As if the everyday responsibilities of a job aren't stressful enough, U.S. workers are experiencing a new kind of pressure, according to a November 2011 study from Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company.
The Accenture Skills Gap Study, which surveyed 1,088 employed and unemployed U.S. workers, reports that 55 percent of employees are under pressure to step up their skills to stay competitive in their current and future positions.
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"Our study shows that workers are prepared to improve and expand their skills, but they're not receiving sufficient support to develop those skills," said David Smith, managing director of Accenture Talent & Organization, in a press release discussing the study's findings.
But despite whether or not they're receiving on-the-job training, 68 percent of workers feel that it's up to them - and not their employer - to stay relevant with their skills and education.
Priya Patel, an engineer in Huntington Beach, California is a part of this 68 percent.
Patel, who wants to transition from engineering into management, decided to go back to school part-time and earn her master's in business administration (MBA) from the University of California, Los Angeles.
"I realized that in order to ever impact change on a system level, I would have to be more than just a member of an engineering team," says Patel. "To me, this necessitates both engineering experience and business acumen, which is why I decided to earn my MBA while continuing to work full-time as an engineer so that I would gain both at the same time."
And Patel is on the right track, with the Accenture study citing managerial skills as one of the most in-demand skills by employers. Other in-demand skills include technology skills, problem-solving, and analytical skills.