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More than half (57%) of the job seekers surveyed for CompTIA’s latest Job Seeker Trends report were looking for careers in a different field during the final quarter of 2023. Many (47%) also reported that they’d switched careers before, with half noting a purely positive experience and half saying the change had its share of pros and cons. 

Interest declined slightly in most career areas compared to last year’s survey, possibly due to ongoing market uncertainty, but job seekers were most likely to consider careers in: 

  • Sales, marketing, retail, real estate, or related (24%) 
  • Hospitality, food, travel, and tourism (19%) 
  • Healthcare or medical (17%)
  • Tech, IT support, security, data, and software (17%)
  • Business, financial, accounting, analyst, or operations (16%)

When weighing a job opportunity, higher pay and better benefits (66%), job stability (41%), and better work-life balance (40%) were highest on the wish list, while a lack of improvement from their previous position (47%), red flags within the hiring team (47%), and unrealistic expectations in the job posting (43%) were the top reasons for turning away from a job. 

Almost six in 10 (59%) respondents applied for jobs online, up from 55% six months ago, and many updated their resume (58%, up from 53%). However, most job seekers (47%) said finding time to go through the application and interview process was their greatest challenge, up 4% from six months ago. Other common challenges included fatigue from lengthy job searches, being screened out by automated application systems, and balancing job searches with work and home demands. In addition, 34% of job seekers expressed some level of frustration with automated systems.

For more current job seeker trends, see CompTIA’s full report.