Degree and Nondegree Credentials Held by Labor Force Participants

This report from the National Center for Education Statistics examines the extent to which adults who do not have postsecondary degrees have other nondegree credentials, including postsecondary certificates and occupational certifications and licenses. The report draws upon data from the Adult Training and Education Survey (ATES), which sampled over 47,000 adults ages 16 to 65 who are not enrolled in high school. Major findings from the report include:

  • Fifty-eight percent of labor force participants had a credential beyond high school completion in 2016, and
  • Thirteen percent of labor force participants did not have a postsecondary degree but did have a nondegree credential in 2016. Among the 13 percent of nondegreed labor force participants:

                  • Fifty-six percent held a license,
                  • Forty-three percent held a postsecondary certificate, and
                  • Twenty-one percent held a certification.

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March 2018