Workforce credentials: Mind the gaps

Texas 2036 is proud to play an important role in improving the transparency and availability of privately-issued credentials, which hold the promise of opening new career paths to millions of Texans in the coming decades.

Texas 2036’s credentialing project has three key goals:

  1. Identify gaps in state credentials data;
  2. Publish credentials data from private issuers; and,
  3. Conduct a time-value analysis of the return on investment of private, short-term credentials.

Texas offers an estimated 24,000 different credentials, a term that refers to an evolving array of degrees, workforce-aligned certifications, licenses, badges and apprenticeships, available in the state. New employer-led credentials programs continue to grow that estimate and can help play a vital role in training the workforce of the future.

The state credential library, established by HB 3767 (87-R), provided the impetus for Texas 2036’s work. The state credential library would include data on all credentials offered by state public institutions and education or training programs. With private companies helping provide learners and workers with new options to gain in-demand skills, it’s crucial that the state’s database covers new private credential opportunities as well.

Texas 2036’s work on privately-issued credentials is possible in large part due to a generous pledge from Google.

A pioneering partnership

To help ensure that the state library contained data on as many credentials available in the state as possible, Texas 2036 partnered with Credential Engine to make data on credentials from private companies accessible to the Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative.

Credential Engine’s publicly available National Registry, which already contains data on tens of thousands of credentials, helped identify where data gaps on private credentials might be. Texas 2036, with the help of Credential Engine and DataSmith Solutions, an industry expert in education data systems, then worked to fill these gaps by seeking partnerships with private companies.

Seven tech companies — Google, Dell, Amazon, Microsoft, CompTIA, CertNexus and Salesforce — ultimately agreed to publish their data covering 115 different credentials.

Further reading

To view the privately-issued credentials data, visit

Learn more about Texas 2036’s efforts to make reliable, transparent data on privately-issued credentials readily available.