(Post published by Jeff Selingo in LinkedIn)

It’s one of the most debated topics in hiring today: what credentials are actually needed to do a job? A college degree—and the bachelor’s degree in particular—has long been a recognizable signal to employers of potential and discipline.

But today there seems to be a lot more noise interfering with that signal. I just finished reading this new report out today from Credential Engine, which counts and classifies the different types of credentials in the marketplace.

What I found most fascinating in the report for anyone hiring now is that the United States has at least 738,428 unique credentials, including:

  • 370,020 credentials issued by colleges and universities.
  • 7,132 credentials from MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) providers (think edX and Coursera), the vast majority of them being course completion certificates.
  • 315,067 credentials from non-academic organizations, with the largest categories being digital badges and online course completion certificates.
  • 46,209 credentials from public and private secondary schools.

You can read the full report here.