Pearson Launches National Campaign to Inspire Adults to Turn Their Childhood Passions into Careers

Career Climbers / 29th August 2018

The changing nature of work and skills are making life-long learning more important than ever. Even with education more accessible than ever before, nearly half of American workers (49%) still say their current role isn’t related to their childhood passion.

That’s the issue Pearson, the digital education company, is addressing with its new campaign, “Dare to Learn, Dare to Change.” Launching today, the campaign celebrates the brave people who have taken the step to change their lives, empowering millions more adults to rediscover what they are truly passionate about and develop a skill-set through learning.

A new survey from Pearson shows working adults in America understand and agree that learning new skills or specialties would positively affect their life, well-being and employability. This rings especially true in an era of technological change, automation and diminishing social safety net. But even with that desire, practical concerns put roadblocks in the way:

  • The Desire to Explore a Passion Exists: Nearly two-thirds of the working adults surveyed (66%) say they would like to return to education, and 70% agree they would be a better student as an adult than as a child.
  • The Reasons for Returning to Learning are Pragmatic: While passions exist, the reasons for returning to school are varied but pragmatic. More than a third of working adults say they are motivated to return to school to get a better job (35%) or learn new skills for their current career (34%), nearly the same number as those who want to pursue a new interest (37%).
  • Learning Needs to Be Flexible: More than a third of those who didn’t follow their childhood career (35%) say it was because of “life getting in the way.” This is why non-traditional methods such as online programs, micro-credentials, and digital badging are allowing education to fit into more lives.

Through “Dare to Learn, Dare to Change,” Pearson shows a pathway to rediscover your childhood passions through life-long learning. Pearson undertook a unique social experiment where everyday adults were filmed attending what they think is a research study, only to be surprised by a call from a familiar voice: their own—at age 11. In a provocative sequence, their childhood self challenges them not to abandon the things they love learning about.

Watch the video here:

“Americans have traditionally had to balance busy schedules and make tough decisions in their lives before taking the leap to pursue their dream job,” said Kevin Capitani, president, Pearson North America. “In the past, once you left the traditional education pipeline, it could be difficult to return to school and pursue a degree. Today, online programs have made life-long learning accessible, allowing people to ‘return to school’ on their schedules and achieve a better career, and a better life.”

Headlining Pearson’s campaign is Emmy-nominated actress Mayim Bialik, a TV star whose childhood passion for science was something she pursued as an adult – leading to a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA in 2007. Bialik, now a published author and researcher, remains a champion of higher education as a way to change not just your career, but your entire life.

“We are born with a love of learning, and curiosity is part of our natural brain chemistry. But too many of us put away the things we’re most interested in as children once we become adults, because ‘life gets in the way,‘ “ said Bialik. “It’s never easy going back into education – but it’s not as hard as you fear. It can be rewarding and fulfilling in its own right. And it’s always worth it.”

Pearson partners with more than 40 higher education institutions across the U.S. to offer nearly 300 flexible online learning programs, with more than 80,000 students enrolled in degree programs. Pearson also teamed up with Nesta and the Oxford Martin School to study the future of work and skills. This research combined the best of human expertise with the power of machine learning to understand future work trends and make more nuanced forecasts than previously possible.

Please visit to watch the campaign videos and find out more information.

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