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Public Viewpoint:

COVID-19 Work and Education Survey

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Updated July 15, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt lives across the nation, many American adults—about 1 in 4, the latest Strada Public Viewpoint survey shows—say they plan to enroll in education or training within the next six months. This week’s report seeks to answer questions such as: What are Americans’ motivations for pursuing education and training? What are their perceived barriers to enrollment? And what are their expectations about the costs and benefits of postsecondary education?

The nationally representative Public Viewpoint survey, with more than 13,000 responses collected between March 25 and July 9, is intended to provide insights to the education and training providers, policymakers, employers, and individual Americans who are navigating the COVID-19 crisis. This week’s analysis also integrates data from more than 10,000 Americans who participated in the spring 2020 Strada-Gallup Education Consumer Survey.

Public Viewpoint is led by Strada Consumer Insights. Learn more about our research and the value of the education consumer perspective here.

Weekly Dashboard

This interactive dashboard explores the experiences and perspectives of a nationally representative sample of American adults as they navigate the COVID-19 crisis and its impacts on work and education. Click the statement and variable categories below to discover more about the effects of this crisis on everyday Americans.

Released July 15: Enrolling in Education: Motivations, Barriers, and Expectations

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Adults without degrees or credentials are divided when it comes to the value of additional education.



Americans identify three primary challenges to enrolling:

  • Competing obligations and logistics. More than half (55%) say work and family commitments, course schedules, and transportation are major concerns.
  • Self-doubt. Nearly half (49%) fear they won’t be successful students or have been out of school too long.
  • Cost. Nearly half (48%) say cost is an extremely or very challenging barrier to enrolling.



Many adults without degrees or credentials (42%) say they were very or extremely interested in education or training after high school, but nearly two-thirds of them (64%) say they didn’t have a good understanding of how to pay for it.

Further Resources

Charting the new path forward takes all of us, and Strada will continue to update our COVID-19 Resource Center with immediate needs, actionable data, future strategies, and virtual events to help stakeholders stay informed and communities connected. 

In addition, we’re tracking surveys and findings from many of the partners and organizations assessing how COVID-19 is impacting Americans’ attitudes and experiences related to education and work:

Earlier Findings

Released June 24: Reskilling and Changing Careers in the Midst of COVID-19

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Released June 10: Disparities in Disruption: COVID-19’s Disproportionate Impact on Work and Education for People of Color

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Released May 20: Education disruption, enrollment, and advice

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Released May 13: New Jobs

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Released May 6: Trends by Job Fields

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Released April 29: Trends in Education Plans

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Released April 22: Impact Differences by Race/Ethnicity

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Released April 15: Generational Differences in Impact

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Released April 8: National Overview

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Released April 1: National Overview

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* Survey completed weekly by Heart+Mind Strategies on behalf of the Center for Consumer Insights.

Learn more about Strada Consumer Insights