Employees find career choices hampered by bad subject selection

Almost half of all UK workers would have studied “completely different” subjects in hindsight, with one in five believing they chose the wrong career, a survey has found.

The annual Global Workforce Index survey by recruitment firm Kelly Services found 47% of 115,000 respondents wished they had studied something else.

Some 20% of respondents felt they definitely chose the wrong career, while another quarter said they weren’t sure if their career was right for them.

Chris Moore, managing director of Kelly Services, said the findings showed a high level of concern about career choice and direction. “Many people in the workforce do not believe that their education properly prepared them for working life and quite a few have regrets about the direction that their job has taken them,” he said.

“Regrettably, someone who discovers that they are in the wrong career is probably not as productive as they could be and may be missing out on a more fulfilling professional life.”

The UK ranked 20th out of 33 countries with 45% of respondents happy with the way their country’s education system prepared them for working life, slightly below the global average of 49%.

More than two-thirds of UK respondents (67%) said they wish they had studied further, with women significantly less satisfied with the quality of their school and post-school education than men.

Last month, the CBI called on employers and the government to do more to make teenagers pursue careers in science.

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