Issue Brief: Reasons for Adults' Participation in Work-Related Courses, 2002-03

Using nationally representative data from the Adult Education for Work-related Reasons Survey of the 2003 National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES), this Issue Brief examines the reasons that adults participate in formal educational courses for work-related reasons. More than 90 percent of adults who took such courses in 2002-03 reported doing so in order to maintain or improve skills or knowledge they already had. Among employed adults, the majority took courses because their employer required or recommended participation, while about a fifth did so in order to get a promotion or pay raise. The likelihood of taking classes for the selected reasons examined in this Brief generally varied by participants’ age, education, employment status, occupation, and household income.