Micro-Credentials: Do They Hold Promise for Low-Skilled Workers?

Prepared for
U.S. Department of Labor
Micro-credentials could supply workers with in-demand skills and help employers better match applicants to job requirements. They take relatively little time to obtain; focus on a single (or a few) observable job competencies; and are typically awarded after a worker demonstrates a mastery of certain content, which is often delivered online. The number of micro-credentials awarded has proliferated in recent years, with both new providers and new credentials emerging. Mathematica is working with the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to study the characteristics of micro-credentials; assess employers’ perspectives on credentialing; and determine the capacity of credentials to create job opportunities for low-skilled, entry-level workers.