Skye Learning

Skye Learning’s First Annual Work Confidence Survey

Despite low unemployment and a strong national economy, the American workforce is beset by high levels of job insecurity — and many workers are scrambling for ways to gain the job-related skills that they didn’t learn in college. According to Skye Learning’s first annual Work Confidence Study, only 40 percent of survey respondents report feeling very secure in their current jobs. Nearly one-in-four (23 percent) say they no longer have the skills needed simply to remain employable in the current workforce.

The survey also found that many workers don’t think college did much to prepare them for the world of work. While a modest majority says that college was a major factor in preparing them for work, a substantial minority disagree: 25 percent say their degree helped only to get a foot in the door for a job interview, and another 17 percent say that college was no help at all, in terms of preparing them for a job.

To pick up needed job skills, many workers are turning to certifications and other types of non-academic skills training. In fact, 46 percent of the respondents in our survey say they have already earned one or more certifications in a specific skill or industry. Among those who have earned one or more certifications, almost half (48 percent) say those certifications are more important than their college degrees, in terms of preparing them for their jobs. Another 35 percent say their certifications are just as important as their degrees.

Impact of College Education

(Base=Total respondents with some college and 2-year degree or more)
Neither college education or degree had impact on my career: 17%
Unsure: 2%
Was important in preparing me for work: 56%
Was not important in preparing me for work, but was an important credential to land a job: 25%

Base=Respondents with some college and 2-year degree or more; Total=654

Earned Certification(s)

(Base=Total respondents)
Total Respondents46% YES
Respondents with Some College or 2-Year Degree49% YES
Respondents Who Have 4-Year College Degree+52% YES
Respondents with Some College or 2-Year Degree49% YES
Respondents Who Have 4-Year College Degree+52% YES

Certification(s) Compared to Degree

(Rebased to those with certifications + 4-year college degree+)
Much more important than degree
26%
26%
Somewhat more important than degree
22%
22%
Equal to degree
35%
35%
Somewhat less important than degree
12%
12%
Much less important than degree
4%
4%
Not sure
1%
1%