From education to employment

Working hours and salary the main career considerations #NCW

National Careers Week aims to encourage companies to think about their employees’ wellbeing and happiness and new research has asked British workers about the things they most want from their work.

The YouGov survey1 of 2,000 adults, commissioned by the Oxford Open Learning Trust, found that while money is predictably the biggest motivator behind career choice (64%), over half of the respondents cited working hours as an important factor (55%). With people striving for a healthy work-life balance, it is perhaps unsurprising that workers are looking for employment that fits in around their lifestyle and allows them enough time to themselves.


It is also encouraging to see ‘enjoyment’ listed as the joint third most considered aspect during the job search process. Finances will always be central to a lot of career changes, but half of Brits (50%) say they would follow their heart and look for jobs which align with their personal interests.


The top 10 most important factors when choosing a new job are: 

1. Salary: 64%

2. Working hours: 55%

3. Location: 50%

=. Personal interest / enjoyment: 50%

5. Job security: 40%

6. Working environment: 37%

7. Opportunities for progression: 26%

8. Opportunities for training / learning a new skill: 23%

9. The opinions of my family / partner: 12%

10. Status: 9%


The research found that over a quarter of British workers (28%) are considering switching careers in the next decade, while 13% are possibly looking to move within the next four years.


It appears that Brits are prepared to put the effort in for these new jobs, with nearly three in five UK adults (58%) saying they would consider training/retraining for a new career. This figure rises to around two thirds (66%) among current workers.


Dr Nick Smith, courses director and founder of the Oxford Open Learning Trust, said: “People often see the start of the year as a good opportunity to start afresh and plan for a brighter future.


“Moving jobs is one way of achieving a lifestyle shift and it’s really interesting to see the main reasons why people are looking to make such changes.


“While money is always going to be an important consideration, it is pleasing to see that the nation is looking after their own interests too, with things like location and enjoyment listed highly.”


The survey was commissioned to launch the Profession Picker tool, which is designed to help adults who are thinking of making a career change. Each year, the Oxford Open Learning Trust serves learners that might need an extra qualification such as a GCSE or A Level in order to get their desired job and start a new career. 


1 All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2003 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between  27th – 28th April 2016.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

About Oxford Open Learning Trust: With 20 years of experience providing high quality home study options, we pride ourselves on being one of the UK’s leading GCSE, IGCSE and A level distance learning course specialists.

We are dedicated to helping you achieve your learning goals at a time and place that suits you. Whether you describe our courses as home study or distance learning, it all equates to the same thing – high quality, comprehensive and flexible study materials that can be accessed any time, anywhere.

After you have enrolled on your chosen course, you will be tutored by a fully qualified subject specialist teacher.

Nearly all Oxford Open Learning courses are linked to nationally recognised qualifications, helping you to demonstrate your academic achievements when moving on to higher education, applying for a new job or promotion.

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