Study shows no state has credentials “highly aligned” with real-world demand; more than 20 states don’t collect data
Not a single state has its career education credentials “highly aligned” with the job market, while more than 20 of the states don’t collect the data needed to tell whether they are aligned with what employers want, according to new research by ExcelinEd and Burning Glass Technologies.
Today ExcelinEd released Credentials Matter, an ongoing research partnership with Burning Glass Technologies designed to shed light on the landscape of industry credential data collection and alignment across the country. The project illustrates the credentials available in high school and highlights the outcomes of credential attainment to inform key policy decisions about which career pathways and associated credentials lead to middle and high wage employment opportunities and continued advancement for students.
Credentials Matter combines ExcelinEd’s policy expertise in college and career pathways with Burning Glass’ cutting-edge labor market analytics to provide new insights into the alignment between the credentials student earn and the demand for those credentials in the workforce.
Key findings include:
- Only about half of all states (28) collect quantitative data on the attainment of credentials.
- Of the 24 states where data was made available, no state is highly aligned in terms of supply of credentials earned by high school students and demand for those credentials in the job market.
- States do not have consistent definitions for what constitutes an industry-recognized credential—even though high school students earn hundreds of thousands of credentials each year.
- Many credentials are not explicitly requested in employer job listings, despite the fact that the credentials may be required or desired for the position.
Credentials Matter is the most comprehensive examination of industry credential attainment in high school CTE programs. The findings and recommendations represent a critical first step to helping a range of stakeholders understand the current landscape of credentials earned and evaluate whether those credentials have currency in the job market. At the high school level, credentials can include assessments, certifications and government-issued licenses.