Nav: Home

Age and education affect job changes, study finds

July 05, 2018

New research reveals that people are more likely to change jobs when they are younger and well educated, though not necessarily because they are more open to a new experience.

A team from ETH Zurich in Switzerland and the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK analysed and compared the effects of individual characteristics and the economic context on career mobility.

The researchers investigated what is more important for people to change their job - the current unemployment rate, their personal openness to new experiences, their age at the time of the job change, or their level of education.

They found that both individual characteristics and the labour market are factors in career mobility. The results, published in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, show that people were more likely to change their organisations, industries, and occupations when they were younger, with the age effect being strongest.

Contrary to the researchers' initial prediction, people's openness to new experiences did not play a role in them wanting to change their jobs. However, higher levels of education and a lower unemployment rate were related to changing organisation, but unrelated to going into another occupation.

The results also showed that a good education was more important for employees to change into another industry than a positive situation in the labour market.

In recent decades, employees' careers have changed significantly, with long-term employment with one organisation no longer the default career path.

Career mobility has important implications for organisations, for example in terms of their strategic HR management and their success in attracting and retaining talented staff. For employees, every successful job change potentially increases employability and future opportunities for advancing their career.

Study co-author Dr Dana Unger, a lecturer in organisational behaviour in UEA's Norwich Business School, said: "Whether individuals make a career transition depends undoubtedly on a range of factors. Our findings have immediate practical implications by improving our understanding of opportunities and hindrances for different kinds of career mobility.

"Employees who aim to advance their careers by crossing organisational, industrial, or occupational boundaries may gain helpful insights about factors involved in these distinct types of mobility. For example, they might want to align the timing of their career advances with fluctuations in the labour market.

"For organisations, our results highlight the relevance of investing resources in career management programmes for employee retention. Investments in employees' career opportunities might especially pay off in times of a favourable external labour market, when staff have many external options.

"Career counsellors could also use the insights about the relevance of different predictors of career mobility to help their clients successfully plan career moves."

The researchers looked at different types of job changes to determine whether people are changing organisations, the industries they are working in, or even occupations. They surveyed 503 management programme alumni about their career histories dating back up to 44 years, level of education, and openness to new experiences.

They also investigated the effect of yearly changes in the unemployment rate on mobility to address the economic context in which careers unfold.
-end-
'When do employees cross boundaries? Individual and contextual determinants of career mobility', Angelika Kornblum, Dana Unger, and Gudela Grote, is published in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology on July 6.

University of East Anglia

Related Education Articles:

Education a top priority
Various studies have revealed that a majority of Western European populations support increased investment in education.
Dementia on the downslide, especially among people with more education
In a hopeful sign for the health of the nation's brains, the percentage of American seniors with dementia is dropping, a new study finds.
A vision for revamping neuroscience education
The expanding scope and growing number of tools used for neuroscience is moving beyond what is taught in traditional graduate programs, say leaders in American neuroscience education, funding, and policy.
Scientific education through films?
Magic swords, wands, cauldrons and cloaks of invisibility do not exist in reality.
What should be the role of computer games in education?
Game advocates are calling for a sweeping transformation of conventional education to replace traditional curricula with game-based instruction.
Up, up and away, in the name of science education
US researchers extol the virtues of high-altitude balloons for science education in a research paper published in the International Journal of Learning Technology.
Minorities underrepresented in US special education classrooms
Although minority children are frequently reported to be overrepresented in special education classrooms, a team of researchers suggests that minority children are less likely than otherwise similar white children to receive help for disabilities.
Accentuate the positive when it comes to nutrition education
If you want people to choose healthier foods, emphasize the positive, says a new Cornell University study.
How do students use video in higher education?
A new SAGE white paper out today reveals the types of educational videos that appeal to students and where they go to find them.

Related Education Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Bias And Perception
How does bias distort our thinking, our listening, our beliefs... and even our search results? How can we fight it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas about the unconscious biases that shape us. Guests include writer and broadcaster Yassmin Abdel-Magied, climatologist J. Marshall Shepherd, journalist Andreas Ekström, and experimental psychologist Tony Salvador.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#514 Arctic Energy (Rebroadcast)
This week we're looking at how alternative energy works in the arctic. We speak to Louie Azzolini and Linda Todd from the Arctic Energy Alliance, a non-profit helping communities reduce their energy usage and transition to more affordable and sustainable forms of energy. And the lessons they're learning along the way can help those of us further south.