Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce has published a new report: Certificates: Gateway to Gainful Employment and College Degrees. I’m a big fan of a previous report from these authors, Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018 and wrote about it here.
This new report gives a clear look under the hood of one of the staples of our post-secondary education infrastructure: the certificate.
Take a look. It’s not a hard read.
Uniquely American, certificates are widely varied in their positive impacts and largely ignored by private, public and government socioeconomic surveyors. The study’s authors contend that if certificates “with a demonstrated labor market value” were counted in official post-secondary surveys as “credentials” they would improve the U.S.’s post-secondary completion position from 15th to 10th among industrialized nations (OECD countries).
And 1 million certificates were awarded in 2010 – up from 300,000 in 1994.
Interesting data from the report include:
- Certificates are the fastest growing form of post-secondary credentials in the U.S. increasing from 6% in 1980 to 22% today
- 20% of certificate holders go on to get two-year degrees
- 13% of certificate holders go on to complete four-year degrees
- Workers with certificates earn an average 20% more than workers with just high school degrees
As talent management and HR professionals continue to struggle to find “qualified” workers to fill their openings, perhaps a new look at the experience and credentials they require might open a large segment of fully qualified workers – those with certificates instead of college degrees.
Something to think about.