A majority of active job seekers have explored new employment options in a different career field, according to a new report from CompTIA, the nonprofit IT association based in suburban Chicago.
Among current job seekers (approximately 28% of the workforce), 60% said they have looked at new opportunities in a different career field in the past three months. That compares with the 63% of job seekers who have searched for jobs within their current or most recent career field. The findings are nearly consistent across gender, age, education, and race/ethnicity, according to the association.
“The data confirms the historic shifts occurring in the labor market,” said Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA. “We must view this as an opportunity to reset outdated thinking in areas such as skills-based training and hiring. It is imperative we further expand talent pipelines and career pathway opportunities to meet employer needs, especially in the critical area of digital skills.”
The findings generally align with employer hiring activity, with large occupation categories such as hospitality, customer service, retail and healthcare topping the list. The middle tier includes job seekers exploring positions in fields such as IT, professional services, skilled trades, and general business positions. Year to date U.S. employers posted more than 25 million job advertisements seeking to fill openings across every industry sector and job type.
One-half of survey respondents said they have previously made a significant career change and moved into a new career field. Just over half (52%) said the change had an overall positive impact on their career, while just 4% reported a negative outcome.
The survey also identifies potential hurdles to a career change. About 40% of job seekers worry that new job options may not be sufficiently better than their existing job. Location is also a factor – whether it’s a perceived lack of attractive jobs options in a current locale or a reluctance to relocate to change jobs. The time and expense of training for a new job is another potential hurdle.
The “Job Seeker Trends” report is based on a quantitative research study of nearly 1,500 adults in the U.S. labor force.
An active job market provides solid opportunity for both employers and employees.