New set of reports reveals just how versatile certifications can be
To inform the project, the team conducted research from 2019 to 2021 on 16 certifications across cybersecurity, healthcare, information technology, and manufacturing, which informed the development of separate overviews for each certification and five reports. The recommendations in each report were informed by a review of the certifications literature and the experiences of project team members working with the certification community.
The series launched with the December 2020 publication, Understanding certifications, which revealed the complex and confusing landscape of certifications. The report highlights how people who earn certifications and licenses are faring better in the job market at a time when huge economic shifts earlier and accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic have created a tough job market. Among other insights, the report also examines how certain certifications can provide short-term pathways to employment, an attractive option for working adults and low-income populations.
Among the latest publications are Certifications as tools for promoting economic mobility, which examines the characteristics of quality qualifications and how they can be used as valuable tools to increase the economic mobility of workers and expand the talent pool for employers. The research supports a call for improved data collection and research on qualifications and their outcomes, greater commitment to building a more interconnected accreditation system, and a greater role for employers in the transformation of this system.
Accreditation standards: the main source of quality assurance for certifications shows how the influx of new degrees without degrees poses a challenge to individuals when it comes to determining the quality of degrees and making decisions about how to value them. The authors examine how and why quality assurance is particularly important for qualifications. Additionally, research based on interviews with people at certification bodies reveals a broad consensus within the certification community that quality certifications are those that align with personnel certification standards. , among other findings.
Recertification: a distinctive feature of certifications provides an overview of the recertification process, how it varies between certifications, how well it meets its stated goals, and recommendations for improvement. Because recertifications (also known as maintenance, renewal, or maintenance of competence) can help protect the public by ensuring holders have up-to-date knowledge and skills, research says understanding the recertification process will better achieve and maintain certifications.
Certifications: the ideal, the reality and the potential, the final publication in the series, summarizes the main findings that emerged during the project and identifies topics that warrant further research. It also offers several recommendations, including that certification bodies should improve their internal processes and practices, and that governments and employers should encourage wider use of certifications when hiring. Furthermore, the report highlights that better data collection and distribution is a critical issue that requires further attention. The report further explains these issues and offers specific recommendations to address them.
“As the power of certifications continues to grow during a recovering and rapidly changing job market, we are excited to provide data-driven research that shows how certifications can be used to help individuals succeed in the workplace. the personal and economic level, and how policy makers can develop policies that support the increased use of qualifications,” said Dr. Roy Swiftexecutive director of Workcred.
President and CEO of CSW, larry goodnoted, “Millions of American workers have earned certifications, in many cases providing them with a high-quality credential that attests to their skills and helps them find jobs and advance their careers. This is an important time. to increase visibility and understanding of what is known about certifications and what remains to be learned through further research.”
“Certifications are exceptionally good at signaling the skills of their holders, but their variety leaves them little understood by workers or employers, graduate workers and for the economy,” said Dr. Stephen Crawfordresearch professor at the George Washington Institute of Public Policy and co-director of the Skills, Credentials and Workforce Policy Program, george washington university.
“It has been a privilege to fund this important research into industrial and occupational certifications,” said Courtney Brown, Vice President of Impact and Planning for Lumina Foundation. “We hope that employers, job seekers, educators, policy makers, industry/professional associations and researchers will use these important findings to find talented workers with these types of certifications.”
Formed in 2014, Workcred is an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Its mission is to strengthen the quality of the workforce by improving the accreditation system, ensuring its continued relevance, and preparing employers, workers, educators and governments to use it effectively. Workcred’s vision is a labor market that is built on the relevance, quality and value of workforce skills for opportunity, growth and development.
About Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW)
CSW catalyzes change in education and labor market systems and practices to increase economic mobility, especially for people of color and others historically excluded from success. We focus on delivering scalable improvements in worker skills, lifelong learning and job quality. CSW works with changemakers to develop strategies, identify evidence to inform strategies, build organizational capacity, manage initiatives, and evaluate lessons learned.
About the George Washington Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP)
GWIPP is george washington university center for interdisciplinary social science research on public policy issues. Its faculty includes professor-researchers with in-depth expertise in labor economics and workforce development. GWIPP has played a leading role in the development of the Credential Engine, currently manages the National Non-Degree Research Network, and recently launched its Skills, Credentials and Workforce Policy Program.
About the Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation is an independent private foundation Indianapolis which is committed to providing learning opportunities for all beyond high school. The foundation envisions a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results and meets national talent needs through a wide range of qualifications. Lumina’s goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and to succeed in a global economy.