Credentials Matter for Today’s Students

Credentials Matter Phase 2 features a redesigned and expanded as well as two new reports, including a case study on the short-term ramifications of COVID-19 on credential demand.


In 2019, ExcelinEd and Burning Glass Technologies launched Credentials Matter. This first-of-its-kind research and accompanying interactive website explored the industry-recognized credentials students earn, the credentials demanded by employers, and the impact of credential attainment on long-term student outcomes.

Now we are releasing Credentials Matter Phase 2. For this latest phase, we have redesigned and expanded as well as published two new reports, including a case study on the short-term ramifications of COVID-19 on credential demand. Together, these tools and resources offer a timely analysis of credential demand and attainment data from across the nation.

Phase 2

Credential Matter Phase 2: A 2020 Update explores the credentials earned by both K-12 and—for the first time—postsecondary students. The report examines whether those credentials are, or are not, aligned with employers’ demand. Key findings of the Phase 2 report include:

COVID-19 Case Study

Credentials Matter: COVID-19 Case Study examines short-term changes in credential demand based on the economic ramifications of COVID-19. The report also analyzes key occupational factors that may continue to affect credential demand in potential future waves of the pandemic as well as throughout economic recovery. Key findings of the case study include:

About Credentials Matter

Credentials Matter is an ongoing research partnership between ExcelinEd and Burning Glass Technologies designed to shed light on the landscape of industry credential data collection and alignment across the country. The project provides insight into how industry credentials earned by students align with workforce demand in each state to inform education system improvements and state data collection practices. Visit to explore interactive maps and data tables and learn more about this research.

Credentials Matter was made possible through the support of Carnegie Corporation of New York. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors.

Solution Areas:

College & Career Pathways


Career and Technical Education, COVID-19, Credentials Matter, Industry Recognized Credentials, Work-Based Learning

About the Author

Patricia Levesque is the Chief Executive Officer for ExcelinEd.