The coronavirus pandemic and the changing nature of jobs and career paths for students and early-career workers

The thumbnail for the discussion

There is growing concern as to how the coronavirus pandemic will alter the job prospects of young people currently in the process of graduating from post-secondary studies. Many believe the so-called ‘Great Lockdown’ will delay entry into the workforce and diminish individuals’ career prospects. A slow period in hiring may be followed by a period of increased competitiveness as individuals attempt to land coveted jobs in these firms alongside other classes of students. There is a flight to perceived assured quality and a reduced appetite for experiment. It is possible this cautiousness could further embed social advantage. This session will examine how early stages of careers may change throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Will new jobs emerge in typically slow-to-change fields? If so, what will these jobs entail and what skills will be required? Will the current crisis hamper students’ career prospects and do we risk lost cohorts of workers? Will there be social winners and losers from the crisis and will we see a reinforcement of advantage to those from well known schools and universities? What are the implications for how we think about talent and the attributes we value and promote in the early stages of a career? Over the long-term, how should we be thinking about the cultivation of talent and leadership, and what does this mean now for post-secondary educational institutions and their teaching of students?

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