Released August 26, 2020
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The portion of Americans who say they plan to enroll in an education program in the next six months has hovered near 20 percent since May, and throughout those months they also have expressed a consistent preference for nondegree programs, skills training, and online options. But what draws them to nondegree programs? How important is their safety when choosing whether to pursue education online, in person, or somewhere in between? And how are socioeconomic factors such as income and education level related to what type of education or training they seek?
The nationally representative Public Viewpoint survey, with more than 16,000 responses collected between March 25 and Aug. 20, is intended to provide insights to the education and training providers, policymakers, employers, and individual Americans who are navigating the COVID-19 crisis.
2 in 5 Americans (38%) say the most important factors in choosing an education program are whether it is related to their work and suited to their personal needs.
1 in 3 Americans (35%) cite safety as the most important factor in deciding among in-person, hybrid, or online education.
Americans without a college degree are more likely to identify comfort and support as the most important factor in deciding among in-person, hybrid and online options.
The majority of Americans (62%) have expressed a consistent preference for nondegree and skills training options, citing as their top reasons: