Certification Data Exchange - Creating IT Futures

Certification Data Exchange Project

Community colleges get the data to prove their students’ success

Within the past decade, community colleges have faced a dilemma: The need to quantifiably measure the impact of industry certifications without readily accessible data at the individual student level. CompTIA shared with the Illinois Community College Board five years of exam performance data from students attending its schools.

As a result, the IL Community College Board produced a number of demographic reports comparing CompTIA’s data to their educational records. And then took it one step further to explore what impact, if any, CompTIA certifications had on students’ employment and wage history.

The findings were significant:
  • Certified students had slightly higher employment rates than did non-certified peers.
  • Certified students had substantially higher earnings – about 30 percent higher in the exam quarter and nearly 50 percent higher by the third post-exam quarter.
  • The employment and salary “gap” between certified and non-certified graduates widened as time went on.
The Illinois pilot project has become part of the Certification Data Exchange Project in a partnership with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career Technical and Adult Education, which created a multi-year roadmap to ultimately develop a national, third-party certification data exchange clearinghouse.

To inquire if your state or community college board can participate in a similar data sharing program, contact Gretchen Koch

Read the full white paper on the pilot study in Illinois.

Creating IT Futures

A 501(c)(3) charity was established in 1998 by CompTIA, the Information Technology Industry Trade Association, as a way to help people improve their lives through IT careers.


We help populations that are under-represented in IT and individuals who are lacking in opportunity to prepare for, secure and be successful in IT careers.


Creating IT Futures
c/o CompTIA
3500 Lacey Road, Suite 100
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Phone: (630) 678-8300
Email: info@creatingitfutures.org