Though Feeling “Qualified,” Workers Want New Skills

May 31, 2011 ( - According to a recent Randstad study, over 90% of workers report feeling qualified or overqualified for their careers, but 62% are still interested in learning new skills.

The latest Work Watch survey found only 3% of workers feel under-qualified, with 65% reporting appropriate job preparation and 33% feeling over-qualified for their current positions.   

Forty-one percent of respondents said they would be interested in learning more “hard skills,” obtaining a degree or studying a trade or industry. Thirty percent want to develop “soft skills” such as emotional, social, leadership and organizational intelligence. According to a press release, 8% reported a desire to improve in both.  

The study found most (74%) younger employees, ages 18–34, are interested in pursuing new skills, compared to roughly half (56%) of older workers. Sixty-four percent of workers reported a willingness to accept additional personal or financial burdens in order to obtain the skills needed for a better job, whether that meant attending a company-sponsored training course (51%) or paying out of pocket to further their education (20%).   

According to the study, 50% of workers of all ages feel that the skills they learned on the job prepared them more for their current position than did their formal education.   

For the survey, a national sample of 1,006 adults ages 18 and older who are currently employed full or part time from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel were interviewed online. The poll was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs from May 2 through May 5, 2011.

-Sara Kelly