The Alabama Workforce Council conducted a survey to learn how companies in Alabama use non-degree credentials when hiring and promoting employees. The survey was completed by 318 HR decision makers between March 1 and March 6, 2023.

The results showed that non-degree certifications (NDCs) are beneficial for employees and job seekers. 93% of employers offer or recognize NDCs, with manufacturing, human services, and information technology being the industries with the most NDC holders.

Over 60% of employers use NDCs to validate a job candidate’s experience, particularly in information technology and business management industries. However, only 35% require NDCs for most of their jobs.

Employers in STEM, health sciences, and manufacturing industries prefer applicants with NDCs. Information technology has the highest wage premium for NDC employees, followed by human services, architecture and construction, and business management. These industries, along with finance and manufacturing, also provide wage increases and advancement opportunities to incumbent employees who earn an NDC.

There are two segments of companies identified in the survey: high NDC workforce (46%) and low NDC workforce (54%). Companies in the high NDC workforce segment are more likely to have over 100 employees and require at least 50% of their workforce to have NDCs. Over 80% of these companies issue their own NDCs and have a more diverse workforce. The low NDC workforce segment tends to be smaller companies with fewer jobs that require NDCs.

This survey is the first in a series conducted by the Alabama Workforce Council in 2023 to better understand the role of NDCs in the talent marketplace. More data is needed to fully comprehend how hiring managers use NDCs to assess job applicants and promote and develop incumbent workers.

Survey of HR Decision Makers – Presentation

Survey of HR Decision Makers – Topline PDF

Survey of HR Decision Makers – Excel Crosstabs

Survey of HR Decision Makers – Excel Raw Data