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Today’s credential marketplace is confusing and chaotic for job seekers, employers and policymakers alike, with hundreds of thousands of credentials available in the U.S. alone, and little data available about most of them.
While many initiatives are working to organize and clarify this key piece of the nation’s economy, coordination among the efforts has been difficult to track. Seeking to remedy this, more than 30 funders joined a discussion last fall hosted by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Lumina Foundation and Schmidt Futures.
Beth Cobert underscored key questions from the Markle Foundation: “At Markle, we approach credentialing from the end-user’s point of view. What will enable workers to develop informed career paths? What will enable employers to recognize the skilled people they need? What will enable educators to maintain the relevance and value of their offerings? And what will enable policymakers to steer toward a skills-based labor market? Today, we are confronted with a fragmentation of new and old credentials, kept in isolated silos. This doesn’t serve anyone well. We are excited to see organizations like the National Student Clearinghouse and industry certification bodies coming together to create more user-friendly ways of credentialing that can serve all these groups better and inform their decision-making.”