The impact of COVID19 and all its variants have left a scar on this world and all of her people. With wave 1 and wave 2 wreaking havoc on so many lives and livelihoods, we the people helplessly witnessed one of the most difficult times in recent history. There are still many facing the brunt of the slow down in the economy and life in general when it comes to the job market or for that matter even higher education.
One would think that the impact of the pandemic would lessen after almost 3 years, but the situation is still quite bleak.
Covid19 – Career and Jobs:
Some companies have reported laying off almost 30-40% of their workforce with many small businesses shutting down altogether. This has harmed many people’s livelihoods and has caused the rise in unemployment to unprecedented levels. With these high levels of unemployment, many people in entry-level and mid-level jobs have turned their sights on either career guidance or are exploring options of studying abroad, so that when these dire circumstances come to an end, they will be equipped and ready.
Covid19 – Higher Education:
Due to the increased number of people without active employment, there has been a spike in interest for higher education and other related skills and learnings for some time into the pandemic. However, now even the interest in this has fallen as the mode of teaching is very heavily reliant on online media.
Ed-Tech startups and other learning platforms like Coursera, which provide certified courses or online Masters or MBA programs have seen an increase in interest.
A lot of candidates are not happy with the change in Universities shifting to a completely online model or a hybrid model, depending on the country, as they still have to pay the full price for the course but are having to do it from their homes rather than experiencing the campus, as would typically happen if there was no pandemic.
Covid19 – MBA & MS:
Wave 1 and wave 2 saw the number of students who appeared for the competitive exams decrease since a lot of universities had waived off the exams as part of the application process, to secure more applications and to renew interest in applying to universities.
As evidenced by the number of GMAT coaching centers and GRE coaching centers that have been forced to shut down or forced to convert to the online medium of teaching with drastically reduced volumes, it is quite evident that it is a dull market right now.
However, wave 3 that has barely just begun seems to have had a different impact on the masses. Over the last 2 years, entry-level and mid-level employees have been busy equipping themselves with new certification courses or have turned towards Online GMAT classes and Online GRE classes. Now, more than ever since the beginning of the pandemic, things are starting to look up again.
Students are now better equipped to pursue their dreams of going abroad, as an increasing number of countries have demonstrated a reassuring level of control over the spread of the pandemic. Furthermore, the economy has also seemingly adapted to the pandemic and the new wave does not seem to be a deterrent for people looking to get employed.
Reports indicate that almost 90% of large and MSME companies have adopted a virtual work environment as we would like to call it – Work from Home (WFH for short). Of course, some portion of these companies, especially the large-scale ones, have been forced to adopt a hybrid work model, with employees required to report to the office at least thrice a week.
The immediate future does not seem to be deviating from the current trajectory. However, in a matter of a few months, probably coinciding with the releases of the various new COVID19 Vaccines in all countries and the World Health Organization (WHO) taking the role of an overseer, there will be a huge demand and opportunities for both new employees and students alike.
Statistics and reports from various independent and government bodies from all over the world are showing a slow but steady increase in business revenue improved best practices for handling the COVID19 virus and its variants by Government bodies as well as Universities.
It is around this time again that the rest of the workforce will be able to find suitable employment. Keeping an eye on the education market can provide some good precursors to how the rest of the economy and world of business will take shape.