A new report from a university that specializes in adult education pinpointed some surprising trends that have come about as a result of the Great Recession.
Among them are that nearly half of American adults - 47 percent - are reevaluating their career path due to the continuing slump many industries are struggling with. In fact, the study projects that more than 630,000 jobs in the manufacturing and natural resources industries will be eliminated due to automation or relocation to a foreign country.
"People who currently hold jobs in industries that are in decline need to take action, today, so they can secure a job in a growing industry," said Dr. Mary B. Hawkins, the university's president. "The new jobs being created are very different kinds of jobs, requiring different kinds of workers. This shift in requirements means displaced workers need to seek education and training that will prepare them for tomorrow's jobs."
This, coupled with the fact that about 60 percent of U.S. jobs will require higher education or workforce training by 2018, means many adults are considering going back to school. In addition, one in four working adults have reconsidered their livelihoods as jobs have dried up.
"When faced with changing careers or re-entering the workforce, Americans must first identify a new direction for their work," Dr. Hawkins said. "Then, they have to consider whether they have all the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful transition. If they don't, there are several ways to get what they need: workshops, seminars, continuing education courses, certifications and college degrees are all valuable ways to gain knowledge and skills."
Another major finding in the report follows what many have been noticing in recent years: Women are more frequently going back to school to earn higher degrees, such as a doctorate degree or masters in nursing. The surge in women going back to school has caused a downturn in the number of stay-at-home mothers, now at 5 million, compared with the 2010 number of 5.3 million.
In an effort to help those who have earned some college credit but never finished, the university behind the study launched Make It Happen Now. The initiative will help an estimated 38 million people organize goals, consider steps they need to take to meet those goals and make a commitment to themselves.