52 Percent Say They’d Choose a Different Career If They Could Start Over

different career
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If you could go back in time, would you choose a different career than the one you have now? It turns out that a lot of people would, according to the results of a new survey from Monster Canada. Fifty-three percent of the working Canadians surveyed said they would pursue a different degree or diploma if they could go back in time.

“I was not that surprised to see that many people would actually study something different, should they have gotten the chance,” Arturo Gallo, content manager at Monster Canada, told Global News. “I think that’s something we all realize at some point in our career when we experience ups and downs. We ask ourselves if we’re doing the right thing.”

Only 31 Percent Said They’d Choose to Stay the Course

Less than a third of folks surveyed, 31 percent, said that they’d pursue the same degree that they have now, if they had to make the choice again. Fifty-two percent said they’d do something different — they’d work toward a different degree than the one they have now and pursue another career path. And, one in 10 survey respondents said they’d skip the degree and the schooling altogether and simply go right into the workforce.

“If you’re not finding satisfaction in your selected industry, it’s never too late to course-correct your career,” Sheryl Boswell, Director of Marketing for Monster Canada said in a Monster article about the study. “…there is no age limit to learning and development, whether you want to increase your skills in your current field or pursue new opportunities.”

Most Still Feel That Their Degree Was Worth the Investment

Even though so many respondents would elect to make a change if they could, most (60 percent) still feel that their degrees were worth obtaining. Sixty percent also said that their current or most recent job is directly tied to the education they received.

Interestingly, women were more likely to feel that their degrees weren’t worth obtaining; 40 percent of women compared with 36 percent of men said they felt this way. Also, men were more likely to say that their education directly relates to their job, 63 percent of men compared with 56 percent of women. Perhaps this explains why women are also slightly more likely to say they’d pursue a different degree, 54 percent of women compared with 51 percent of men.

Women may experience a career path that isn’t entirely linear due to major life events, such as starting a family, being a caregiver or returning to school at a later age,” Boswell continued. “While you might feel like your education doesn’t directly relate to your current job, a post-secondary education is about more than just the field you studied. It is an opportunity to grow, learn and explore, and even if there isn’t a direct connection now, it could help you find better opportunities in the future.”

Workers Crave a Challenge

The survey results showed that one of the reasons so many want to make a change is that they’re craving more of a professional challenge. Twenty-six percent of those surveyed said they felt overqualified for their current jobs.

Younger workers were one of the groups most likely to feel under challenged. Three in 10 of workers between 18 and 34 years of age said they felt overqualified for their current position. The other age group that felt they weren’t challenged as much as they could be was older workers. Twenty-nine percent of people between the ages of 55 and 64 felt they were overqualified for their role.

Tell Us What You Think

Would you choose a different career if you had it to do over again? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.