Understanding the Landscape of Industry Certifications


Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, in partnership with Workcred and the George Washington Institute of Public Policy, conducted a two-year study to unpack the complex diversity of certifications. The study provided a clearer picture of the dimensions, patterns, and trends among certifications, and showing how they work – or could work – with other parts of the credentialing ecosystem.

The project examined certifications in seven industries through an original research and synthesis of prior research. The study focused on answering eight topics about certifications within industries:

  1. Issuer and purpose
  2. Quality-assurance processes
  3. Quality indicators
  4. Relationship with education
  5. Market penetration
  6. Relationship to employment
  7. Evidence of value for users
  8. Transparency.


  • Corporation for a Skilled Workforce
  • George Washington University Institute of Public Policy
  • Workcred



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