Published June 2020
Rhode Island's Roadmap for Postsecondary Attainment in the Ocean State sets an ambitious goal of postsecondary credentialing for 70% of working-age Rhode Islanders by 2025. While much attention has been paid both locally and nationally to the lifetime earnings gains that accrue to people with a postsecondary degree (Bachelor's or Associate's),* less is known about the workforce outcomes that accrue to people who have no postsecondary degree, but do possess some other type of non-degree credential (for example, EMT training or teacher assistant training).
In collaboration with the Governor's Office, the Governor's Workforce Board, and contributing agency partners RIDE, DLT, and RIOPC, and with technical assistance from the National Skills Coalition, the RILDS Center conducted a longitudinal analysis to assess the workforce outcomes for such credentials. We used data that were already available in the RILDS and collected additional data from new sources such as the Rhode Island Department of Health professional licenses database and Lincoln Technical Institute. We compared individuals with only a high school diploma to those with a high school diploma and a non-degree credential, looking for wage premiums accruing to the latter group. The findings were shared internally with the project partners to be used in evaluating which credential types were potentially more valuable to workers than others. The study was descriptive rather than causal, and should be understood as a preliminary look at the issue rather than a policy-guiding study.
To protect confidential data, the dashboard visualizations cannot be filtered by individual credentials. However, the individual data sources are listed below. Each credential assessed was offered by one of these agencies/institutions and its workforce training programs:
Real Jobs Real Pathways (1970-2022)
Workforce Innovation CTE (2012-2020)
Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) (2015-2020)
Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) (2013-2020)
Enrollment (SY 2004-2005 to 2018-2019)
Career & Technical Education (CTE) (SY 2014-2015 to 2018-2019)
National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) (2012-2020)