No one expected the world to change practically overnight. People went to bed in 2020 and woke up in the apocalyptic future of a pandemic-ravaged world. Unfortunately, things haven’t moved quite so quickly in the opposite direction.
Economic recovery during and after the COVID-19 pandemic has been slow and arduous. The U.S. economy is still 9% smaller than it was in March 2020.
Students are struggling to redirect themselves in this strange new world. To provide the guidance they need, it’s essential to understand their current psychology as well as the opportunities available to them.
The tunnel may have been a long one, but there's light at its end. How can students best reach it?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment reached new highs. In response, many people filed for government aid to provide for themselves and their families.
The US Government's response was imperfect. Policymakers rushed to provide relief in the form of the CARES Act, but it still took understaffed unemployment agencies months to approve claims. State governments came up with different plans for opening their economies, but they all have suffered from controversy and a lack of clarity.
Today, some people find themselves wondering if it's safe to go back to work, while others don’t have a job to go back to. The restaurant, travel and entertainment industries have been hit hard. Many businesses won’t be reopening.
The toll on potential students has also been huge.
Job loss doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It destabilizes a person’s whole world, as does the difficulty in finding the first or new employment. The negativity feeds on itself, and underemployed people are prone to harsh self-criticism, depression, and loss of motivation.
Global crisis and a rocky road to economic recovery have made the situation even worse. These factors have also hurt the groups people could otherwise rely on for emotional and practical support — which include their family, friends, and career networks.
People are depressed and confused, so they need hope and clarity.
Some industries have continued to thrive during the pandemic. In addition to delivery services and grocery stores, the fields that remain strong are:
Healthcare providers and workers
People looking to begin or change careers should consider industries that have proved their stability during a crisis. But how can they enter into these fields?
As of June 2021, data indicate an increasing number of students believe the worst of the pandemic is over. However, most students believe the economy is not recovering and about one-third believe it is getting worse. And, potential students concerned about the economy may be less likely to spend money on education.
To attract hesitant students, they will need to be assured of three things:
They can succeed.
The right training can help them achieve job success and security.
They can afford the education.
Potential students need positivity as well as direction. After being overwhelmed by news focused on challenges, failures, and catastrophes, they need to hear stories of triumph and statistics that validate these anecdotes. They need to believe in their own futures.
They also need more and better information about scholarships and funding in order to ease their worries about student loan debt. While the CARES Act and other federal initiatives provide resources for potential students, these funds are often difficult to navigate.
In sum, institutions and case managers should give students a future to believe in, a roadmap there, and information about the price — and how to meet it with federal funding.
MedCerts works to ensure the programs they offer match the needs of the economy and with online offerings, we provide a safe, reliable learning experience for career changers.