National Education and Employment Study (NEES)

In 2016, NORC at the University of Chicago (NORC) conducted data collection efforts for the National Education and Employment Study (NEES), sponsored by Lumina Foundation. This study sought to gain more knowledge about adults' work-related education, training, and credentials after high school and to determine the percentage of adults in America who hold a high quality certificate or certification as their highest credential.

Data collection efforts took place in early 2016, and again in the fall of 2016. The survey was administered to adults between the ages of 25 and 64 across the United States. Surveys were completed via telephone and the web, and covered topics that included educational background, certifications, licenses, certificates, work experience, employment, and general demographics. The data provided will help expand our country’s understanding of the prevalence and types of certifications, licenses, and certificates available for adults after high school in the United States.

Related to this work, NORC completed the data collection effort for the 2017 National Education and Attainment Survey (NEAS). This study was also funded by Lumina, and information, along with the Public Use File (PUF) of data for that effort, can be found here.

If you have any additional questions about the study or its purpose , please contact NORC's NEES Project Director, Cynthia Simko, at or (312) 759-4066.

December 2016

At the close of the NEES data collection effort, NORC completed disclosure activities on the Wave 1 NEES data, and created a Public Use File (PUF) along with a User’s Guide to assist in conducting analysis. Those files can be viewed and downloaded via the links below.

May 2017

NORC conducted descriptive analysis of the data collected in 2016. Those reports can be viewed and downloaded via the links below.

Infographics and Visualizations



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