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New Survey Finds U.S. Adults Feel Underemployed and Want More Affordable, Flexible Education

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Independent Survey From Jenzabar Reveals That Many U.S. Workers Don’t See Clear Correlations Between College Education and High-Quality Jobs

BOSTON, October 19, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jenzabar, a leading technology innovator in higher education serving the new student, today announced the results of a new independent survey that finds 47% of U.S. adults believe they are underemployed and underpaid. The survey also showed that 32% of respondents with college degrees believe their college education did not prepare them for their current jobs and the jobs they want to have.

This information comes at a time when colleges are experiencing the lowest enrollment numbers in over a decade and when employers are struggling to fill more than 10.1 million open positions. The survey revealed that 80% of respondents believe that colleges and universities need to be more affordable and offer specific programs that help students secure well-paying jobs. Of those surveyed, 56% said they would sign up for training or education to pursue a lucrative career if it were affordable, accessible, and easy to do on their own time.

The survey found that more than one in three U.S. adult workers (37%) either want a new job or a new career in a different field. However, the survey also made clear that cost and the lack of affordable educational resources were some of the largest factors preventing workers from pursuing further education opportunities.

"The higher education system needs to transform so we can address the growing skills gap," said Ling Chai Maginn, Founder, President, and CEO at Jenzabar. "Learning options need to be accessible to lower-income or working adults so they can get the training they need without being saddled with additional debt. Many traditional programs are expensive and don’t offer the right blend of job training and life skills required to secure job opportunities in booming fields."

Some survey findings included information detailing the growing dissatisfaction with the cost of education relative to its value in the current job market.

  • Only 45% of respondents who identified as parents found the traditional 4-year, in-person educational model an attractive option for their children.

  • 33% of college graduates are still paying off student loan debts.

  • 23% believe their college loan debt was not worth it relative to the job opportunities they were able to secure.

  • Of those respondents who did not attend or finish college, 58% of them stated they would have completed college if it promised to prepare them with the knowledge and skills to pursue more lucrative careers.

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • 37% of respondents wanted a new career.

  • Respondents were interested in receiving new skills or training in the following most popular fields:

    • Business, management, and administration (27%).

    • Health and medicine (19%).

    • Arts, culture, and entertainment (18%).

    • Science and technology (17%).

  • 59% of participants said that, were they to continue with their education, they’d prefer hybrid or online learning models.

  • 45% believe that job opportunities and educational/training opportunities have been limited since the pandemic.

"This research proves that today’s learners are in need of acquiring enhanced skills that will help further their careers or find new professions," said Maginn. "Learners of all ages and backgrounds deserve a better way to get the education and training they need to become their masterpiece and secure in-demand jobs."

Jenzabar commissioned this independent survey in Q3 2021 via Survey Monkey that received responses from 2,208 working U.S. adults. The respondents answered questions about their current job satisfaction, future career plans and aspirations, educational backgrounds, and education and training plans on the horizon. The full survey results can be found here.

About Jenzabar

Created out of a passion for education and a vision for technology, Jenzabar offers disruptive, innovative software solutions and services that empower students’ success and help higher education institutions meet the demands of the modern student. Over 1,350 higher educational campuses harness Jenzabar solutions for improved performance across campus and a more personalized and connected experience for the student. For further information, please visit or on Twitter @Jenzabar or LinkedIn.

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Gail Scibelli
fama PR for Jenzabar

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