EdX Survey Finds That about 1/3 of Americans Ages 25 44 Have Completely Changed Fields Since Starting Their First Job Post-College

the leading nonprofit online learning destination founded by Harvard and
MIT, today announced the results of a survey of 1,000 consumers ages 25
– 44 around trends related to career transformations. The survey found
that 32 percent of respondents have considered making a career change at
some point within the past year, and 29 percent of respondents have
completely changed fields since starting their first job post college.
The chief drivers of these continuous shifts are a desire for salary
increase (39 percent) or interest in another field (21 percent). EdX
commissioned the survey in order to further identify the types of
challenges faced by learners, specifically as they look to change
industries, in an effort to provide optimized access to quality,
career-relevant education to all.

The workplace is changing more rapidly than ever before and employers
are in need of highly-skilled talent, especially in fields most impacted
by fast developing and in-demand technology, such as automation,
artificial intelligence and big data. Faced with this ever-changing
workplace, candidates seeking to change or advance their careers are
tasked with gaining the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. In
addition, many of these in-demand fields are so newly emerging that they
do not map back to traditional fields of study — according to edX’s
survey findings, only a fifth of respondents consider their education
from their college major to be translatable to their current field.

However, the findings also indicate that just over a quarter of
respondents have turned to advanced education to assist with a potential
career change. This disconnect between employees recognizing that they
need to refresh their education yet not following through on doing so,
is likely due to perceived barriers that do not allow for flexible or
affordable opportunities to gain advanced knowledge. For example, the
survey identified time and money as key blockers to pursuing educational

Anant Agarwal, edX CEO and MIT professor, said, “At edX we are deeply
committed to understanding the barriers that learners face when looking
to advance or change their careers – and we work with our partners to
develop modular and flexible learning pathways that address those
impediments. Offerings such as the MicroMasters® programs empower
learners to gain deep knowledge in an in-demand field, allowing them to
shift careers or pursue a pathway to an accelerated on-campus degree.”

MicroMasters programs, a new category of Master’s-level online
education, bridge the knowledge gap between higher education and the
workplace. MicroMasters programs are part of edX’s mission to expand
access to high-quality, career-relevant education. With subjects ranging
from artificial intelligence to project management and supply chain
management, MicroMasters programs are offered by edX in connection with
its esteemed edX university partners, valued by top companies and linked
to specific career outcomes.

For more survey results click here,
and for more information about the MicroMasters program click here.

About the SurveyUsing Google
Consumer Surveys, edX surveyed over 1,000 employed consumers on
questions related to their careers. All respondents were located in the
United States. The survey was conducted in April 2018.

About edX.orgEdX
is a nonprofit, open-source learning destination offering online
educational programs and courses at edx.org in alliance with more than
130 member institutions, composed of both leading global universities
and colleges, and a diverse group of prominent organizations from around
the world. Founded by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT) and based in Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., edX is focused on
transforming online and classroom learning through groundbreaking
methodologies, game-like educational experiences and cutting-edge
research on an open-source platform.

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