Aftermath of Corona Virus Challenges for the Fresh Graduates -Abubakar Mohammad Safwan


Recent graduates and students close to graduation are understandably experiencing lots of panic and more challenging time as COVID-19 fallout has turned world economy and job market upside down. ILO forecasts that approximately 190 million people may loss their job all over the world owing to global economic downturn. Bangladesh is not different from such alarming scenario. University Grand Commission (UGC) reports 3.2 million students get enrolled in tertiary education level each year whereas a survey recently conducted by Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) which illustrates that 38.6 per cent of university graduates are jobless. Hence, what is the next for those who are getting ready for job? Keeping that on focus, it has been articulated including changing Scenario of job market landscape and need to do to get job during and after COVID-19 era.
Impinge of novel corona virus on world economy and development programs are devastating. It is most anticipated that job cuts and business failure going to be dreadful aftermath of the deadly COVID-19. Ready-made Garments, Tourism and Leather industry which confirm the jobs for 3.2 million, 2.4 million (3.9 per cent of total employment) and 558,000 people will badly be affected- says The Bangladesh Rating Agency Limited’s research. NGOs are also facing pressure for operational cost and fund raising dry up. Since, most of the NGOs are taking measures to decline stuffing costs and has kept hold graduates hunting because of ongoing pandemic resulting smaller fund for NGOs than prior. Many reports show that almost 40% students are worried about their jobs uncertainty. Therefore, in this period of difficulty, fresh young talents looking for career path need new game plan and should be known about expected changing in post-pandemic workplace.
KPMG, a global network of professional firms, expects that, in the long term, there will be a fundamental transformation in the workplace and change in employee expectation. Some significant changes what will be emerged in the jobs of future are to mention here. Experts deduce that full-time jobs except absolute core employee and paper pushers or coordinators in office system will be dramatically reduced. The dominance of technology based skills will be improved as remote and digital work will be in new form with unfixed salaries. Although rising difficulty in finding regular job for fresh graduates and salary cuts will happen, quick skill gathering capability and rapid adaptation with E-learning tools and platform will give advantage for job seekers. Video conferencing and virtual workplace will be more popular, also in-person interaction could be shifted to online and employees will be monitored by tracking key stroke on computer. Stronger communication skills will be highly focused on as companies have already gone fully teleconference based.
Data is going to be switched to critical asset in the post-covid-19 time. Many companies and service provider programs as well as development programs can predict, with right data, about their business opportunities and disruptions. So, this type of episode might create demand for expert data analysts to make data-based decision. Moreover, software developers, IT specialists and financial experts as well as technically-enabled and multi-skilled fresh graduates will be front-runner in entering job as employers will focus on strategic planning and non-essential expenses reduction. Besides, being continuously updated and fresh in skills with critical thinking (information evaluating capability from diverse sources) capability and strong team management and leadership quality will be in demand and having data literacy will be valued.
Dan Hawes, co-founder of UK based ‘Graduate Recruitment Bureau’, told that it will be big question to the interviewee that ‘what did you do in lockdown?” employers will judge what you have done during quarantine. So, at the time of closure, fresher in workplace and final year students should concentrate on crafting a perfect CV, it can be via skill-specific online course like future Learn, courser, MOOCs, EDx Classes etc. certificates or professional development training or volunteering. Further, a closer look on how to interact with recruiters, online job searching, building a resume and LinkedIn profile can be helpful in finding a job soon.Though there will be additional competition as experienced and lateral people looking for new workplace and even ready for accepting lower salaries, online presence and following organizations and professional profile of your interest through social channel and improving interaction with employers can draw a bright career path for you. Reaching out to recruiters and strengthening relationship with university alumni network can guide you to reach out the best opportunity possible.
Research, ‘Employment Growth and Entrepreneurial Activity in Cities’, supports the observation that entrepreneurship can play critical role in generating job and nurturing a wealth generation. In the post-pandemic world, the focus on entrepreneurship should be emphasized more strongly as says managing director of BATB. So, this time of lockdown can give you time to think of a new business idea. Hopefully, by the time of shutdown, potential investor could be managed to make your dream implemented. Nevertheless, nowadays entrepreneurship and idea hunting has been recognized by world leaders as explained the G20 Youth Entrepreneurs Alliance.
Lastly, change in workplace demand has brought an anxiety-ridden time for the fresh graduates and current university students of Bangladesh. A study ‘From Education to Employ ability’ by Dewan and Sarkar, Shows educational institutions of Bangladesh pay less attention to job-market demand while imparting skills to the learners. So, self learning can be only scheme to adapt with the comparatively more virtual workplace.
The author of this article is studying at Institute of Education and Research (IER), University of Dhaka.