Do You Regret Your College Choices? Research from Strada Education and Gallup finds 51% of Americans regret higher education decisions. June 9, 2017 By Brandon Busteed Read Time Strada Article Advising Consumer Voice Navigating Education Research Research Team Value of Education ... If they had to do it over again, the majority of Americans (51 percent) who pursued a postsecondary education would change their degree type, institution or major. This is one of the most significant findings in a massive new research collaboration between Gallup and Strada Education NetworkSM. Given the substantial amount of time and money Americans invest in pursuing a postsecondary education, these serious second thoughts indicate considerable implications for higher education consumers, institutions and policymakers alike. Such doubts, and even regrets, are likely rooted in a potent mix of ill-informed decisions made by higher education consumers themselves, the disconnect between education and career goals, and misguided assumptions on the part of policymakers — all of which beg for improvement. Busteed presents initial findings from the Education Consumer Pulse June 1 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Gallup and Strada Education’s collaboration aims to empower the voice of consumers in education and help more Americans complete postsecondary education with a purpose. The recent research from the Education Consumer Pulse™ found that the most common education decision Americans say they would redo is their field of study (36 percent), followed by choosing a different institution (28 percent). And 12 percent would get a different type of degree entirely. Collectively, 51 percent of U.S. adults regret one or more of the three. Certainly, many factors are at play in someone’s assessment as to whether they’d redo their education path. A choice about a major, for example, could be influenced by everything from what advice you were given, to what fields of study were offered (or not) at the institution you attended, to simply what your interests were. And your feelings about going back and doing it differently are influenced by myriad factors such as whether your major still has relevance in a dynamic labor marketplace or if you ended up making good money (or not) in your career after college. Although decision-making about college is far from science, some decisions improve the odds that you feel good about the path you chose — or, conversely, increase the odds that you regret it. And understanding the implications of these decisions is of vital importance for college-going consumers. Here are some useful insights Gallup and Strada Education gleaned: Regardless of the degree type, people who majored in certain fields — such as STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) — are less likely to have second thoughts than others. Regret varies by degree type. Bachelor’s degree holders are more likely to regret their chosen field of study than technical/vocational, associate and postgraduate degree holders. People who completed their degree at a later age (those who were aged 30 or older at the time of graduation) are more satisfied with their decisions. Those who attended for-profit, certificate-granting institutions (62 percent); private, nonprofit, two-year schools (63 percent); and for-profit, two-year schools (66 percent) are most likely to say they would change at least one of their education decisions. Insights like these apply to individual consumers who are looking for better information to weigh when making various education choices, to postsecondary institutions that are creating these pathways and supporting students through them, and to policymakers who are working to help more Americans achieve better education outcomes. Crucially, many of the best insights come from listening to the voice of consumers in postsecondary education. Without that voice, we understand much less. One of the best ways to study the performance of higher education is simply asking students and alumni how they experienced it. When you listen to education consumers, you quickly realize there are many who completed their degree but didn’t necessarily complete it with a purpose. Our country can’t afford that outcome. . . . When you listen to education consumers, you quickly realize there are many who completed their degree but didn’t necessarily complete it with a purpose. . . . Read the full report, On Second Thought: U.S. Adults Reflect on Their Education Decisions. This post originally appeared on gallup.com. Group 13 Group 11 Group 12 To create a PDF of the webpage, choose in opened window 'Save as PDF' option in 'Destination' select or something like that and click to save or print button. Got it Brandon Busteed Executive Director, Education and Workforce Development Gallup Learn More Latest From Research November 16, 2022 Listening to Alumni About How Education Enriches Lives A rich mixture of skills gained in college improves post-completion outcomes for graduates November 16, 2022 Alumni Survey: Learning key skills during college led to $8,700 more in earnings At a time of growing societal uncertainty about the value of higher education and declining enrollment, the views of alumni turn out to be particularly insightful. This group can provide especially valuable feedback about how their education experiences have enriched their lives, which can help us ensure that today’s students maximize all the benefits that college offers. November 16, 2022 Value Beyond the Degree: Alumni Perspectives on How College Experiences Improve Their Lives The list of benefits associated with earning a college degree is extensive and oft-repeated. It includes higher average lifetime earnings, employment security, greater self-esteem, and better health, among many others. September 21, 2022 The Great Resignation: Workers’ Experiences with Job and Education Transitions Amid all of this disruption, the number of U.S. workers leaving or changing their jobs sharply increased. Known variously as the Great Resignation, Reshuffle, or Realignment, the trend has been cast in the cultural imagination as a collective desire on the part of the American workforce for more rewarding or meaningful work. September 21, 2022 New Research on the “Great Resignation” Offers Surprisingly Good News New Study from Strada Education Network Reveals a Silver Lining at a Challenging Time July 20, 2022 Success Beyond Completion: How Can We Best Measure Student Outcomes? Over the past 80 years, our nation has made great strides in improving access to college, and then ensuring that many more students could complete a college degree. June 15, 2022 Education Expectations: Views on the Value of College and Likelihood to Enroll Spring 2022 enrollment numbers from the National Student Clearinghouse reveal a fifth straight semester of enrollment declines, with more than 1 million fewer students enrolled compared to spring 2020 March 16, 2022 The Power of Work-Based Learning Applied connections between education and work are increasingly a part of undergraduate education in the United States. March 16, 2022 New study shows paid internships boost first-job salaries by $3,000 and student confidence about their careers Disparities in securing paid internships persist for women, people of color, first-generation college students, and students with low incomes — even when taking into account their fields of study February 16, 2022 The Significant Value of Historically Black Colleges and Universities Two centuries after the first historically Black colleges and universities were founded, the 101 accredited HBCUs in operation today continue to deliver on their legacy of expanding educational opportunity for Black students that leads to successful and fulfilling lives.