Champlain Survey: Almost half of US workforce feels financially insecure

-A A +A

Champlain Survey: Almost half of US workforce feels financially insecure

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 9:22am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine A new survey from Burlington-based Champlain College Online finds that while 48 percent of respondents describe themselves as “somewhat” or “very” financially insecure and one in four (25 percent) feel their current job is at risk of becoming extinct, most are willing to invest in continued training and education to advance their career prospects.

Champlain College Online commissioned the Adult Viewpoints 2019: Economic Security and Advancement in the Workforce survey, conducted online by national market research firm Full Circle Research, to explore how adults across three generations of the U.S. workforce -- millennials, Generation X, and baby boomers -- perceive their financial stability and career trajectory in today’s dynamic job landscape.

While there was a significant sense of financial instability among respondents, perceptions of financial security increased notably with education level; 51% of those with a master’s degree or higher say that they are “somewhat” or “very” secure, as compared to only 23% of those with a high school diploma or lower. Respondents indicate a willingness to pursue a range of actions to transition to a new job or career, including going back to school. Over a third (37%) of all respondents said they were likely to complete a certificate at a college or university online; 27% would pursue a master’s degree online, and 25% would pursue a bachelor’s degree online.

“For Americans of all ages, the economic opportunities that follow from pursuing higher education are making a greater difference than ever to their financial security,” said Dr. Laurie Quinn, interim president of Champlain College. “Moving up the career ladder in a time of more automation and less wage growth means continuing to learn and re-skill through degree and training programs that offer quality, relevance, and affordability. Access to this type of learning with great advising support is what all students deserve.”

While the survey underscores the fact that the modern workforce wants professional development opportunities and is willing to upskill if provided with resources and support, only 46% of adults surveyed see an opportunity to advance in their current job, and nearly a third (30%) feel insecure in their career field. With this in mind, 44% were “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to change their jobs to feel more secure. And not surprisingly, 63% of these likely job changers fear that their job is at risk of going extinct. Respondents cited a variety of additional reasons for this career insecurity, including low pay growth (54%).

“Adults are eager for ongoing learning and training to help address financial uncertainty. Employers should take note, as lack of security is leading workers to consider new career opportunities. Organizations can retain employees by offering professional development and continuing education -- and clear pathways to promotion -- that will also help increase their financial security and well-being,” said Melissa Marcello, associate vice president at Champlain College Online.

Additionally, the survey found:

  • Forty percent of respondents view themselves as less financially secure than their parents, challenging the common belief that each generation is successively more secure than the one before.
  • Twenty-seven percent view themselves as insecure in their current jobs, and 39% are either unsure or do not see a future in their current career field.
  • Nearly a quarter of respondents (23%) don’t believe they have the necessary skills to keep up with changes in their fields.

Survey Methodology

Champlain College Online commissioned Full Circle Research to field this online survey from July 15 to July 28, 2019 with a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults in the workforce between the ages of 21 and 72. Full Circle Research is the first and only online sample provider to be ISO 26362-certified, a global designation of quality. All respondents were screened to include only those who were employed or actively looking for work. Data was compiled and analyzed during the second quarter of the 2019 calendar year. The margin of error (for the entire sample of 1,004 respondents from all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia) is +/- 3.1%, and larger for subgroups, with a confidence level of 95%.

Download the full survey report here:

About Champlain College Online

At the forefront of one of the most innovative, regionally accredited, not-for-profit colleges in the nation, Champlain College Online prides itself on a long history of providing career-focused education to adult learners. One of the oldest online institutions in the United States, Champlain College Online was established in 1993 by Champlain College, a non-profit private college founded in 1878 and offering a campus undergraduate experience in Burlington, Vermont.

Today, Champlain College Online is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a leader in online higher education and serves more than 3,000 students through more than 60 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates in high-growth fields like cybersecurity, healthcare administration and human resource management. Through the strategic alliance program known as truED, Champlain College Online has pioneered a bold reimagining of workforce development to create additional opportunities for adults to further their education in Champlain College's award-winning online academic programs aligned to needs in government and industry.

Source: BURLINGTON, Vt.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Champlain College Online. For more information, visit