Several studies have shown that, for workers, the return on investment in incremental credentials diverge by race/ethnicity. In California, white and Latino men who earned short-term certificates (those requiring less than a year of full-time study) saw stronger returns than did Black men, while Black men and women both fared better from long-term certificates (which require at least a year, but less than two years, of full-time study).
Another study found similar results, showing Latina/Latino workers with certificates earned slightly less than white workers with certificates. Still, Black workers with certificates had the lowest earnings among workers of any race/ethnicity. While more research is needed on incremental credentialing outcomes by race, these insights are concerning because Black and Latina/Latino students are much more likely to enroll in and complete credentialing programs. While only one in five white students completed such credentials, one in three Black and Latina/Latino students completed.