Higher Education Brings Career Satisfaction

Career satisfaction for many American workers is clearly linked to plans to pursue higher education. Whether American workers are considering their current position, future options in their career path, or personal fulfillment, it’s clear that job satisfaction and higher education are two sides of the same coin for many Americans.

A recent Harris Poll of more than a thousand American Workers, conducted for University of Phoenix, clearly illustrates the connection between career satisfaction and plans to pursue higher education. The survey showed that only:
• 38 percent of American workers are very satisfied with their current professional position
• 37 percent are very satisfied with their career path
• 41 percent are very satisfied with their level of education
and that 54 percent have already enrolled or plan to enroll in school to continue their education.

These closely related numbers show that American workers understand the impact their level of education has on their work life, especially in two areas: pay and satisfaction.
• 72 percent say the next level of degree would have a positive impact on their career satisfaction
• 65 percent they believe they would see a rise in salary if they earned the next level of degree.

American workers understand that more education results in increased pay, job opportunities, and greater stability. Most adults make the decision to invest time and money in their education to provide a better life for themselves their family. Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce reports show that more education means more job opportunities. Since the recession, the economic recovery has created 11.6 million jobs; 11.5 million of them went to workers with at least some college education. In addition to job opportunities, earnings increase dramatically with a college education. The difference between the life-time earnings of college and high school graduates is $1 million or more, depending on a person’ major. Greater opportunity and higher earnings are basics in employee career satisfaction.

American workers who recognize the higher earnings and increased employment potential of having a degree are workers who seek employers who support and invest in their pursuit of higher education. Millennials are a good example of this.

Millennials will soon be the largest demographic in the American workforce. They are the most recent college graduates and they see value in being able to continue their education. The State of the American Workplace report from Gallup says that many Millennials continue their education beyond earning a bachelor’s degree, and “45 percent of Millennials would change jobs to have a tuition reimbursement benefit…The benefits and perks that employees truly care about are those that offer them greater flexibility, autonomy and the ability to lead a better life.”

When employers invest in employee higher education, they also reap the benefits of employees who have the skills to grow in a job and the career satisfaction that leads to increased employee engagement.