New Report Finds Adults with Nondegree Credentials Rate Their Education Positively, Especially When Combined with College Degrees

Strada Education Network 

July 28, 2021
Report also finds that more respondents rate shorter nondegree programs as worth the cost than longer ones.
INDIANAPOLIS — July 28, 2021 — Strada Education Network, a nonprofit social impact organization dedicated to improving lives by forging pathways between education and employment, has released new findings from the nationally representative Strada-Gallup Education Survey, which asks adults about their experiences with education and work.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Americans have expressed a consistent preference for nondegree credentials (25 percent) and skills training options (37 percent). The new Public Viewpoint report documents that 2 in 5 Americans hold a nondegree credential. These credentials are especially valuable in combination with college degrees, in particular associate degrees. Positive ratings increase significantly for all individuals who hold both a degree and a nondegree credential, highlighting the potential value of education and training pathways that integrate both opportunities.
Overall, compared to their peers, those with a bachelor’s degree reported higher earnings and stronger ratings for value, with the exception of help with achieving their goals. When an associate degree was combined with a nondegree credential, 69 percent of recipients reported their education was worth the cost, compared to only 48 percent when they held an associate degree without a nondegree credential.