Most Americans want their job to offer advanced skill training, education opportunities

NEW YORK — One in four Americans feel “underqualified” for jobs today, according to a new survey. A new poll of 2,000 Americans actively job seeking found 39 percent fear potential employers would also deem them underqualified for roles they’re applying for. Eighteen percent fear the opposite — that they’ll be seen as too overqualified.

Yet 39 percent still feel optimistic about their job prospects in the next year and 56 percent believe prioritizing employee education might be the answer to their troubles.

Commissioned by Adecco Group and conducted by OnePoll, the study reveals that three-quarters of respondents currently employed would feel more satisfied with their current jobs if they had the opportunity to learn new skills applicable to their jobs while continuing to work. Similarly, 77 percent overall said they would feel better-qualified for specific jobs if they learned new skills for that job. Sixty-seven percent said potential employers would be more appealing to them if they offered strong job-related education options as part of their employment

Moreover, two-thirds (67%) agree that they would feel more job satisfaction if they were able to simply learn more about the company beyond the basic requirements of their role.

How do you feel about your skill set?

Sixty-nine percent feel confident their current job skill set can be used in any future jobs. And if they were forced to look elsewhere, another 58 percent think that they could apply their skill set in a different career path than what they’re accustomed to.

“While job seekers may feel confident in their skill sets, the U.S. continues to deal with a skills shortage resulting from a clear mismatch between the skills job seekers have and what employers are looking for,” says Head of Public Affairs at Adecco Group, North America Molly Conway, in a statement. “Together, employers and talent must prioritize skilling in order to build a sustainable workforce.”

Video meeting or Zoom call between co-workers
Employees would welcome the opportunity to learn more on the job and enhance their current skill sets. (Photo by Anna Shvets / pexels.com)

But for 47 percent, having the right job skills in the first place is challenging. They admitted they aren’t working to expand their skills via additional education or training, whether they want to or not.

Over half of those surveyed (52%) said they’ve been turned down for a job because they didn’t meet the skill requirements. Even more (59%) were discouraged from applying to jobs in the first place due to feeling inadequate or underqualified for the job based on its description.

Further education is a job perk

There are also a number of barriers people face when trying to continue their job-related education: financial strain (45%), time constraints (31%), transportation (31%) and a lack of equipment (23%).

Nearly two-thirds (63%) felt like their employers were the most responsible for providing proper job training for them. However, many also said proper job training is the responsibility of themselves as job seekers (46%), educational institutions (26%) and the federal government (15%).

A majority of respondents (68%) said they’d be more willing to work for companies that offer dedicated time for job-related education while on the clock as a job perk

Other enticing perks should include skills development (63%), professional certification (43%) and education credit (34%).

“Job seekers who adapt a mindset of lifelong learning set themselves up better for jobs of the future,” continues Conway. “At the same time, employers play a crucial part in ensuring workers’ long-term employability. By creating pathways for learning to happen on-the-job, such as through apprenticeship programs, organizations can help fill the gap, while also future-proofing their workforce.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 American job seekers, with 1,000 unemployed and 1,000 employed was commissioned by Adecco Group between October 4 and October 10, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

About the Author

Sophia Naughton

Meet StudyFinds’ Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton. Sophia is a recent graduate from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication directly focused in journalism and advertising. She is also a freelance writer for Baltimore Magazine. Outside of writing, her best buddy is her spotted Pit Bull, Terrance.

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