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35% of students reveal that the pandemic has influenced or changed their future career plans

Student and graduate career experts, Careerpass Network, have partnered with Dig-In, the UK’s leading student sampling and research company, to share their latest insights showing how the pandemic has affected students’ university and career plans.

2,941 UK university students completed the survey, with key findings highlighted below:

  • 35% of students said that the pandemic has influenced or changed their future career options, with 50% of those impacted revealing that they have changed which sector they want to work in.
  • 31% of students also revealed that the pandemic had an impact on either their degree or university choices, with many being unable to attend their first-choice university.
  • 30% of students were influenced to continue studying (i.e., for their Masters or PhD) due to the pandemic, rather than entering the job market.

This research is part of Careerpass Network’s ongoing mission to understand the repercussions of the pandemic and ensure students and graduates are able to find fulfilling career opportunities and empower employers to navigate a challenging market.

Of those impacted, 43% of men and 53% of women said that the pandemic has influenced them to change the sector they would like to work in, with Engineering and Healthcare seeing an influx of new applicants. 29% of students surveyed also revealed that the pandemic has impacted the type of company they want to work for, with 21% looking to work fully remotely in the future.

As a result, employers may be encouraged to adopt more flexible working practices throughout their organisations in order to entice highly skilled applicants back into sectors that have seen a fall in applications this year.

Students are finding new ways to gain valuable employability skills

Although the pandemic has led to fewer opportunities for students to build work experience, the data reveals some promising alternatives, with 53% of those surveyed saying that they took up a new hobby during the pandemic and 24% starting a side hustle to help them build up their business skills.

The lack of stability for many has led a majority of students to be more proactive when it comes to their careers. As one respondent revealed: “I realised that work is unpredictable, and you need backup plans.”

Going forward, employers are encouraged to get back on to university campuses as soon as they can and provide the face-to-face support and advice that students have been lacking, as well as embracing new ways of connecting with prospects – such as through social content.

Download the full report here.

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