11 answers

What to do about college during a global pandemic?

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I am currently an incoming senior in college questioning weather or not my college degree and education is going to be worth the amount of time money and effort I have put forth due to a declineing / halted / depressed economic job market as well as schools being unable to educated students properly. #college #college-advice

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11 answers

Suzanne’s Answer

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Hi George,

I hope you receive a lot of answers to your very important question. I do believe that the world will be a bit different, but having an education will place you in a better place for upward mobility once the economy gets back on track. I never regretted earning my Master's degree in nursing.

Your senior year may indeed be held partially via remote technology. The professors are now getting trained on how to best conduct learning. My husband is a college professor and he was already well versed in using remote techniques. What is most important is that the student not depend on lectures for learning. The students must complete required reading and perform active learning. Remote learning places a big responsibility on the student.

That being said, you may want to carefully consider job opportunities once you graduate. As you are nearly done with your undergraduate degree, you may want to consider an advanced degree if it serves you well. I am going to include some web resources for you to look through. Please don't give up too soon. You have come so far!! (The caveat: if you can enter into a long-term profession without a degree which offers potential to promote, decent salary, is interesting, and has good benefits, then.....this may be an option for you. I do not know of such jobs offhand other than becoming a police officer, city worker, etc...) What may happen is that the American economy will develop many new jobs in order to kick-start economic growth, but this may take a change in the current administration.

Please copy and paste the URLs into your web browser:

https://www.npr.org/2020/04/16/831757428/graduating-in-a-pandemic-advice-for-the-anxious-post-college-job-search

https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2020/04/20/career-advice-getting-through-economic-downturn-caused-pandemic-opinion

https://www.today.com/money/rescinded-job-offer-tips-college-grads-amid-coronavirus-pandemic-t177833

https://www.collegiateparent.com/career/job-search-tips-during-coronavirus/

Lastly, I recommend speaking to your academic advisor about your concerns. This is such an important question and I hope you can speak to someone who knows you and whom you trust.

Best,
Sue
Such great information. I am not even in college and I found this very educational. Gloria Ortiz Translate
Thank you so much George C. Translate
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Gloria’s Answer

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It is worth getting a college education in any economic environment. I actually got my first diploma because of an economic downturn in 2003 and it took me two more years to get the degree. You are at a point where you are almost done, so continue forward. You just may not get the job that you are hoping for right after graduation. That would be true even if there was not a global pandemic. A college education can get you only so far until you run up against a job that also requires experience. So when you graduate, focus on getting a job that will let you get some experience in your chosen field, any experience, especially in a time like now. You can still grow your skills while waiting for your dream job. It shows resilience and fortitude to future employers that you took jobs where you would gain some experience toward your final career. And you may just find that you really like that job or industry better. There will not be a global pandemic forever. Finish your education now while you have the means to and then you will never regret stopping just before the finish line. I did stop before the end, quitting initially in my junior year. It was expensive and humbling experience to go back to college in my 30's. I wish even now that I had finished college earlier.
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Sappir’s Answer

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Hi George,

If you are already a senior- you should definitely wrap things up. Currently the job market may not be great- but that is a constantly changing factor and this will most likely improve and change in the coming year or so. So ti's probably best to hunker down, do your best to wrap up college and then go out and search for a job (or even a future job while in your last year). I have never heard of anyone regretting finishing their degree. Goodluck!
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Katelyn’s Answer

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Right now universities are planning to open earlier to allow students to social distance, not have a fall break, and have a longer winter break. Almost all universities are planning to open for the fall semester just with more precautions in place. The spring semester right is looking to be normal. Our economy is going to return, after recessions there is always a period of growth. I truly think you will be walking into a better economic situation Than currently. However, do what you can to set yourself up for success. The best advice I was told my senior year was to start applying for jobs early at least 6 months before your graduate. Go to as many career fairs as you can, and go to your university’s career center and utilize their resources.
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Nicole’s Answer

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I graduated with my undergraduate degree during the aftermath of the 2008 Recession. At that time, there were few jobs available as well as a great deal of economic strife. The difference you will see during this current crisis is that there will be jobs available once the economy "reopens" so to speak. A college degree is certainly still worth the time and effort and money during these uncertain times, as this will show employers your viability as a potential employee and will set you apart from others as you apply to jobs.
When you finish your degree, the economy will be picking back up. But more importantly, the world and the job market will be very different when this crisis comes to an end. With your projected graduation time, you will find that you have an edge on people who are already in the job market. With your experience navigating the immense changes in the higher education systems, should you continue your studies, you will be able to prove to your employers that you can 1. handle abrupt changes without loosing focus or momentum and 2. navigate the technology and techniques needed for this very new job market.
Best wishes to you as you look to the future!
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Stacy’s Answer

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Agree with all of the answers above. Your education is what you make it and will help you find your way in a different world. Use the time to learn and as you do so, think about how and what you can apply your lessons to - some ideas will be more obvious than others. Make a list of some areas that you would like to pursue - set yourself up on LinkedIn and find people doing what you like to do - as others have mentioned, start researching companies that are of interest - I have seen quite a few virtual internship programs continuing this summer and ideally, when you graduate, there will be new opportunities.
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Riley’s Answer

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I am also a college senior right now, and a lot of my friends have been sharing the same concerns. I have some friends who have just recently graduated and two of them found a job within a month, but others are really struggling to find one. I think that this is just a struggle everyone will have, but you could always be one of the lucky ones who get a job right away! Anyway, I know this is a really stressful and confusing time for everyone but I think the best thing that anyone can do is just try our best to get through it.

Riley recommends the following next steps:

  • Possibly move back home with your parents during online classes to save money on rent.
  • Start applying to jobs a few months before you graduate to get a head start!
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Bruna’s Answer

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Hey George,
It's a difficult time for everybody now, I know how you are feeling, I graduated in January and in my country the pandemic started in February...
Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee anything else, as everything is changing with the pandemic ..
The first thing we need to think is to stay home, stay safe.
You can look for a job using Linkedin, SimplyHired, Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed.com, GlassDoor, Craiglist, Jobing.com
After all, not all doors are closed, there are still companies hiring and there are looking for dedicated professionals like you, it's time to look!
But don't think you wasted your money and time, knowledge is the most important thing that nobody can take away from us
Hope this helps provide some ideas and inspiration! Best of luck.

Bruna recommends the following next steps:

  • Check Linkedin
  • Check SimplyHired
  • Check GlassDoor
  • Check CareerBuilder
  • Check Indeed.com
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Richard’s Answer

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It's definitely worth it! The depressed economy won't stay that way forever, and when it gets back on its feet the degree will be well worth it. In the time it takes for you to finish your last year of college, the market will most likely already be picking back up.
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Richard’s Answer

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It's definitely worth it! The depressed economy won't stay that way forever, and when it gets back on its feet the degree will be well worth it. In the time it takes for you to finish your last year of college, the market will most likely already be picking back up.
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Gloria’s Answer

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It is worth getting a college education in any economic environment. I actually got my first diploma because of an economic downturn in 2003 and it took me two more years to get the degree. You are at a point where you are almost done, so continue forward. You just may not get the job that you are hoping for right after graduation. That would be true even if there was not a global pandemic. A college education can get you only so far until you run up against a job that also requires experience. So when you graduate, focus on getting a job that will let you get some experience in your chosen field, any experience, especially in a time like now. You can still grow your skills while waiting for your dream job. It shows resilience and fortitude to future employers that you took jobs where you would gain some experience toward your final career. And you may just find that you really like that job or industry better. There will not be a global pandemic forever. Finish your education now while you have the means to and then you will never regret stopping just before the finish line. I did stop before the end, quitting initially in my junior year. It was expensive and humbling experience to go back to college in my 30's. I wish even now that I had finished college earlier.
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