August 16, 2022

University of Phoenix wants everyone, not just those affiliated with the University, to achieve career goals. The University launched a Career Institute devoted to this very goal. The research center is a branch of the College of Doctoral Studies and aims to break down different obstacles Americans have in their careers.

The Career Institute recently released the results of its Career Optimism Index™. We’ll look at what this is and how everyone can use its findings to better understand how Americans feel about their jobs.

The Good News

The University of Phoenix Career Institute sent out a comprehensive survey to more than 5,000 adults. Researchers wanted to understand how people felt about their careers as the country approached the one-year milestone of pandemic lockdowns.

The University prioritized diversity in the study and included analysis of employees in the top 20 media markets in the U.S. Researchers wanted to explore geographic differences from one state to the next.

The Americans who were surveyed were largely hopeful:

  • They reported feeling optimistic about the future of their career.
  • They said that despite the challenges imposed by the pandemic, they remain focused on what’s ahead.

Seventy percent of those surveyed said that they were ready to jump into a job search if they needed to, and around 80 percent believed they were highly employable. This confidence to adapt to new work and remain resilient in the face of challenges is both desirable to employers and critical to employee success.

The Challenges

The hopeful findings from the study do not tell the entire story though:

  • About 33 percent felt their career veered off course due to the pandemic.
  • Many felt that emotional and institutional barriers stall career progression.
  • Automation is a major fear, with some worrying they’ll lose their jobs.

While there is some degree of optimism, it is tempered by the realities of the workforce. Americans want help with long-term career goals and need support if they are going to harness the hope they have for themselves and their future.

Making the Next Move

Mentor advocates, additional education and general networking will be crucial to move forward for many Americans. Yet 42 percent of people can’t see a clear long-term path, and more than half of those surveyed needed some degree of assistance to connect with others in their field. Whether already in their desired industry or looking to make a career change, individuals will need more resources to achieve their career goals.

The Career Institute

The University of Phoenix Career Institute was created to provide insight regarding how budgets and time can be better attuned for Americans at every stage in their careers. The Career Optimism Index is the most thorough study of career perceptions to date, and the University is committed to running the study annually.

This research can shed light on how other institutions should tailor their resources to help people achieve more in their professional endeavors. Please visit to learn more about the Career Institute and the Career Optimism Index study.

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