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At a time when employers are struggling to fill more than 10.1 million open positions while colleges experience the lowest enrollment numbers in more than a decade, a new survey conducted by educational software provider Jenzabar finds that 47% of U.S. adults believe they are underemployed, underpaid, and seek more affordable, flexible education to acquire new skills that will further their careers or help them find new positions. In addition, 32% of respondents with college degrees believe their college education did not prepare them for their current jobs or the jobs they want to have.

One in three U.S. adult workers (37%) either want a new job or a career in a different field. However, the research found that cost and the lack of affordable, accessible educational resources prevented workers from pursuing new educational and skills retraining opportunities.

Higher education systems must transform to address the growing skills gap. There are many lucrative job opportunities in growing sectors such as technology, software development, and healthcare, but there are not enough U.S. adults with the right skills to fill those jobs.

Learning options need to be accessible to lower-income or working adults, so they can get the training they need without being saddled with additional debt. Many traditional four-year programs are expensive and don’t offer the right blend of job training and life skills required to secure job opportunities in booming fields, according to Ling Chai Maginn, founder, president, and CEO at Jenzabar.

In fact, 80% of survey respondents believe that colleges and universities are too expensive and need to offer specific programs that help students secure well-paying, readily available jobs. Of those surveyed, 56% said they would sign up for training or education to pursue a lucrative career if it were affordable, accessible, and easy to do on their own time.

Jenzabar commissioned this independent survey in Q3 2021 via Survey Monkey that received responses from 2,208 working U.S. adults. The respondents answered questions about their current job satisfaction, future career plans and aspirations, educational backgrounds, and education and training plans on the horizon.

Read the full report by Jenzabar.

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