Americans don’t think office jobs will make a comeback after the COVID-19 pandemic

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According to a study conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Universal Technical Institute, more than half (54%) of survey respondents have strongly considered changing their careers in the past six months. (Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash)

According to new research, 42% of Americans have had a ‘career lightbulb’ moment during COVID-19.

And more than half (54%) of survey respondents have strongly considered changing their careers in the past six months.

A new poll of 2,000 Americans aged 18–35 (across California, Arizona, Texas, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) revealed the current climate has re-invigorated people toward pursuing a career that is more fulfilling than their current one.

During the pandemic, 67% have actively considered pursuing a different career — one that actually makes them happy.

The study, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Universal Technical Institute, aimed to discover how COVID-19 has impacted people’s next steps in their career choices and discovered more than half (53%) are looking for a new job that would allow them to avoid ever stepping foot in an office again.

Not only that, three in five don’t think office jobs will come back after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study found people are looking for new experiences when it comes to their careers, and more than half (52%) said they would love to have a job where they could work with their hands.

Furthermore, results revealed 42% have thought about pursuing a career in a skilled trade — and nearly half (49%) want a career in which they feel valued.

But making the decision to pursue something new and different takes time — six months to make the decision for the average respondent.

When embarking on a career shift, 30% searched for information about schools and training institutions to get started.

However, that isn’t all people did at the beginning of their career transitions. Twenty-nine percent wondered whether a new career would be financially beneficial for them, while a further 26% outlined what specifically they needed to do to succeed in their new industry.

“Seeking a new career is a massive decision for many people. During these uncertain times with record numbers filing jobless claims, more and more Americans have begun re-thinking what they truly want when it comes to their jobs and careers,” stated Eric Severson, Senior Vice President of Admissions, Universal Technical Institute. “People want to be fulfilled and happy going to work each day.”

Americans aren’t even putting their degrees to good use. Forty-two percent of those surveyed revealed they aren’t currently working in a field related to their degree.

From art and accounting to IT and working in the automotive industry, Americans are looking to explore something different as they pursue a career transition.

The average respondent said they began thinking about changing careers in general at age 28.

No matter your age, 68% of survey respondents said it’s never too late to pursue a new career.

“Making a career shift through training for a skilled trade, is not only possible, but can be extremely rewarding. Many of our graduates say they enjoy their careers, love working with their hands and don’t want to sit at a desk all day,” added Severson.

“Especially now, during record national unemployment, when demand for skilled technicians and welders continues and remains, fast-track training for a skilled trade is an option that could make sense and make you happy too.”

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<
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