Tired of Your Office Job? You’re Not Alone in Seeking Career Change


More than half of people surveyed have thought about switching their careers in the past six months.

In many ways, 2020 has been an unprecedented year, with a global pandemic that has led to widespread unemployment. According to a new survey, this current climate has inspired 42% of respondents to have a “career light bulb” moment.

The survey by OnePoll in conjunction with Universal Technical Institute aimed to discover how Americans feel about their current careers.* The poll revealed 54% of respondents have strongly considered changing their careers in the past six months.

Furthermore, COVID-19 may have impacted people’s next steps in their career choices, as the survey revealed 53% are looking for a new job that would allow them to avoid ever stepping foot in an office again.

Do You Like to Work With Your Hands?

Many of UTI’s students and alumni would wholeheartedly agree with wanting to avoid working in an office. The skills training UTI provides allows graduates to pursue careers where they can solve problems and use their hands in noncorporate environments.

The survey found the current climate has reinvigorated people toward finding more fulfilling careers.1 During the pandemic, 67% of people have actively considered pursuing a different career — one that actually makes them happy.

“Seeking a new career is a massive decision for many people. During these uncertain times with record numbers filing jobless claims, more and more Americans have begun rethinking what they truly want when it comes to their jobs and careers,” stated Eric Severson, Senior Vice President of Admissions at UTI. “People want to be fulfilled and happy going to work each day.”

Desk Jobs Versus a Career in a Skilled Trade

The study found people are looking for new experiences when it comes to their careers. Fifty-two percent said they would love to have a job where they can work with their hands. Furthermore, results revealed 42% have thought about pursuing careers in skilled trades.

After initially putting his love of German vehicles aside and working in construction, Davidson Ansick enrolled at UTI after deciding it was time to follow his passion for cars. Ansick completed the Automotive Technology program and was one of just 12 selected for his group in the Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program (PTAP).15

He graduated from PTAP in the midst of the pandemic, crediting the instructors who supported him, and immediately went to work for Porsche of the Main Line in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area.

“I’ve always loved working on cars in my free time. I just hadn’t considered turning my passion of working with my hands under the hood of a car into a career,” Ansick said. “Now I do what I love and work for the best of the best doing it!”6

However, 29% of respondents wondered whether a new career would be financially beneficial for them, while 26% outlined what specifically they needed to do to succeed in their new industry.

Corey Vanderploeg was four weeks from graduation when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. Using a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund emergency grant through the CARES Act to help support himself and stay in school.

He was able to complete his UTI training featuring an education model that combines in-person, hands-on lab training with online, instructor-delivered lectures and demonstrations.

He graduated from UTI Avondale's Diesel Technology program in June and immediately went to work as a technician with Papé Machinery in Portland, Oregon.5

“I'd spent the last five years working in dead-end jobs and, without UTI and the support I received, I'd probably be out of work altogether due to the pandemic,” Vanderploeg said. “There will always be a need for people who work on diesel trucks and equipment.”

Some Americans aren’t putting their degrees to good use. Forty-two percent of those surveyed weren’t working in a field related to their degree. From art and accounting, to information technology and working in the automotive industry, Americans are looking to explore something different as they pursue a career transition.

“Many of our graduates say they enjoy their careers, love working with their hands and don’t want to sit at a desk all day,” Severson added. “Especially during record national unemployment when demand for skilled technicians and welders continues and remains, fast-track training for a skilled trade is an option that could make sense and make you happy, too.”

Prepare for Your Future at UTI

UTI’s training programs are designed to provide you with the skills in demand by today’s employers.2 To learn more about what a future at UTI could look like for you, request information today to get in touch with one of our Admissions Representatives.

*Survey methodology: OnePoll surveyed 2,000 Americans ages 18 to 35 across California, Arizona, Texas, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in October 2020.

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1 ) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
2 ) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures.
5.1 ) UTI programs prepare graduates for careers in industries using the provided training, primarily as automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as a technician, such as: parts associate, service writer, fabricator, paint and paint prep, and shop owner/operator. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
6 ) UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on personal credentials and economic factors. Work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer and their compensation programs affect wages. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
15 ) Manufacturer-paid advanced training programs are conducted by UTI on behalf of manufacturers who determine acceptance criteria and conditions. These programs are not part of UTI’s accreditation. Programs available at select locations.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


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