Postsecondary Degrees and Credentials


Improving postsecondary educational attainment is a top priority

No significant movement since the last available data

Benchmark: By 2025, 60% of Maine adults will have a degree or non-degree credential of value.



Last year, the Council adopted a postsecondary goal that includes non-degree credentials of value. These certificates and certifications offer valuable pathways to opportunity in today’s economy. This benchmark aligns with Maine’s statutory goal of 60% of adults ages 25-64 holding a degree or a non-degree credential of value by 2025 – a goal promoted by MaineSpark, a coalition of education institutions, nonprofits, foundations, government agencies, and businesses.

The Council recognizes the growing importance of non-degree career paths, including professional certifications, licenses, digital badges, and military service. The Lumina Foundation reports that in 2019, the most recent year for which data are available, 7.8% of Maine adults ages 25-64 who lacked postsecondary degrees held occupational credentials. That is above the New England average of 6.4% and just below the national average of 8.1%. In all, an estimated 52.6% of Maine adults ages 25-64 held an associate, bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree, or a non-degree credential of value in 2019. This is up from 50.5% in 2018.