COVID-19 Pushes US Students To Uncertain Job Market
How has COVID Created an Imbalance in the US Job Market?
A recently published report states that in fall 2020, college enrollment dropped by around 560,000 students compared to fall 2019. The Southwest Tennessee Community College witnessed a noticeable 18% drop in overall student enrollment in spring 2021 compared to fall 2020.
The Internet is flooded with several reports claiming that the pandemic has badly impacted students and forced them to choose between their degrees and employment. Students who are also supporting their families are compelled to work extra and consider their education as inessential.
But the question that arises here is WHY this imbalance? Here are some explanations:
Students who could not save enough to sponsor their education are quitting.
Those with a lack of resources – computer, Internet connectivity, study materials, etc.-have no other choice.
A person who wants to pursue a degree but is the sole bread earner for the family would choose a job over a degree.
On taking a closer look, you will realize that this is a vicious cycle. Let us explain. There are two kinds of jobs –
1. Where a degree is essential like – Science, healthcare, engineering, technology, etc.
2. And the one where a degree is not essential like – Hospitality, food services, education, manufacturing, etc.
A large number of students who were looking to specialize through specialization courses had to quit. If not retained, they can never come back and will bulldoze their way to do generalized jobs. Five years from now, surely there will be a significant crunch of professionals for these technical jobs.
For every problem under the sky, there is a solution. The right approach and willingness to conquer, no matter what, can help solve the problem and, in return, help many citizens. Here are some of the measures that can help prevent these unwanted effects:
- Student retention programs
- Experience-based hiring
While several other measures we take to ensure that we don’t end up in a bigger mess later, it’s time we soberly map out the possible ways to make sure that education remains the primary objective for the youth. Change is a must at every level, from sponsored education to student loans with improved re-payment policies and flexible work hours to a better pay scale.
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