The itch to switch revealed: 2 in 3 people in Plymouth would pick a different career if they could choose again

As the nation returns to work this New Year, January continues to prove a popular time for considering career resolutions, as new research released today shows that over a third (37%) of people in Plymouth would be looking to achieve something that makes them happier if they were to change their current career.

The study shows that nearly two-thirds (62%) of people in Plymouth would pick a different career path if they could choose again, with nearly half (46%) saying they would probably or definitely change their existing occupation, if they felt they could.

The survey of over 3,000 people* for the national Get Into Teaching campaign, highlights the public’s appetite and motivations for changing careers across the board and the drivers in looking for something new.

Over a third (36%) of people in Plymouth believe they would make a good teacher. Of these, 39% say this is because they are good at explaining things, 33% like working with young people, 44% think they can make learning fun and 47% believe they can relate to others.

This appetite for change, and interest in teaching among those at a career crossroads, is also highlighted by registrations of interest in teaching from potential career changers - in January 2018 they were almost double that of students and graduates, 10,952 versus 6,079 respectively, as people searched for a more fulfilling career.

The survey reveals that people in Plymouth who are considering switching careers are looking to achieve a fulfilling role (24%), with over two-fifths (43%) seeking wellbeing – having a career they enjoy while staying healthy and happy – and a more stable income / better paid role (33%).This comes as 24% believe their current career feels more meaningless than it does rewarding, to the point they consider leaving for another profession.

Previous research** from the campaign shows 64% of people in England said they were grateful to a teacher or teachers for the impact they had in shaping the person they are today – underlining how teaching could be a rewarding option for those looking to switch.

Over half of people in Plymouth (57%) believe you are never too old to change careers. In fact, 50% of postgraduates starting their teacher training in September 2018 were 25 or over - an increase from 45% in the academic year 2015/16.

Many of those surveyed in Plymouth cite a range of factors getting in the way of switching including over one-fifth (21%) fearing the unknown. Furthermore, under a third (32%) of people who had considered changing careers said the biggest barrier they think they may come up against would be not wanting to start from scratch or study again.

Roger Pope, spokesperson for the Get Into Teaching campaign and a National Leader for Education, said: “Our research highlights just how many people in this country are at a career crossroads and have an itch to switch, but clearly they feel there are barriers to overcome. A large proportion of people believe they would make a good teacher and see the draw and rewards of a career that can have an impact on so many. It’s interesting to see that people are looking to achieve a wider sense of fulfilment and worth – which is exactly what a career in teaching can give you.

“I would encourage anyone yearning for a more meaningful and rewarding career at this time of year to visit the Get Into Teaching website to find out more and register their interest. We have an unrivalled package of support available and dedicated teacher training advisers on hand to guide you.”

Bill Richards, managing director at global job site Indeed, said: “Our data shows searches for jobs spike in January, which on average sees 9.2% of searches for the whole year. We know that career changes are often influenced by a desire to seek employment with a purpose. As more people look for jobs that reflect their values, it’s easy to see why candidates would consider switching careers and going into the classroom.”

To further support the next generation of New Year career changers, Get Into Teaching is also running a series of events throughout the spring term where people can find out about life in the classroom, the opportunities for progression, competitive salaries and financial support available. Individuals could get a £26,000 tax-free bursary to train as a teacher in selected subjects including science, computing, geography and languages.

For more information about teaching as a career and to register for the live and online events, visit: or call the Get Into Teaching line on 0800 389 2500.