eLearners.com Research Shows Disconnect Between Employment Forecast and Americans’ Perception That Their Current Education Will Keep Them Competitive

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A new survey by eLearners.com (http://www.elearners.com), a web resource of EducationDynamics, which connects prospective students with online degrees, found that three in four Americans who plan to still work in ten years say they have the education they will need to be competitive. Employment Projections report 60 percent of the 30 fastest-growing jobs require at least an associate’s degree, while most Americans do not have a college education

Although people think they have the skills needed to keep them competitive in the next ten years, statistics show that most Americans likely do not.

A new survey by eLearners.com (http://www.elearners.com), a web resource of EducationDynamics, which connects prospective students with online degrees, found that three in four Americans who plan to still work in ten years say they have the education they will need to be competitive.

However, employment and education attainment data highlight a possible disconnect between projections and perception. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, fewer than 20 percent of Americans 25 years of age and older possess a bachelor’s degree and fewer than 10 percent have an associate’s degree.

Considering 18 of the 30 fastest-growing occupations require at least an associate’s degree, these numbers show that most people do not have the education needed to remain competitive.

“Unfortunately, what we found is that reality just doesn’t match perception,” said Terrence Thomas, Executive Vice President of Marketing for eLearners.com. “Although people think they have the skills needed to keep them competitive in the next ten years, statistics show that most Americans likely do not.”

In the eLearners.com survey, about 40 percent of respondents had a college degree.

Other Key Findings

  •     Nearly three in ten (29 percent) Americans (who do not have a college degree and do not plan on retiring before 2020) feel they do not have the education that would allow them to be competitive in ten years, compared to 20 percent of those who have graduated from college.
  •     More working women, who plan to still work in ten years, than their male counterparts (31 percent vs. 20 percent) do not think they have the education they need to be competitive in their field.

“One of President Obama’s goals is to make America first in the world for college graduates by 2020,” continued Thomas. “Given all of the opportunities available here, America should be the leader, graduating more people than any other country; however, people must first realize the importance of education and that a college degree is often the only solution to stay competitive in today’s job market.”

For many adults considering higher education, online learning is often the best fit. To help prospective students find information about online programs, eLearners.com offers a comprehensive database of more than 3,500 online degrees. eLearners.com also offers the eLearners Advisor, which is a self-assessment tool designed to help people determine if online education is a good match.

To help more parents, especially working mothers, afford a college education, eLearners.com created Project Working Mom. In its fourth cycle, the Project Working Mom program has already awarded more than $6 million in full-tuition scholarships to about 250 parents. Project Working Mom 2010 is currently underway offering close to 100 additional full-tuition scholarships. The deadline to apply at http://www.projectworkingmom.com is September 30.

About eLearners.com®
eLearners.com is one of several high visibility websites operated by EducationDynamics. Since 1999, eLearners.com has been successfully connecting learners to online education, including online degree and certificate programs, specialized career training, and a variety of online courses. For prospective students, eLearners.com provides a powerful search engine for users to find thousands of online degree program offerings, as well as educational evaluation tools and financial aid resources. eLearners.com also offers an exclusive seven-point support system, which provides guidance and resources for current and prospective online students. For online colleges and universities, the eLearners.com website offers a low-cost, performance-based method to provide national exposure and increase enrollments in their online learning programs. For more information on eLearners.com, visit http://www.eLearners.com.

About EducationDynamics
EducationDynamics is higher education’s leading marketing information and technology services company dedicated to helping institutions find, enroll and retain students. Its content-rich and highly visible education websites, including EarnMyDegree.com, eLearners.com, GradSchools.com, StudyAbroad.com, TestDriveCollegeOnline.com and its more than 50 special interest microsites, make EducationDynamics the premier provider of qualified prospective students for colleges and universities. In addition, the company offers a full suite of Web-delivered services proven to drive enrollment growth and reduce student attrition. Through its Market Research and Advisory Services, the company brings a decade of proprietary research, unparalleled market and student intelligence, and best practice insights to its clients. For more information, visit http://www.educationdynamics.com.

Survey Methodology
The eLearners Second Career Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between April 5th and April 12th, 2010 using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population ages 18 and over.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results.

In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

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Jenny Foust
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