Why Nearly Everyone in America Wants to Change Careers

Why Nearly Everyone in America Wants to Change Careers

Eyeing another career? So is most of America.

According to a new Harris/University of Phoenix in Arizona poll, more than half of U.S. workers hope to change careers—and the difference across the age groups was striking, Reuters reports.

While just about half of those in their 40s would like to make a switch, nearly 80% of 20-somethings would like to do so.


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Dr. Bill Pepicello, the president of the University of Phoenix, sees career transition as a growing norm among new generations of workers. “Choosing one career path after high school or college and sticking with it for the rest of a career is becoming less common as the pace of business and technology quickly change jobs and industries," he said in a statement.

Often, of course, career paths have little to do with past plans. About three-quarters of those surveyed said they had not ended up in the type of job they had anticipated. This stat varies across the demographics as well. Women are more likely than men to hold jobs different from their expectations, while college grads are more likely to follow an expected career path than non-grads, the poll found.

Where Are Workers Most Happy With Their Careers?

Unfortunately, even being your own boss wasn’t found to increase the rates of career satisfaction. Only 20% of those running their own businesses said that they were in their desired job.

But location did turn out to be a large factor. The majority of San Francisco residents had no desire to change fields, and almost a quarter said that they were actually in their dream job. That’s a large increase from rates in Los Angeles and Dallas-Ft. Worth, where only 8% of workers could say they were in their dream jobs.

RELATED: Are You Happy at Your Office?

Of those who said they had found the perfect job, 20% worked in business management, followed by 16% who worked in health care. Those careers, along with technology and the arts and sciences, were also the fields that were most highly coveted by workers looking for a change.


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