Trucks at Work
Photo Sean KilcarrFleet Owner

Photo: Sean Kilcarr/Fleet Owner

Can trucking benefit from those seeking a career change?

Lately, there seems to be a growing uptick in the number of working adults in the U.S. who desire a chance to change careers. That would seem, potentially, to open up an opportunity to bring fresh blood into the arteries of the trucking industry – an opportunity I’ve mentioned in this space before.

We’re returning to this subject due some of the recently released findings from a University of Phoenix survey that shows more than half of U.S. adults are interested in changing careers.

The survey, conducted online by Harris Poll among 2,202 U.S. adults (of whom 1,140 were employed) revealed that 58% of those working are at least “somewhat” interested in changing careers, with nearly a quarter (23%) responding that they are “extremely” or “very interested” in changing careers.

When it comes to the youngest members of the workforce, the University of Phoenix’s survey found the numbers are even more staggering: 86% of professionals in their 20s are at least somewhat interested in changing careers.

Yet they are not alone, for that “consensus” regarding the desire for a career change remains high among older age groups as well, with 66% of workers in their 30s interested in changing careers, followed by 60 % of those in their 40s.

[Though recruiting and retention tactics may need a big overhaul if motor carriers want to nab younger workers.]

“With an ever-expanding job market, we anticipate that the trend toward new career paths will only grow stronger,” noted Ruth Veloria, executive dean for University of Phoenix School of Business, in a statement.

“Many adults, including those well established in their careers, are re-entering the workforce, or staying in the workforce much longer,” she added.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean trucking can go snap up such folks with ease – far from it, actually.

There still remain a lot of “negative vibes,” for lack of a better term, regarding the truck driving profession – despite the critical role trucks and their drivers play in keeping the global economy functioning.

Still, it’s one more trend the industry can leverage for advantage in its ongoing recruiting and retention efforts, alongside such tactics as more financial security (yes, really), the astronomical cost of college tuition, even personal enjoyment.

Yet changing careers isn’t an easy task – much less convincing folks to change over to jobs in the trucking field.

Among those interested in changing careers, the University of Phoenix’s poll found 81% identify barriers to doing so. The most cited barrier includes the 29% who say they cannot afford to start over again, while 24% said they do not know what new direction they would take, or feel they lack adequate education or experience.

Compared to those with at least a bachelor’s degree (13%), some 27% of those without a bachelor’s degree identify a lack of education as a barrier.

Again, though, trucking offers a solution here – and not just in terms of driving big rigs for a living.

It’s just food for thought as trucking continues searching for ways to beef up its ranks to handle the freight needs of our nation in the months and years ahead.

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