An increasing array of credentials – certificates, industry certifications, degrees, licenses, badges, micro-credentials, and apprenticeships – give adults more options than ever to help them learn and articulate their skills, but navigating these many options can be challenging.

Making Sense of the Credentialing Ecosystem

With over 334,000 confirmed credentials in the U.S. alone, lack of clarity in the marketplace of credentials leads to missed opportunities and confusion about credential quality, meaning, and labor market value. Further adding to the complexity is the increased use of digital badges and other digital credentials.

Fortunately, Credential Engine publishes an online Credential Registry with up-to-date information about credentials, and a Credential Finder to help search for specific credentials.


Digital Credentials

Digital credentials give learners a way to display achievement of personal and social capabilities, can be added professional profiles online, and can help build awareness and evidence of soft skills and other transferable skills. The companies listed below are examples of technologies that have enabled a set of digital achievement currencies to flourish in the marketplace.

Issue and Verify Digital Credentials

Academic Verification and Credential Management Services

Personalized Learning and Credential Management Systems

The following articles provide additional context on digital credentials:

Credential Types

The CTDL defines a credential as a “qualification, achievement, personal or organizational quality, or aspect of an identity typically used to indicate suitability.”

There are a number of different types of credentials―including diplomas, badges, micro-credentials, certifications, licenses, certificates, apprenticeships, and degrees. To learn more about each credential type, visit the links below:


Thank you to Credential Engine for sharing their time and talents to support the development of this resource for

Credential Engine logoCredential Engine is a non-profit organization working to bring more transparency and clarity to the credential marketplace and empower students, workers, employer and other stakeholders to make more informed decisions about credentials and their value.

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