(NAPSI)—If you or someone you know is thinking about changing careers, you're far from alone. In fact, according to recently released findings from a University of Phoenix survey, 58 percent of U.S. working adults are interested in a new career. Among those interested in changing careers, 81 percent still identify barriers that keep them from doing so.

Why Not?

The most cited barriers include the 29 percent who say they cannot afford to start over again, while 24 percent said they do not know what new direction they would take, or feel they lack adequate education or experience. Compared to those with at least a bachelor's degree (13 percent), 27 percent of those without a bachelor's degree identify a lack of education as a barrier.

What To Do

It can be overwhelming to make a career change but for those looking to pivot their career, three steps can help.

• First, know yourself. What do you want to change? For many, the path to a rewarding career starts by understanding what motivates their desire to change careers. It might be a poor fit with your current company or interest in another field. Remember to take a step back and understand the opportunities involved, as well as the barriers.

• Next, know what you are getting into. Research the field before committing to a change. Network and meet with people currently working in the career you want. Try volunteering in the field in which you are interested. For example, if you are looking to be in a more creative line of work, ask if you can sit in on a meeting in your company's marketing or creative department.

• Finally, you don't have to start over. Instead, leverage your past experience that may translate well in another industry.

Expert Advice

"With an ever-expanding job market, we anticipate the trend toward new career paths will only grow stronger," said University of Phoenix® School of Business Executive Dean Ruth Veloria. "Many adults, including those well established in their careers, are re-entering the workforce or staying in the workforce much longer. By collaborating with industry leaders to identify relevant skills, professional development opportunities and market needs, we aim to help all adults, regardless of career level, to become lifelong learners and meet their career objectives." Additionally, Veloria points out that you must know your intended field well.

The pace of change and innovation today means many workers can find themselves short on the skills needed to adapt. The most successful career changers perform honest assessments of their skills, volunteer, network or establish mentor relationships to make their career leap. To help achieve your career aspirations, address the gaps that make it hard to achieve your ultimate goals and seek out relevant professional development courses that can help.

Where To Turn

You may turn to education as a next step in your career change. In the same survey, when asked what might encourage workers to get additional education to pursue a career change, working adults identified online classes (35 percent), flexible course schedules (32 percent) and accelerated or fast-track curriculum (29 percent).

Learn More

For further information about University of Phoenix® School of Business, visit www.phoenix.edu/business.

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