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Survey: 78% of Workers Who Leave Their Jobs Turn to Online Learning to Reskill

online training

A new survey from Cengage Group examined why workers quit, what opportunities they are exploring next and what they are doing to achieve those goals. For The Great Resigners Report, the ed tech company polled 1,200 American adults who had either left their job in the past six months (67% of respondents) or were seriously planning to quit in the next six months (33%). The majority of respondents (67%) had attained a bachelor's degree or higher and most (89%) were in the 25-44 age range.

Workers' top reasons for leaving were fairly universal: 91% of respondents wanted to make more money; 89% felt burned out and unsupported; and 83% cited a lack of professional growth. Notably, a high percentage of "resigners" — 78% — were already taking or had completed an online training course to learn new skills, and 64% felt that online training is essential to landing their next job. The majority of those training programs (72%) had a time-to-completion of six months or less, suggesting that resigners prefer short-term courses to help them reskill and get back into the workforce quickly.  

Among those who had not taken an online training course, the top barriers were time (cited by 28%) and money (23%). Another 21% simply felt their current skills and experience were sufficient and they didn't need online training.

The most in-demand fields for reskilling were finance/insurance (cited by 24% of respondents who had taken or were enrolled in an online course), technology (24%) and healthcare (20%).

The report offered three recommendations for companies and institutions to better support people looking to reskill:

1) Academic institutions should offer more short-term credentialing programs. "Students are looking for flexibility, affordability and specificity in their continuing education," the report asserted. "Scalable online education can provide students the flexibility they need to gain new skills and advance their careers."

2) Employers need to evolve hiring policies and provide employees with more opportunities for career growth. "Employers need to think beyond degrees and consider skills-based hiring where appropriate," the report said, as well as "provide access to reskilling or upskilling for their employees who want opportunities for growth in their existing roles and fields."

3) Policymakers should expand access and funding for education and training. Lifelong learning has become a necessity for the American workforce, the report noted, and "our nation's education and workforce systems must modernize and adapt to these new realities." By investing in apprenticeships, hybrid learning models and industry partnerships, policy-makers can create more education and training pathways to help workers advance their careers or reskill for jobs in new fields.

The full report is available on the Cengage Group site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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