industry-specific credentials, such as manufacturing and cybersecurity, had turned tracking the outcomes of these credentials into a complex public-private data completion puzzle that cannot be captured by state longitudinal data systems and/or federal data collection.


Workcred, National Student Clearinghouse, Lumina Foundation


Industry Credentials - National Student Clearinghouse

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