More than half of available credential programs generally sit outside of traditional institutions of higher educations, according to a new analysis that reveals a maze of non-degree credentials, such as digital badges, certificates, certifications, and apprenticeships.
The research comes from national nonprofit Credential Engine, which has released its fourth count of secondary and postsecondary credentials in the United States. This year’s Count of U.S. Postsecondary and Secondary Credentials report identified 1,076,358 credentials, from specialized certificates to bachelors degrees to PhDs.
The report demonstrates the nation’s need to dramatically improve transparency in the credential marketplace to promote economic growth and individual mobility.
The credentials span four broad types of credential providers:
- Post-Secondary Educational Institutions— 350,412 degrees and certificates
- Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Providers—13,014 course completion certificates, micro-credentials, and online degrees from foreign universities
- Non-academic providers—656,505 badges, course completion certificates, licenses, certifications, and apprenticeships
- Secondary Schools—56,179 diplomas from public and private secondary schools, alternative certificates from secondary schools, and high school equivalency diplomas
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