University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies Releases Whitepaper Detailing COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on U.S. Job Optimism

Researcher evaluates how the pandemic impacted job optimism across U.S.

PHOENIX--()--University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies is announcing the release of a whitepaper taking a deep dive look at people who have considered changing their careers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and those who have not. Analyzing findings from the University’s first annual Career Optimism Index™, the whitepaper, authored by Phillip L. Davidson, Ph.D. of the College of Doctoral Studies, looks at implications of current career based on job title and time in that specific position. It also evaluates the potential impact of financial support for education or personal development on participants consideration of a career change.

“The purpose of the white paper is to examine individuals’ perceptions of their career paths during the COVID-19 pandemic and focus in on those individuals who may be suffering from career shock,” said Davidson. “Did some individuals consider changing their careers? Was a consideration of a change in career more relevant to some more than others, based on their current job position? Were they more optimistic about their careers if they were most senior in their position?”

COVID-19 brought a lot of concerns to the country, the main concern being job security and financial security within those positions.

The study found that half the population had considered a career change, but there is no data to prove that this increased or decreased due to COVID-19. The study also indicates that within this population, there were no significant correlations between gender, age, ethnic background and education in terms of considering a career change. There was a weak-positive but non-significant correlation to age. Also indicated in this study, is that job title doesn’t seem to correlate with career optimism.

To read the full whitepaper, visit:

About the College of Doctoral Studies

University of Phoenix’s College of Doctoral Studies focuses on today’s challenging business and organizational needs, from addressing critical social issues to developing solutions to accelerate community building and industry growth. The College’s research program puts students in the center of an effective ecosystem of experts, resources and tools to help prepare them to be a leader in their organization, industry and community. Through this program, students and researchers work with organizations to conduct research that can be applied in the workplace in real time.

About the Career Optimism Index™

The Career Optimism Index™ study is one of the most comprehensive studies of Americans’ personal career perceptions to-date. The University of Phoenix Career Institute will conduct this research annually to provide insights on current workforce trends and to help identify solutions to support and advance American careers. For the first annual study, more than 5,000 U.S adults were surveyed about how they feel about their careers at this moment in time, including their concerns, their challenges, and the degree to which they are optimistic about core aspects of their careers, their advancement in the future. The study was conducted among a diverse, nationally representative, sample of U.S. adults among a robust sample to allow for gender, generational, racial, and socioeconomic differences and includes additional analysis of workers in the top twenty media markets across the country to uncover geographic nuances.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life™ help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit


Sharla Hooper
University of Phoenix


Release Summary

Whitepaper looks at implications of career decision-making in this analysis of the University’s first annual Career Optimism Index™.


Sharla Hooper
University of Phoenix