Poll Survey Shows That A Quarter Of Americans Would Prefer Nondegree Training

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A recent survey conducted by Strada Education Network shows that a quarter of the people interviewed would prefer to pursue nondegree training over the traditional college route within six months if they lost their job.

COVID-19 has resulted in an economic downturn that has left many in the U.S. with their wages and/or hours cut or without jobs.

According to a recent national poll survey conducted by the Strada Education Network, 37% of 18-to 24-year olds and 23 percent of 25-to 64-year-olds would consider enrolling in an education or training program within the next months if they lose their jobs.

This same survey found that workers who said they would change fields if they lost their job due to the pandemic are more interested in nondegree skills training than pursuing a college degree.

Strada’s Center for Consumer Insights began to conduct the poll in March. It is also designed to track the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on the lives, work and needs for education and training of those in the U.S.

The poll found that Black and Latino Americans have absorbed the most economic pain from the COVID-19 pandemic, with disproportionate losses of jobs and pay. They are also more likely than white Americans to have had education plans disrupted.

Disparities were also found between college degree holders and those without college degrees in their career and education plans.

55 percent of respondents with at least a four-year degree who are looking to change fields said they have access to the education and training that they want. 38 percent of those with a high school credential or less who are looking to change fields agreed with the statement. 39 percent of respondents in the some-college, certificate or two-year-degree category said they could get desired education and training.

61 percent of respondents who are looking to change fields said more education or training would not be worth the price. Those with at least a bachelor’s degree were most likely to say more education would be worth it.

College degree holders who are looking to change fields were more likely to say they would look outside traditional higher education for nondegree programs or skills training if they were to pursue education or training within the next six months, with 60 percent of respondents with at least a bachelor’s degree and 56 percent with at least some college degree learning saying they prefer the nondegree route.

Only 29 percent of those who only earned a high school credential or less said they would choose the degree route.

Across all education levels, workers who are looking to change fields said that, if they had $5,000 to invest in future education or training, they would prefer online learning programs or work-based programs rather than traditional, in-person college degree programs.

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