Survey: An Estimated 28 Million Americans Are Changing Education Plans

CAMBRIDGE, MA - DECEMBER 16: A gate sits locked on Quincy Street at Harvard University during a bomb scare December 16, 2013 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Police were alerted at roughly nine thirty this morning of possible bombs at four different buildings on the Harvard campus. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
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Millions of Americans are canceling or changing their education plans at institutions of higher learning due to the Chinese virus pandemic, according to an ongoing survey.

An estimated 28 million Americans have abandoned their education plans due to the Wuhan virus, which has shaken up the world of academia, according to an ongoing survey by Strada Education Network.

“When faced with an economic crisis, Americans historically have turned to education as a way to meet the challenge and prepare for the future,” the survey notes. “But COVID-19 has disrupted our lives and work in unprecedented ways.”

So far, responded from more than 5,000 adults have been included in the ongoing survey, which is updated weekly and designed to track the impact that the Chinese virus has on Americans in work and education to give training providers, policymakers, employers more insight into how Americans are navigating through the crisis.

The study added that the percentage of Americans intending to enroll in postsecondary education in the next five years has slightly declined from 53 percent last year to 49 percent so far this year, and that where Americans intend to enroll has also shifted.

Moreover, the majority of Americans seeking education or training in the next six months are looking at non-degree programs.

Additionally, the study found that an estimated 33 percent of Americans are seeking further education “for personal interest,” while 34 percent responded that they are looking “to get more skills in my current career field,” with another 34 percent saying they are looking “to get skills for a new career field.”

The findings also suggest that not all of the individuals seeking to enroll in higher education may be the traditional college student right out of high school, as a percentage of people have expressed that they believe they may need “more education” in order to replace their job if they lose it as a result of the Wuhan coronavirus crisis.

The survey found that as of April 22, an estimated 61 percent of Americans say that they are worried about losing their jobs. Meanwhile, 35 percent of Americans have expressed that if they lose their jobs, they believe they “would need more education to replace it.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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