Research Reveals Where Career Switchers Are Leaving From and Headed To

Which professions are attracting the most interest from outside their fields? Which industries are people most likely to leave when considering changing careers?

Article main image
Jul 27, 2023

As an increasing number of employers become more open to hiring for skills, there become more potential opportunities for job seekers to switch careers. It’s therefore worth examining which fields tend to attract those searching for work outside their industries. Likewise, from which professions are employees most likely to make an exodus?

Recent research by Indeed examines these and other questions to reveal how career changes are impacting various work sectors. The site looked at job seeker-reported occupations and clicks on job posts to identify interests.

While browsing jobs outside their current occupations doesn’t necessarily mean workers will switch careers, it may show an openness to doing so, perhaps stemming from potential dissatisfaction within current fields.

Speaking of current fields, findings showed that, as of June, nursing and software development roles garnered the most interest from both those already employed in these sectors, as well as individuals seeking new opportunities.

This seems to bode well for the nursing field, notorious for talent shortages — except that overall interest in nursing roles is lower than it was last year, in part because current nurses are also seeking roles outside of their field at higher rates.

For instance, while nursing received an inbound inclick rate (defined as people from one occupation clicking onto another) of 49%, this number is down from 55% last year. On the other hand, the inclick rate for software development jobs rose from 33% to 46% over the same period. In other words, despite the tech field’s tumultuous times, it seems the field still attracts many job seekers from outside the field.

Meanwhile, the largest share of inbound clicks for nursing posts came from medical technicians, community and social service, and administrative assistance. For software development job postings, inbound clicks tended to come from tech-adjacent fields like information design and documentation, as well as IT operations and helpdesk.

In addition to looking at which sectors are attracting job seekers, the research looked at which industries have the most people looking to potentially change their fields, based on what Indeed calls outclicks. The findings indicate that people working in software development are least likely to look outside their fields, while workers in marketing and information design and documentation are most likely (though less so than a year before).

As Indeed points out:

This devotion to software development may also be attributable (in part) to the high degree of skill specialization, training, and experience often required for these roles. Similarly, other relatively “sticky” sectors like nursing and driving also often require specialized training, experience, and/or licensing. Given the time investment often needed to obtain these skills and credentials, it would make sense that these workers could be reluctant to switch things up.

The research also indicates that wages influence attraction and retention, stating: “For workers in typically high-paying sectors like software development, finding comparable or higher pay in another occupation may be difficult, which may lead to fewer outbound clicks from those high-wage jobs and less interest flowing into other lower-pay sectors.”

In other words, money matters to job seekers. Not the boldest of observations, but important nonetheless.

Get articles like this
in your inbox
The longest running and most trusted source of information serving talent acquisition professionals.