older and younger students in a college classroom

The impact of credentials

Credentials are an important factor in addressing barriers to employment. Research and policy development reflect a strong relationship between credentials and positive outcomes, with organizations advocating for the development of cost-effective, close ties between education and workforce development systems.

Given the returns on education, we would expect employment outcomes to be best for post-secondary degree earners and worst for those without a post-secondary credential. And data does show that people who earn a college degree experience more consistent employment than those who get an occupational certificate or no credential at all. That said, those who gain occupational certification often see a higher annual income after they leave the program.

We know that CareerForce staff and partners often connect individuals to training or education programs as a way to address employment barriers. Short-term training can help a career seeker become instantly competitive but longer-term training might be needed to get a career seeker on a successful pathway.

CareerForce staff shared some characteristics on good candidates for long-term training. Candidates should be:

  • Highly motivated and enthusiastic
  • Financially stable or able to provide for themselves
  • Ready to engage in planning and research
  • Goal driven

Even knowing the research on the returns to education, longer-term training might not be right for every career seeker. The most common barriers for individuals enrolling in this type of training are:

  • Lack of income of finances
  • Difficult commute or lack of transportation
  • Lack of child care

Contact CareerForce to share your best practice successes with credentials.