Credential is a broad term encompassing multiple nondegree postsecondary awards, including diplomas, licenses, certificates, badges, and professional/industry certifications. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the following are nondegree credentials:

  • Certifications: occupational credentials awarded by a certification body, such as a professional association or certifying board (e.g., medical technician certification)
  • Licenses: occupational credentials awarded by a government agency that constitute legal authority to do a specific job (e.g., medical license)
  • Postsecondary educational certificates: education credentials awarded by an educational institution based on completion of all requirements for a program of study; postsecondary educational certificates below a bachelor’s degree are typically awarded in occupational fields (e.g., culinary arts)