New Research: How COVID-19 Disrupted Credential and Occupational Demand

ExcelinEd and Burning Glass Technologies release two new reports and an update to exploring credential attainment and alignment.


Today, ExcelinEd and Burning Glass Technologies released Credentials Matter: COVID-19 Case Study, which examines short-term changes in credential demand based on the economic ramifications of COVID-19. This case study can help states understand the labor market changes that have occurred already as a result of COVID-19 so they can begin to anticipate future labor market trends.

Key findings include:

“Today’s students will soon be in the workforce, helping to rebuild our nation’s disrupted economy. They need the support of state leaders—and smart policies—to be prepared for productive and successful careers. Credentials Matter points the way, giving policymakers the tools to strengthen education to workforce pathways, align credential programs with labor market demand and ensure every child has an opportunity for a meaningful future.” 

Governor Jeb Bush, Founder and Chairman, ExcelinEd

As the economy navigates reopening, education systems must adjust not only to how they will deliver instruction safely – but also make sure that what they are teaching remains relevant.

“It’s imperative that we learn from the pandemic and its ripple effects to both support recovery efforts and prepare for life in a ‘new normal.’ With regards to recovery, education systems will need to ensure that learners can actively participate in the nation’s recovery while also considering additional factors that may shape occupational opportunities in the future.”

Patricia Levesque, ExcelinEd CEO, and Matt Siegelman, Burning Glass Technologies CEO

States must act with urgency and flexibility as they adapt and prepare for potential future waves of COVID-19 or other pandemic-level shutdowns. As this report shows, economic shifts can and do happen quickly and states must act now to be best prepared in the future to support students as they seek high-quality, in-demand career pathways.

Today’s release also includes a redesigned and expanded and an accompanying report, Credentials Matter Phase 2: A 2020 Update on Credential Attainment and Workforce Demand in America, which explores the credentials earned by students and examine whether those credentials are—or are not—aligned with employers’ demand.

Currently, no state is highly aligned in terms of supply for credentials earned by students and the demand for those credentials in the job market. States are investing in credentials that are not valued in the workforce.

For the first time, Credentials Matter Phase 2 looks at state-level postsecondary credential attainment and policy indicators to better understand the role of credentials across K-16 career pathways. Credentials Matter showcases the importance of states clearly communicating the value of credentials to empower students and families to make the best decision for their career pathways.

For more information on this research and to view interactive maps and data tables, visit

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 by a grant from 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

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