CompTIA’s Job Seeker Trends provides insights into the desired career pathways of job seekers and the strategies they use to advance to the next stage of their career journey. This wave of research was conducted during early January 2024. A total of 1,000 U.S. job seekers participated in the study. 

Across the U.S. labor market, approximately 27% – representing more than 40 million workers, engaged in some type of job seeking activity during the past 90 days. This rate remains consistent with prior waves of the research. Many job seekers considered opportunities in the same field where they currently work and in different fields that will entail a career change. 

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Catalyst for Job Seeking and Career Change Pursuits

Real and perceived barriers remain a concern for segments of job seekers that mistakenly believe a tech job is out of reach. A net 59% of job seekers report some facet of the confidence gap is definitely or probably a factor in discouraging segments of individuals from considering and pursuing a tech job role.

Lack of Success in Career Change Can Lead to Dejection and Disengagement

Job seekers across the demographic spectrum rate the critical importance of digital skills and career readiness in today’s labor market. The net 90% rating digital skills as important to any career pursuit reflects the past and future phases of the digital transformation of economies around the world.

Of note, artificial intelligence (AI) fundamentals quickly made its way onto the list of top perceived digital skills. While all the fundamental skills are interconnected, whereby one builds on another to achieve outcomes in the workplace, AI’s emergence as a fundamental skill confirms the pervasive interest across employers and workers.

Top 5 Perceived Digital Skill Needs in Workforce

Despite the ups and down of news headlines, job seekers remain generally optimistic about employment prospects. There was a slight pullback in certain career pursuits, but all things considered, the data suggests job seekers believe the labor market remains on solid footing.

Job seeker consideration across career fields was roughly in line with the previous iteration of this study. Technology career consideration was unchanged and remains a top 4 selection among job seekers.

For transitions into new careers, job seekers continue to rate industry-recognized certification as the most viable stepping-stone to improve their prospects without a 4-year degree.

Job Seekers Continue to Explore Range of New Career Fields

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