What is the impact of COVID-19 on College Graduate Jobs

COVID-19 led economic slowdown has reached the graduate job market.

Promises faltered, offers taken back, and few places to begin your career – this is what characterizes the job market today for many college graduates. It was much worse when the world was right in the middle of the storm during 2020.

Is there a need to innovate academic programs for educators and align teaching with the industry? Yes.

New job trends have a huge implication on education. According to a survey by the Michigan State University,

The expected hires (no. of students who would get employment offers) will fall from 63,555 to 59,000.

Recruitment: Down and Why?

Overall, 25% of employers suspended their spring 2020 hiring or rescinded offers that were already sent during spring recruitment.

In addition to the jobs, student internships were hit as much.

40% of the employers rescinded their internship offers or suspended hiring.  

Other recruiting trends in the fall semester found that:

  • 25% of the employers were missing or absent. These included those who would typically be there on the campus in the fall for recruiting. They either do not expect to hire or are reevaluating their hiring needs.
  • 37% of the employers are talking to the students, but with no real goal in mind. They are not sure about hiring overall, let alone the candidate.
  • Over 40% of the employers who are hiring have declared a lesser number of hires than before.

The change in the employment landscape was somewhat expected as firms adjusted their hiring patterns – but it’s also a result of the long-standing need to align, education with industry. Educating leaders vis-à-vis industry requirements is the only way to prepare students for the future. 

One of the reasons for this intensifying situation is that even colleges and universities have suspended their credit courses or those with internships associated with them.

The system needs an overhaul. Innovating education is a must.

Educating leaders is the first step in making students industry-ready, and employable. This will hedge them against uncertainties.

New Trends

Amid this sorry state of affairs, a few peculiar trends have emerged. Some of those calls out on the inefficiency of incremental changes in the education system. Here are some of the odd, but interesting trends.

  • Employment is not down overall. It is increasing among students with associate degrees but is declining among those with masters or MBA. This is not to say that advanced degrees aren’t desirable. But employers may not be in a position to pay for these highly qualified professionals. Students with advanced degrees often turn out to be not industry-ready but still demanding higher compensation. This directly goes on to share the immediacy of innovating education to make teachers and students think out of the box.
  • As a result of the declining confidence of employers in the degrees, they are opting for more experience over degrees.
  • Furthermore, many positions are being converted into part-time as employers undertake just-in-time hiring.
  • Virtual internships are one silver lining trend that’s emerging. Many employers are going for it and are satisfied as well with the results.

Wrap Up: For how much longer?

Academic programs for educators are a must if students are to feel ready for the world out there.

Nearly 50% of the employers feel that it will take a while before education and employment return to normal. Most put 2-3 years as their estimate, and some go on to say that it will take even longer.

Schools, students, and college graduates mustn’t expect a quick recovery. But in the meanwhile, keep preparing and readying for the new normal and new future that is approaching, and coming fast.

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