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About University of Phoenix Career Institute®

University of Phoenix Career Institute® was created to address broad, persistent and systemic barriers to career advancement through research-based solutions and impactful partnerships that break down barriers Americans face in their careers.

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Inaugural 2023 Mothers Overcome More™ Report Reveals Having a Career is a Luxury that Not All Mothers Can Afford


A comprehensive study of American workers’ career perceptions

The 2024 Career Optimism Index® study finds that workers and employers are facing a critical moment of talent stagnation. Nearly two-thirds (64%) say their company does not offer opportunities for internal mobility. Meanwhile, 44% of employers say their top challenge to finding talent in the past year is a lack of well-qualified applicants.

These findings indicate that employers are not looking internally and, thus, overlooking the potential to upskill and elevate their existing workforce to solve business needs, hindering progression for both workers and organizations.    

What Workers are Saying

More than half (53%) of Americans report feeling easily replaceable in their job positions and 30% of workers don’t feel recognized by their company’s leadership for their contributions.

While 62% of employers say their company currently offers opportunities for internal mobility, only 36% of workers agree.

The Threat of Talent Stagnation

Workers are more than twice as likely to feel like they do not have the ability to advance in their current role when their company does not provide a mentorship program (49% vs. 18%), skills development opportunities (55% vs. 23%), internal mobility (55% vs. 19%), or career path guidelines (53% vs. 19%).

What Employers Can Do

Despite stagnation, workers continue to feel optimistic about their abilities—a belief in themselves to propel the future of their careers: 78% of Americans are hopeful about the future of their career.

This presents an opportunity for employers to capitalize on that optimism and develop the dynamic talent they need from within by providing more opportunities for their workforce to advance internally.

Provost and Chief Academic Officer John Woods discusses the work of the University of Phoenix Career Institute®


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To learn more about University of Phoenix Career Institute® or the Career Optimism Index®, please contact us at