How Valuable Are Industry-Recognized Credentials?

Matt Giani, Research Associate Professor - University of Texas at Austin

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In recent years, Career and Technical Education has put an emphasis on industry-recognized certifications (IRCs). These IRCs are proof-of-skills for high school students entering the workforce or post-secondary education. In other words, having an industry-recognized credential should signify to an employer that a student has mastered a set of skills required for the workforce.

But how effective is this strategy?

This was the question University of Texas at Austin Professor Matt Giani set out to answer in this fascinating report. Giani partnered with the Thomas B. Fordham Institute to study the value of IRCs across Texas, and we dig into what he discovered in this episode of the podcast.

This first-of-its-kind study assesses the impact of specific IRCs earned in high school on various employment and postsecondary outcomes for students who do and do not attend college. The findings can help education leaders and policymakers improve CTE and IRC opportunities in order to boost student success in the labor market.

In this episode, we sit down with Matt to discuss the top 6 findings in this report, as well as 4 key takeaways that educators, employers and state policymakers can all learn from.

Download the full report: https://fordhaminstitute.org/national/research/industry-recognized-credentials

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