Credentials Matter

Examining how industry credentials are addressing the skills gap and creating pathways to careers

Industry credentials allow students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for success in a specific occupation or industry. However, not all credentials are valued equally in the workforce; in fact, some credentials lead students to dead-end, low-wage jobs.

Use this site to discover how the credentials students earn align with workforce demand in each state.

To learn more about industry-valued credentials and how to navigate the data used throughout the site visit Credentials 101.

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  • Are the industry credentials students earn aligned with workforce demand?

  • How does my state compare to other states?

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  • How many students earn in-demand credentials in each career cluster or industry area?

  • How do occupations align to employment growth and wages?

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  • What is the supply and demand of individual credentials across states?

  • Which states are oversupplying or undersupplying each credential?

The State of Credentials

The State of Credentials

States that evaluate whether the credentials students earn align with workforce demand can adjust their offerings to ensure their career and technical education programs are high-quality and lead students to middle- and high-wage careers.

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Are the credentials that students earn in high school aligned with jobs demanded in the workforce?

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  • Very undersupplied

    Very Undersupplied

  • Moderately undersupplied

    Moderately Undersupplied

  • Supply meets demand

    Supply Meets Demand

  • Moderately oversupplied

    Moderately Oversupplied

  • Very oversupplied

    Very Oversupplied

  • Top Credentials by Demand
    Top Credentials by Demand
    Credentials Demanded
    Supply/Demand Category
    • Top Credentials Earned
      Top Credentials Earned
      Credentials Earned
      Supply/Demand Category

      Sources: Burning Glass Technologies (demand data), state education agencies (supply data).

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      Demand
      Demand
      Supply
      Supply
      • Top Credentials by Demand
        Credentials Demanded
        Supply/Demand Category
        • Top Credentials Earned
          Credentials Earned
          Supply/Demand Category

          Sources: Burning Glass Technologies (demand data), state education agencies (supply data).

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          • Search
            Top Credentials by Demand
            Credentials Demanded
            Supply/Demand Category
            • Compare
              Top Credentials Earned
              Credentials Earned
              Supply/Demand Category

              Sources: Burning Glass Technologies (demand data), state education agencies (supply data).

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              Demand
              Demand
              Supply
              Supply
              • Top Credentials by Demand
                Credentials Demanded
                Supply/Demand Category
                • Top Credentials Earned
                  Credentials Earned
                  Supply/Demand Category

                  Sources: Burning Glass Technologies (demand data), state education agencies (supply data).

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                  How many credentials are students in my state earning?

                  High School Enrollment
                  99,999
                  99,999
                  99,999
                  99,999
                  42%
                  42%
                  429
                  429
                  Alignment Category
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                  Burning Glass
                  Burning Glass
                  Indicators of Data Collection and Quality
                  Number of states
                  Number of states
                  • Secondary data are collected
                  • Postsecondary data are collected
                  • Data are collected directly from vendors
                  • Credentials are included in ESSA plan
                  • State has adopted a credential incentive policy
                  Years of Data Available
                  • 2003
                  • 2005
                  • 2007
                  • 2009
                  • 2011
                  • 2013
                  • 2015
                  • 2017
                  • 2019
                  Credentials by Type in Order of Direct Alignment of Occupations

                  Total number of credentials earned

                  *Value too small to visualize

                  429
                  429

                  No data available. Supply cannot be reported for states that do not collect or share student credential attainment data.

                  • 0
                    0
                    License
                  • 0
                    0
                    Certification
                  • 0
                    0
                    Software
                  • 0
                    0
                    General Career Readiness
                  • 0
                    0
                    CTE Assessment

                  Sources: State education agencies, Burning Glass Technologies, Perkins and the National Center for Education Statistics.

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                  In which career clusters are students earning credentials?

                  43k
                  234k
                  42k
                  84%
                  Total Credentials in Demand (%)
                  Total Credentials Earned (k)

                  CTE Concentrators

                  % of High School Students

                  Sources: State education agencies, Burning Glass Technologies, Perkins and the National Center for Education Statistics.

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                  How many credentials earned in each career cluster are valued by employers in each state?

                  Not all credentials within a career cluster are valued equally by employers. States that prioritize in-demand credentials to inform their career and technical education offerings can better prepare students for successful careers in priority industries.

                  • Compare Search
                  • Compare

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                  Arrow

                  What are the top occupations aligned to each career cluster?

                  Filter By

                  Total Students Enrolled in HS / Total CTE Concentrators
                  •  
                    Occupation
                    Employment (2016)
                    Median Pay (2017)
                    Projected Growth (2016-26)

                    Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Perkins and the National Center for Education Statistics.

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                    Credential Explorer

                    Use the table below to search for specific credentials or browse by a career cluster.

                    • Very undersupplied

                      Very Undersupplied

                    • Moderately undersupplied

                      Moderately Undersupplied

                    • Supply meets demand

                      Supply Meets Demand

                    • Moderately oversupplied

                      Moderately Oversupplied

                    • Very oversupplied

                      Very Oversupplied

                    Filter By

                    • Credential
                      Credential Type
                      Supply/Demand Category
                      Credentials earned
                      Credentials Earned
                      Demand
                      Demand

                      Sources: Collected from BGT and state departments of education

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                      Credential

                      How do supply and demand align for a specific credential?

                      Credential Type
                      Career Cluster
                      • Compare Search
                      • Compare
                      • Search

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                      What is the supply and demand of individual credentials across states?

                      • Very undersupplied

                        Very Undersupplied

                      • Moderately undersupplied

                        Moderately Undersupplied

                      • Supply meets demand

                        Supply Meets Demand

                      • Moderately oversupplied

                        Moderately Oversupplied

                      • Very oversupplied

                        Very Oversupplied

                      • State
                        Supply/Demand Category
                        Credentials earned
                        Credentials Earned
                        Demand
                        Demand

                        Sources: Collected from state departments of education

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