industry credential


A work-related credential, certification, or license that:

  1. Verifies, through a valid assessment, an individual’s qualifications or competence in a specific skill set related to a particular industry or occupation;
  2. Is issued by an industry-related organization or state licensing body with the relevant authority to issue such credentials; and
  3. Is broadly sought or accepted by employers as a recognized, preferred, or required credential for recruitment, screening, hiring, retention, or advancement purposes.

This definition was developed during the initial drafting of the Career Pathways Dictionary and ISBE’s College and Career Readiness Indicator. It is based on research into statewide and national conceptions of industry credentials.


While a credential issued by a postsecondary education provider is not an “industry credential,” the coursework for the credential may qualify as a dual credit career pathway course and will often prepare students for an industry credential examination. A student must, depending upon the requirements of the industry credential, either receive the license or is eligible to receive a license pending the receipt of a high school diploma.