From education to employment

Over half of West Midlands parents changed career after having children reveals survey

two year old child at home with mom.

A new survey by national education provider, Open Study College, has revealed that more than half (57%) of parents in the West Midlands changed careers after having children.

The survey, commissioned as part of a campaign to encourage parents to pursue their dream careers, polled over 2,000 working parents across the UK with children aged 2-17. 

Open Study College’s survey found over half (59%) of the West Midlands parents polled had enrolled on educational courses since the birth of their child/children and, of those, 46% chose an Access to HE course to study which is usually used as a stepping stone to get into university.

The results also highlighted the fact that 67% of the West Midlands parents polled said they wished they had had more time off after having kids.

Despite the current rise in cost of living, the poll revealed that the main factors West Midlands parents looked for when heading back into the workplace are not money-orientated – 44% said workplace culture was the most important factor in a good job.

Other survey results included:

  • It emerged that 39% of parents believe being a teaching assistant is one of the most family friendly jobs, followed by a career in health & social care (34%).
  • Only 11% of the parents in the West Midlands polled ‘strongly believe’ it was a seamless transition heading back to work after the birth of their child. 
  • Of the 57% of West Midlands parents that changed careers after having children, 45% said the reason was to provide for their family.

Samantha Rutter, CEO of Open Study College said:

“Each year we see a huge variety of people enrolling on our courses for a host of different reasons. This campaign was inspired by recent feedback about why people are enrolling on courses and their reasons for distance learning. Many of our learners explained that they’ve recently had a child/children and are looking to upskill to enhance their careers or to keep up with industry changes, or need to retrain because they’re looking to completely switch career paths. 

“Either way it is clear that some parents are struggling when it comes to getting back into work and we believe that flexible learning can help open doors to more options for them, be that in existing jobs or the possibility of a whole new career path around their children – putting family first.” 

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