More than half of U.S. employees are looking for a professional change, new research shows.
A study from the University of Phoenix found that most working adults are not only interested in finding a new job, but also a new career. Overall, just 14 percent of American employees feel they have their dream career.
The research shows that although nearly 80 percent of younger workers in their 20s are interested in changing careers, they are not alone. Specifically, 64 percent of working adults in their 30s, 54 percent of those in their 40s, 51 percent of workers in their 50s and 26 percent of workers age 60 or older are considering a switch in professions.
The study revealed that the most desired careers are in the arts, sciences, technology and business management.
"It is not uncommon for working adults to consider one or multiple career changes," said Bill Pepicello, president of the University of Phoenix. "Choosing one career path after high school or college and sticking with it for the rest of a career is becoming less common as the pace of business and technology quickly changes jobs and industries."
The research shows small business employees are more likely to be happy where they are than others. The study discovered that 52 percent of workers at companies with fewer than 100 employees are not at all interested in changing careers, compared with 38 percent of workers at companies with between 100 and 10,000 workers and 42 percent for companies with 10,000 or more employees.
Employees considering a career change cite a number of barriers, including a lack of financial security, uncertainty about what career to change to, a lack of adequate education or experience, fear of the unknown and a belief that they are too old or too advanced in their current position to make a move now.
Pepicello said there are openings for employees to make a move if they are properly prepared.
"There are definitely opportunities, and professionals who have done their homework will have an advantage," he said. "It is important that those looking to change careers understand where the jobs are, the necessary skills, how experience from previous employment will translate to a new industry and the skills they still need to grow."
The study was based on surveys of more than 1,600 U.S. employees age 18 and older.