SOURCE: CourseAdvisor

June 26, 2008 10:00 ET

Online Poll Reveals Women Are Focused on Career and Educational Advancement

CourseAdvisor Survey Reveals Key Higher Education and Career Trends Among Women

WAKEFIELD, MA--(Marketwire - June 26, 2008) - CourseAdvisor, an established marketing and lead generation company operating one of the top online education directories, CourseAdvisor.com, recently surveyed more than 400 women and found that 83.2 percent think that career opportunities have improved in the past five to 10 years. However, 38 percent still struggle to balance work and life, and 35.3 percent are currently trying to increase their salary. In addition, the 75 percent of women surveyed who are currently enrolled or who plan to be enrolled in a continuing education program within the next year cite advancing current career/improving current salary, starting/changing career, returning to the workforce, or pursuing personal interests as the primary motivators for going back to school.

The majority of respondents were 18-22 years of age (27.9 percent), followed by 41-50 years of age (20 percent). Thirty-seven percent had a high school/GED education, followed by 20 percent holding four-year college degrees.

A recent report by the U.S. Education Department also showed that women have made great strides relative to men during the last 10 years and account for nearly two-thirds of the increase in the number of bachelor's and master's degrees. In addition, the report predicts that overall growth in degree-granting college programs will reach 15.6 million this fall, with for-profit colleges awarding more than twice as many associate degrees than they had a decade earlier and six times as many bachelor's degrees.

"Women have become increasingly employed in higher-paying occupations during the past several decades, undoubtedly because their higher education made them more eligible for those careers and jobs," said Carlos Cashman, President, CourseAdvisor. "In fact, more than half of all the workers in management, professional, and related occupations are women. These important advances in women's educational achievement are encouraging and illustrate that women seriously value higher education and are actively pursuing career advancement."

Cashman added, "The core challenges now are to make higher education affordable for even more women and to bring women's pay up to the level of men's pay in all equivalent jobs."

The CourseAdvisor survey also found that:

--  Nearly half of respondents are currently working full-time (47.4
    percent), while 27.6 percent aren't working at all. When asked about ideal
    work environment, over half (52.4 percent) said they prefer to work full-
    time, while 26.8 percent prefer to have the flexibility to chose where and
    when they work.
--  Careers in the healthcare industry continue to increase with 25.6
    percent of women surveyed pursuing a degree in that field, followed by 15.5
    percent in business, 13.6 percent in education, and 10.5 percent in
    psychology/human services.
--  More than three-quarters of women who are in a continuing education
    program plan to seek financial aid.
--  A combined 46.9 percent intend to enroll in an online-only or blended
    program for the flexibility in managing family/work schedules, although
    16.5 percent of those women further indicated they would be more confident
    participating from home than in a classroom environment even if flexibility
    were not a factor.
    

Interestingly, the current economic state has not had a severe impact on this group. Only 28.9 percent are increasing hours at their current job, going back into the workforce, or seeking a second job because of the down-turn in the economy and only 23.1 percent are trying to reduce costs by looking for a job closer to home or by working from home more frequently.

About CourseAdvisor

CourseAdvisor helps postsecondary schools maximize enrollment with high volumes of qualified leads. Combining mathematical modeling, behavioral analysis, and sophisticated search technology, CourseAdvisor, owned by The Washington Post Company, predicts and adjusts for new behaviors to stay ahead of enrollment trends. Currently, more than 3.5 million students use CourseAdvisor's leading online education directory, CourseAdvisor.com, where they can match their skills to degree and certificate programs from over 500 online and traditional schools and 8,000 programs. For more information, please visit http://www.courseadvisor.com/

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