This report provides initial insights and sets a foundation for additional research about how postsecondary leaders, policy makers, educators and employers can help students most effectively and efficiently achieve their economic and personal goals.
More than half of Americans (51%) would change at least one of their education decisions if they had to do it all over again
Those with some college but no degree are the most likely to say they would change a decision
Individuals who complete a vocational, trade or technical program are more positive about their education decisions than are individuals with an associate or bachelor’s degr
Individuals who attended a for-profit institution at the sub-baccalaureate level or who attended a private, nonprofit institution at the two-year level are more likely to regret their decisions thatn those who earned credentials from other institutions.
Bachelor’s degree holders who completed their education later in life reflect more positively on their education choices than do those who completed at a younger age.
STEM graduates at all education levels are the least likely to report they would make different education decisions.
This report provides initial insights and sets a foundation for additional research about how postsecondary leaders, policymakers, educators and employers can help students most effectively and efficiently achieve their economic and personal goals.
About half of all U.S. adults would change at least one of the decisions they made along their education path, whether that be choosing a different major of field of study, a different institution, or another degree type.
Those with some college but no degree are the most likely to say they would change at least one of these three education decision, which may not be surprising given that many may feel that they have little to show for their time and financial investment.
The desire to make different education decision varies by the type of institution individual attended. Individuals who received their degree from the most selective public and private four-year schools are the least likely to indicate they would change their education decisions. Meanwhile, adults who attended for-profit, certificate-granting institutions, private nonprofit two-year schools and for-profit two-year schools are most likely to say they would change at least one of their education decisions.
As might be expected, the relationship between a desire to change education decisions and student loan amount is concentrated among those who would change which institution they attended – since the cost of attendance varies substantially across different higher education institutions.
Regardless of their age at the time of graduation, few bachelor’s degree holders would pursue a different degree. However, those aged 30 or older at the time of their graduation are less likely than those under age 30 at the time of their graduation to say they would pursue a different field of study.
Most notably, those who studied STEM fields to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree are the least likely to report they would choose another major, while those who studied liberal arts are the most likely to say they would change their field of study.
Though more than half of U.S. adults say they would make at least one different education decision, about four in five adults who completed a credential or a degree either agree or strongly agree that they received a high-quality education.
When it comes to education after high school, Americans know what they value and why. At Strada Education Network, we are listening to what they have to say and leveraging their insights about experiences and outcomes to forge more purposeful pathways between education and careers.
Gallup strategically partners with institutions to conduct custom research and implement best practices that create environments in which students and employees thrive.
Nondegree credentials have been growing rapidly for decades. Questions about their quality and value, however, remain.
Recent high school graduates share why their education plans were disrupted, and what types of support could bring them back
From its onset in early 2020, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has upended life across the world, leading to uncertainty around health, work, finances, education, and a host of other issues.
Will Pandemic-Disrupted Learners Return to School?
How individuals who attend and don’t graduate feel about education
How learners rate the value of their education pathways
The Benefits and Opportunities of Certificates and Certifications
What Adults Without Degrees Say About Pursuing Additional Education and Training
Relevance and the Value of Higher Education
When do Adults without Degrees Benefit from Earning Certificates and Certifications?
Employer survey on finding the best talent for the job
2018 Strada-Gallup Alumni Survey
State-by-State Demand for Education After High School
Strada and Gallup Examine Learners’ Top Motives for Choosing Their Postsecondary Path
2017 College Student Survey
Where Students Get Valued Advice on What to Study in College
US Adults Reflect on Their Education Decisions