While career changes have become more common in recent years, taking this leap is still a daunting prospect – especially if you’re entering a new field of work or diverging from your acquired degree. The hesitance that comes with leaving your job can be evidenced in the rise of workplace trends, including ‘quiet-quitting’ and more recently, ‘loud-quitting’.
While it was once thought that choosing a career was a fixed decision, our working lives have become more unpredictable than ever, and new research from FutureLearn has found that the majority of adults (57%) will now switch professions in their lifetimes.
This trend is likely to increase with AI rising in prominence across many spaces, bringing with it the need for our skills and careers to evolve at a more constant pace than ever before. The survey also shows that career changes are most common during adults’ younger years, with 28% of respondents revealing that they switched career paths during their early twenties.
What Are the Reasons Behind Switching Careers?
Themes around new challenges and work-life balance seem to be the most popular reason, as well as people looking for a bit more excitement in their 9-5s.
According to the research results, the main factors driving people to switch careers are:
· Personal development / seeking a new challenge (65%)
· Work-life balance (63%)
· Lack of fulfilment or job satisfaction (63%)
· Salary concerns or seeking higher pay (60%)
· Workplace culture & environment (e.g. benefits, flexibility & ways of working) (56%)
“The increase in mental health awareness and work-life balance has contributed to the growing trend of seeking more fulfilling and satisfying careers.”Daniella Genas, Entrepreneur, Career Coach and Founder of Be the Boss
What is Flexible Education?
With switching careers becoming increasingly popular across many industries, there are now more ways than ever to gain qualifications that are also achievable around your existing lifestyle.
From micro credentials to online degrees that allow you to study from home, the traditional path of education is being disrupted by this rise of new flexible alternatives, making career transitioning more prevalent than ever before. Venturing into a completely new field is a path that has been made much more accessible for workers today.
The data also reveals the industries people stay in from graduation to retirement. Those who work in IT and telecoms are the most likely to still work in the same industry as their degree (56%) whereas those who have a degree in HR are more likely to work in a different industry to their degree now compared to those working in other industries (38%).
What Skills Do You Need to Make a Career Change?
The three skills which were cited as most vital to making a career change were teamwork, communication and problem-solving skills – proving the value of transferable skills.
Despite the world becoming increasingly tech-focused and the ever-advancing progression of AI intelligence, less than a quarter of respondents cited digital skills as vital for a career change.
Interestingly, learning a second language has been revealed as the most in-demand skill, with 40% of people keen to become bilingual!
If you’re resonating with any of the reasons above, then now might be the time to upskill, reskill or pursue a passion.
FutureLearn is dedicated to transforming access to education; making life-long learning, re-skilling and upskilling part of everyday life.