New research studies the effect of credential attainment on long-term student success in Florida, Indiana and Kentucky
Today ExcelinEd released Where Credentials Meet the Market, which builds on the foundation laid in Credentials Matter: A National Landscape to examine the impact of credential attainment on long-term student outcomes. This second report in an ongoing research partnership with Burning Glass Technologies analyzes the credentials students earn in high school and their impact on students’ high school completion, community college enrollment and completion, and wages. It provides insights into the return on investment of earning a credential in Florida, Indiana and Kentucky—three states that collect rich, student-level data.
“Students should graduate from high school prepared to be successful in college and their careers. One way to set students up for success is by improving the quality of career and technical education programs, and many states are turning to industry-recognized credentials as part of the solution.”
Patricia Levesque, CEO, ExcelinEd
“Although this research is limited to three states, our findings indicate the significant potential career boost that industry credentials can offer students nationally. These promising results should provide a powerful incentive for states to invest in well aligned credentials.”
Matt Sigelman, CEO, Burning Glass Techologies
Overall, the report finds that earning a credential is associated with positive outcomes related to high school completion, community college enrollment and completion, and wages.
Secondary Educational Outcomes
- Earning a credential is associated with an increase in the probability of graduating from high school on time in Florida, Indiana and Kentucky. This effect is stronger for female CTE students as compared to male CTE students.
Postsecondary Educational Outcomes
- In Florida, earning a credential is associated with an increase in the probability of CTE students enrolling in and graduating from community college and enrolling in university. There is no effect in Florida of earning a credential on CTE students graduating from the university system.
- In Kentucky, for CTE students, earning a credential is associated with an increase in the probability of earning an associate’s degree. The effect of earning a credential on earning a bachelor’s degree is negative for CTE students.*
- Indiana was not able to provide data to assess postsecondary educational outcomes.
Labor Market Outcomes
- In both states that provided wage data, Indiana and Florida, earning a credential is correlated with higher wages for workers who earn at least $20,000 annually and are at least 24 years old. Of the three types of credentials earned in Florida, certifications, licenses and software credentials, only certifications were associated with a wage increase.
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.
For more information on this research and to view interactive maps and data tables, visit CredentialsMatter.org.
*Postsecondary outcomes need additional research to determine if rigor of study or cost of higher education for credential earners has an impact on bachelor’s degree attainment.
Credentials Matter was made possible by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors.