Understanding the value of a credential gives people the power to put their skills to good use in their respective industries and help employers decide on the best talent for their teams. But how can we truly measure the value of credentials, especially when there are so many of them? The latest episode of Global Opportunity Forum’s Beyond the Resume podcast explains different types of credentials, and how ANSI affiliate Workcred works with partners to determine the value credentials, clearing up confusion along the way.
Workcred’s executive director Roy Swift, Ph.D. spoke about his background as an army medical specialist and how healthcare and the military, which are very geared to competency-based credentials, helped him realize the significance of credentials early in his career.
Host George Westerman, of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) School of Management, and founder of the Global Opportunity Initiative, spoke about the significance of credentials in the manufacturing industry, referencing MIT’s 2022 Benchmarking Advanced Manufacturing Education, which found that manufacturers prefer a credential over an associate’s degree when hiring technicians.
The challenge, though, is confusion when assessing competencies related to credentials, Swift said, calling on greater collaborative efforts to enhance U.S. credentialing system.
Swift cited the recent report, Examining the Return on Investment of Manufacturing Credentials, which found that employers valued credentials in job candidates and expressed a desire that more candidates had credentials; meanwhile, workers often have limited knowledge of which credentials are valuable. The report was a collaboration between Workcred in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).
“Some people don’t feel that we have a system of credentialing, but we do,” Swift said. “Understanding the system and being able to intervene to improve the system I think is a very important concept, which involves professional societies, federation boards, state licensure, and the federal government.”
He added: “It’s a ‘buyer beware’ environment, because there are a lot of bad credentials that get you nowhere. So, understanding the characteristics of the type of credential you’re going for, and who has endorsed it … are important elements for the consumer to understand in making a choice in these many, many [credentials].”