As recently as 2019, the number of students who felt getting a degree was important for their future was already declining. According to research conducted by Sutton Trust, a social mobility charity, only two out of every three secondary school pupils felt it was necessary to attend university. Many pupils interviewed felt that having connections led to better job prospects than getting a degree.

With this in mind, imagine what recent university graduates are feeling knowing that the pandemic may have seriously affected job availability within their chosen field. The pandemic has gone on long enough and serious job seekers understand that jobs are still there, but in ways never before expected.

Flex Work Is the New Norm

Upon leaving university, graduates are typically expected to find employment in their respective fields. Perhaps they were looking for a future working in an industrial plant or maybe teaching in a secondary school. Whether they graduated with a mind to work in healthcare or some other industry, they probably never expected that they would begin their career from home.

While some employers had been offering flexible work for a limited number of workers and within very limited positions, the pandemic prompted a need to reshape the workforce if businesses were to survive. New graduates are finding that many of the jobs available to them can be worked from home. Flex work typically requires a computer, internet connectivity and a high-quality business 4k webcam through which they will communicate with their teams or meet with clients and suppliers.

Remaining Positive Has Become a Struggle

Not only has it become necessary to be adaptable in how and where they work, but recent graduates are also finding it hard to stay positive in a world where there is so much uncertainty. Several attempts have been made at opening up the economy and resuming travel, but the virus keeps on mutating which stalls efforts to get back to pre-pandemic days. Study after study indicates that depression in the UK is on the rise, and this is especially common among new college graduates.

According to research conducted by King’s College London and the University of Nottingham, at least 64 per cent of those surveyed said they were suffering major bouts of depression. The study also found that more than half of those surveyed said that their anxiety levels had increased as well. When taking into consideration that leaving university to begin living a new stage in their lives is stressful enough, this sense of depression and despair brought about by the pandemic makes it much more difficult to face the future with optimism.

A Need to Reshape the Future

What many new graduates have found is that there is a real need to reshape the future once the pandemic is finally brought to an end. Nothing could have prepared them for entering a workforce so unlike anything they had anticipated. The effect the pandemic has had on new graduates will have a profound impact on how they are able to reshape the future within their professions. It will be interesting to see.