Students graduating during COVID face entering a job market that may take years to fully recover. Some of the hardest-hit industries include arts and entertainment, accommodation and food services, construction, and retail. Some industries, such as leisure and hospitality, have bounced back and now face labor shortages, while others continue to stagnate.
Widespread vaccinations and reopenings create strong prospects for economic recovery in the United States. However, experts remain uncertain about COVID’s long-term economic impact and the country’s recovery trajectory. McKinsey & Company projects that some industries could take more than five years to reach pre-pandemic levels.
Recent graduates can check the BLS to explore COVID’s impact on their industry. The BLS details employment trends by industry and region. Many professional organizations also offer industry-specific data regarding COVID’s impact and recovery projections.
Consider Similar Roles in Different Industries
Graduating during COVID can make finding a career in your primary field more challenging. However, graduates can consider jobs in related industries to widen their job prospects. Many industries have remained profitable during COVID, including healthcare, information technology, behavioral health, digital entertainment, and tutoring.
Graduates should identify their transferable skills to pinpoint matching industries and positions. Regardless of education background, most graduates possess hard and soft skills. Common hard skills include foreign languages and computer program competencies. Soft skills include communication, team leadership, and problem-solving. Indeed recommends that job seekers match at least 60% of a position’s listed qualifications before applying.