jobsA University of Phoenix survey has found that 89 percent of American workers say they have opportunities to grow their careers, despite the current weak economic conditions. Of the survey respondents who were not full-time students, 41 percent said they expect to return to school in the future, and 64 percent of these foresee doing so within the next two years. Of employed respondents, 54 percent plan to return to school.

“There is a skills gap in America,” says Dr. Bill Pepicello, president of University of Phoenix. “Employers have jobs available, but many companies are having a difficult time finding workers with the right skills to fill those positions.”

Just under half of respondents said that are taking or would like to take an online class to develop their professional skills and grow their careers. Nearly three-quarters of respondents 25 to 34 years old are most likely to participate in online courses followed by 63 percent of respondents ages 18 to 24. Older workers are also very interested in online learning with 58 percent of 35 to 44 year olds, 46 percent of 45 to 54 year olds, and 21 percent of 55 years and older expect to enroll in an online course.

Most respondents with a bachelor’s degree (78 percent) said education has given them an advantage during the hiring process while 41 percent of respondents without a bachelor’s degree said so. About 60 percent of respondents not currently enrolled in school full time said returning to school would be important when considering a career change. Most respondents (58 percent) also said that additional schooling would lead to better pay and 43 percent said it would allow them to grow their careers.



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