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Industry-Recognized Credentials

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Industry-recognized credentials (IRC) are certifications, credentials, or licenses that are vetted by employers and serve to recognize skill attainment needed for recruitment, screening, hiring, retention, advancement, or to mitigate workforce shortages. The IRC is endorsed by a nationally recognized trade association or an organization in a particular industry. An IRC is a verification of a students’ qualification or competence through a technical education program.

“Postsecondary credentials matter more today than any time previously in history. They provide currency in the labor market and serve as key momentum points for individuals on a path to economic opportunity, especially those from underserved communities.”

“Credentials have currency in two primary ways: they (1) help an individual find employment or advance in the workforce and/or (2) accelerate a student’s progression into and through postsecondary education and training.” This video offers a brief overview of industry-recognized credentials.

According to Wis. State Stats. §106.273, the Department of Workforce Development and Department of Public Instruction partner to ensure that credentials approved for incentive grant funding act as hiring signals through immersive skilled experiences, certifications, diplomas, and degrees. It is important for schools, that are solicited to buy curriculum leading to credentials, to ensure that the the certificates, while industry endorsed, actually have value with employers. Factors to consider are:

  • Accessibility to high school students
  • Recognizability
  • Transferability
  • Hirable
  • Costs to Students and Schools

Education Strategy Group "Credential Currency"

Technical Incentive Grants

Reporting Industry Certifications

For questions about this information, contact Karin Smith (608) 267-3161