More than Half of Working Adults Plan to go Back to School and the Majority will Take an Online Course, Reveals University of

 More than Half of Working Adults Plan to go Back to School and the Majority
       will Take an Online Course, Reveals University of Phoenix Survey

Nearly 60 percent of workers plan to take an online course; adults 25 to 34
more likely than other age groups

PR Newswire

PHOENIX, Dec. 19, 2012

PHOENIX, Dec. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- While a slow economy can give the
impression that things are standing still, nearly nine-in-ten (89 percent)
employed Americans believe there is still room to grow in their current
careers, according to a recent survey from University of Phoenix®. The survey
reveals that many Americans have education in their short-term plans and that
the majority of working adults plan to take an online course to advance their
careers.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121003/LA85714LOGO)

Forty-one percent of Americans who are not currently in school full-time, plan
to return to school at some point in the future, with 64 percent of these
education-seekers expecting to do so in the next two years. Working adults are
even more likely to go back to school with 54 percent saying they will head
back to school.

"There is a skills gap in America. Employers have jobs available, but many
companies are having a difficult time finding workers with the right skills to
fill those positions," said Dr. Bill Pepicello, president of University of
Phoenix. "At the University, we see many working adults pursuing education to
address their own skills gaps and position themselves for career growth.
Technology is helping to bridge this gap – we are making education more
personal, more social, more accessible and more aligned with the dynamics in
the workplace."

Interest in online education courses
The survey finds that nearly half (48 percent) of Americans say they are
currently or will take an online class to advance their careers. The desire to
take online courses is not limited to the youngest adults. In fact, adults
between the ages of 25-34 were most likely to say they are currently taking an
online course or plan to in the future (74 percent), followed by those ages
18-24 (63 percent). Fifty-eight percent of adults ages 35-44 plan to take an
online course, followed by 46 percent of adults ages 45-54 and 21 percent of
adults 55 or older.

Americans who are currently employed are even more likely to take online
courses, with 59 percent of working adults saying they are currently taking
such a course or plan to in the future. Of these, 10 percent are currently
taking an online course and more than half (52 percent) intend to do so within
in the next 12 to 18 months.

Value of education
Those with bachelor's degrees cite tangible benefits in the workplace to
having this level of education. More than three quarters (78 percent) of those
with a bachelor's degree who have ever worked say their education positively
influenced being hired, compared to 41 percent of their counterparts who have
worked, but never earned a bachelor's degree.

  o63 percent of those with bachelor's degrees or higher say they believe
    that their education led to more responsibility compared to 33 percent of
    those without a bachelor's degree
  o60 percent of those with bachelor's degrees or higher say they believe
    that their education positively affected their ability to get promoted,
    compared to 32 percent without bachelor's degree
  oThose with bachelor's degrees also say they perceive that their education
    led to other benefits including receiving raises (58 percent), keeping a
    job (58 percent) and being given more management opportunities (57
    percent)

Skills gap – what workers want to learn
Nearly nine-in-ten (89 percent) working Americans believe there is still room
for them to grow in their current careers, and can point to at least one skill
they will need to learn to take their jobs to the next level. Topping this
list are leadership (47 percent), decision-making (41 percent), strategic
thinking (41 percent), problem-solving (38 percent) and multi-tasking (38
percent) skills.

  oMore than one-third (36 percent) of employed Americans who think there is
    room to get to the next level of their careers, say they need additional
    education to do so
  oNearly three-in-five (58 percent) Americans who are not currently enrolled
    in school full-time believe that going back to school would be crucial if
    they were considering a new career path
  oMore than three quarters (78 percent) of Americans think it is important
    to have a college degree in today's job market

Educational motivators: professional growth, personal growth, family
For many adults, tangible work-related benefits influence their decisions to
go back to school. More than half (58 percent) of working adults who plan to
go back to school will do so to earn more money, followed by 47 percent who
want to pursue a new career and 43 percent who want to grow in their current
field.

  oPersonal growth also plays a role with 50 percent wanting to achieve a
    personal goal, 48 percent wanting to take on a new challenge and 42
    percent wanting to keep their minds sharp
  oFamily Matters: For more than a third (37 percent) of Americans, going
    back to school stems from a desire to make their relatives proud and 39
    percent of parents would pursue more schooling to show their children how
    important it is to get a college degree

Get the most out of educational experiences
"If students are returning to the classroom after many years, they will find
that the learning tools and platforms have significantly changed, but this is
good news for working adults," said Pepicello. "The classroom continues to
evolve to more closely mirror the workplace and the skills employers demand –
essentially bridging the gap between theory and practice."

University of Phoenix offers tips to help working adults understand how to get
the most out of their educational experiences.

1. Students should not wait until they are in degree programs to research
careers. It is not unusual to shift interests while in school, but those who
start their programs with their desired career in mind, often get more out of
the experience. These students choose projects, write papers and participate
in class discussions with their career in mind and are able to translate their
classwork into actionable items in the workplace. Prospective and current
students should research specific positions and career paths, take career and
skills assessments and develop learning plans with their academic advisors.

2. Understand and leverage the available resources. The learning experience
for students grows more customized each day and students have an array of
resources available to help them understand and apply content. Today students
can participate in ongoing class discussions from anywhere using a smart
phone; tutoring tools provide context as students are doing homework; and
textbooks and supplemental materials are available online. Prospective and
current students should research and leverage available learning tools as they
pursue education.

3. Gain buy-in of key stakeholders. Returning to college is a big decision
that affects not only the students, but the stakeholders in their lives.
Prospective students should discuss education with key stakeholders including
family, friends, co-workers and bosses. If stakeholders feel invested, they
can support and help students stay motivated. At work, students can discuss
ways they can bring classroom learning into the workplace to benefit all team
members and the individual work product.

4. Grow time management skills. The majority of University of Phoenix students
are working adults who balance school with family and work obligations. It is
important to designate specific study time each day or week. Similar to
planning for deadlines at work, create a success plan by breaking up larger
assignments into smaller manageable pieces to avoid being overwhelmed.

To learn more about University of Phoenix's efforts to help close the skills
gap in the American workforce, visit www.phoenix.edu.

Methodology
The University of Phoenix Education survey was conducted by Kelton, between
Nov. 1 and Nov. 7, 2012, among 1,019 nationally representative Americans ages
18 and over, using an online survey. Quotas regarding the amount of
respondents in standard demographics including age, gender, region, and
ethnicity are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire
U.S. population ages 18 and over.

About Kelton
Kelton is a market research and strategy consultancy that works with many of
the world's largest and most recognizable brands to help them better
understand and connect with consumers. Kelton provides highly customized
qualitative, quantitative, innovation and design research for a wide variety
of companies across multiple sectors, including many in the Fortune 500. For
more information, please see www.keltonglobal.com.

About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance
education and life in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules,
challenging courses and interactive learning can help students pursue personal
and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As the flagship
university of Apollo Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves
a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor's, master's and
doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as
well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit
http://www.phoenix.edu.

SOURCE University of Phoenix

Website: http://www.phoenix.edu
Website: http://www.keltonglobal.com
Contact: Tanya Flynn, University of Phoenix, +1-303-570-0617,
tanya.flynn@apollogrp.edu