University Of Phoenix Survey Finds That Education Matters When Americans Cast Their Ballots, Yet Only 16 Percent Would Consider Teaching As A Profession

A recent University of Phoenix® College of Education survey conducted by Morning Consult revealed that 80 percent of respondents cited K-12 education funding as important in this year's election 1. This response indicates that education matters to voters, yet only 16 percent have actually considered teaching as a profession, even as the nation currently faces a teacher shortage 2. What's more, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that opportunities in teaching will only continue to grow between 2014 and 2024 3.

Compounding the issue, the study indicates that American voters esteem the K-12 teaching profession within the community, ranking the profession higher than infrastructure, food establishments and retail.

Highlights from the survey include:
  • 84 percent of voters say K-12 teachers are important to their community
  • 69 percent of voters who have considered pursuing a K-12 teaching career say it is because they want to make a difference in children's lives
  • 59 percent of voters consider teaching to be a fulfilling profession

Additionally, the same study indicates that teachers are viewed as both underappreciated and underpaid:
  • 68 percent of voters say the U.S. does not do enough to reward and incentivize teachers
  • Over half of voters (54 percent) say the U.S. generally values its teachers less than other industrialized nations
  • The top two reasons that hold people back from pursuing a K-12 teaching career are the time it would take to return to school (41 percent) and low salaries (37 percent)

The study reveals a discrepancy between the value Americans place on education and our teachers, and how they are compensated for their work, and this may be a factor in the persisting teacher shortage.

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