Workers’ Confidence in Traditional Education Is Crumbling – ATD

US employees now see more value in nondegreed programs.

When 2020 ushered in a need for workers to refresh their skills and that need transcended position or industry, Strada Education Network researchers became curious about the role education would play in US workers’ go-forward plans. Researchers collected more than 25,000 responses for the Public Viewpoint: COVID-19 Work and Education Survey. The study’s key findings highlight a shift not only in the public perception of education but also in workers’ preferred path to attaining new skills.


Confidence in the previously prevailing belief that education translates to success is waning. In comparing findings from 2019, Strada researchers discovered that significantly fewer Americans believe that education will help them land a good job. How significant? Among adults age 24 to 44, confidence has dropped by half.

At the same time, as that confidence has decreased, researchers observed an uptick in individuals’ interest in less-traditional credential paths. The survey asked adults age 18 and older what type