(NAPSI)—Americans are thinking more about how to pursue professional development and open doors to more satisfying career options. In fact, according to a recent University of Phoenix® survey, only 38 percent of U.S. working adults are very satisfied with their current professional position, and just 37 percent report that they are very satisfied with their current career path.

The survey also found that less than half (43 percent) of respondents say they are very satisfied with how their skills and abilities are utilized by their employers, and more than a third (38 percent) feel they are undercompensated. As a result, many are looking for ways to improve their professional outlook.

One option to help improve career satisfaction and trajectory is to go back to school. The survey found that nearly 65 percent of Americans anticipate their current salary would increase if they were to achieve the next level of education. Additionally, about 72 percent say this achievement would have an impact on their career satisfaction. The obstacle many find, especially working adults, is how to make earning an education a reality.

Deciding to pursue more education can be a major decision, but Peter Cohen, president of University of Phoenix, says there are several steps one can take to ensure they have a fulfilling experience:

• First, Cohen recommends determining your professional goals and how higher education might help you achieve them. Whether to upgrade your skills to make yourself a more valuable employee, give yourself the opportunity to take on greater challenges or even pursue an entirely new career, you should think carefully about your goals and make an educational plan that suits them well.

• Next, consider how you are going to make education fit into the rest of your life. Working adults know well the challenges of balancing the demands of a job, family and other responsibilities. The good news is that, in addition to flexible in-classroom options, there are a variety of online and blended learning solutions that can allow you to pursue professional development on your own time.

• Finally, don't worry if this seems a bit overwhelming. It can seem like there are too many decisions to make and too little time to figure them out. Colleges and universities have well-trained staff and advisers to help guide you through every step of the process.

"As economic conditions continue to improve and job opportunities multiply, it's no surprise that Americans are taking notice and thinking more about how they can make headway in their careers," said Cohen. "At University of Phoenix, we are keenly attuned to the workforce trends driving our economy, and we are committed to offering professional development opportunities that help students meet market needs."

For further information about University of Phoenix, visit www.phoenix.edu.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix from May 8−23, 2017 among 1,019 U.S. adults aged 18 and older, who are employed for at least 20 hours a week. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact University of Phoenix at media@phoenix.edu.

On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)