New University of Phoenix Whitepaper on How Workers Perceive Online Education

In July 2022, University of Phoenix’s College of Doctoral Studies released its latest whitepaper, which examines online education as a method that educational organizations can use to help meet workers’ desires to reskill or upskill. Andrew Lawlor, Ph.D. drew insights from the University’s 2022 Career Institute® Career Optimism Index® study to highlight key trends surrounding upskilling and reskilling in the whitepaper.

Lawlor is a faculty member of the College of Doctoral Studies and Center for Educational and Instructional Technology Research (CEITR). He focuses his scholarly research on applying technologies to improve institutional processes, student and faculty use of technology and leadership development.

Online Education and American Workers’ Perceptions

In the whitepaper, which is entitled “Online Education and American Workers’ Perceptions,” Lawlor explained that although many U.S. workers want to reskill or upskill and have a variety of opportunities to do so, some of these individuals face challenges surrounding online formats for professional development.

Online education can be appealing to employees and employers because it is usually available at a lower cost than in-person education and typically offers convenience and flexibility. But barriers can also emerge from online education, and it is important that organizations offering such education address and support workers so they can access and make the most of upskilling and reskilling opportunities.

In the paper, Lawlor offered a review of technology-mediated education and comments on the current modes of online instruction. He delved into the advantages and disadvantages of online education, both for employees and employers, and discussed barriers for employees in skill attainment and participation.

Andrew Lawlor’s Scholarly Background

Lawlor’s extensive career has seen him work in K-12 education, academic program management, educational technology services and institutional research support. He has held roles such as the vice president for Information Technology services, CIO at Bucks County Community College and chief information officer at an eastern community college. He has also worked in a variety of capacities at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where he finished his tenure as the chief IT officer.

Today, Lawlor is a consultant for CampusWorks, Inc and has been a faculty member at University of Phoenix since 2004.

About University of Phoenix’s College of Doctoral Studies

University of Phoenix’s College of Doctoral Studies examines the challenging business and organizational needs that impact employers and employees at scale today. Its research addresses critical social issues and focuses on conceptualizing solutions that can accelerate industry growth and community building.

The College of Doctoral Studies’ research program integrates students within an ecosystem of specialists, resources and tools that can help these individuals prepare to take on leadership roles, either in a specific company, the wider industry or their communities. On the program, students get the chance to collaborate with researchers and organizations, conducting research that can be applied in the workplace.

The College offers five doctoral programs online. On average, its instructors have more than 28 years of professional experience and are well-positioned to prepare students for careers in their chosen fields.

About the Career Optimism Index® Study

Key to Lawlor’s whitepaper, the Career Optimism Index® study is one of the most comprehensive studies into U.S. citizens’ career perceptions so far. The study offers annual insights into workforce trends and suggests solutions that can create equity in the workplace while supporting and enhancing employee careers.

The 2022 study is the second Career Optimism Index® conducted by the College of Doctoral Studies, in which over 5,000 U.S. adults shared their concerns, challenges and optimism about different elements of their careers and futures. The College conducted the study among a nationally representative, diverse sample of adults designed to encompass racial, gender, generational and socioeconomic differences. The study also included an analysis of workers in the country’s top 20 media markets to uncover geographic nuances.

In the 2022 study, the College of Doctoral Studies also surveyed 500 American employers who are either influential or play key roles in hiring and making workplace decisions. These individuals operate across a variety of industries, company sizes and departments, which allowed the College to draw comparisons between employee perceptions and the perceptions of those who hire, train and retrain employees.

Read the “Online Education and American Workers’ Perceptions” whitepaper

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix works to advance the educational goals of adult and nontraditional learners and to help students navigate the career options and degree programs that interest them. These degree programs correspond with countless in-demand career paths including those in cybersecurity, nursing and business. The University provides flexible start dates, online classes and numerous scholarship opportunities so that all students are in a strong position to earn the degrees they desire.

University of Phoenix’s Career Services for Life® commitment to both students and graduates provides the resources needed to be prepared when entering the workforce for no additional charge. From resume and interview support and career guidance to education and networking opportunities, students have a variety of tools to help them progress through their higher education journeys and transition into fulfilling careers. For more information, visit