What to study during a pandemic
A pandemic is a time of uncertainty in almost every sphere of life. We fear for our health, economy, our job and the future of our children. Planning anything starts to resemble fortune-telling, but even more so now – in such a difficult reality – we have to find ourselves and look into the future as calmly as possible. What fields of study should young people be currently going for?
Changes in the labour market
The pandemic has already brought about the first changes in the labour market, and the still deteriorating situation related to the increase in the level of infections determines further changes. If we only look at the statistics of the Central Statistical Office, almost half of companies from various market sectors will disappear from Poland’s economic map as they will not survive more than 6 months of restrictions. This means nothing more than huge numbers of newly unemployed people – not only among university graduates. By far the most affected by the pandemic will be tourism and the hotel and catering industry, where no more than 10% of existing businesses will be able to survive the next few months. Whereas financiers and insurers have the best forecasts for the future of their companies.
Although changes in the labour market and the forecasts prepared by entrepreneurs themselves do not give us a full picture of what the labour market will look like in 5-10 years’ time, they do show some trends which, in the current situation, may show the way to those professions which will still be sought after.
Technological development and online activity
The first wave of the pandemic showed us how important technology is in our everyday life. Schools, remote working and employee outsourcing moved into the online sphere, just like masses of businesses that developed or started their activity online with great success. This means that the directions predicted even before the pandemic, referred to as the most promising ones, will still remain in demand. This is particularly the case with information technology (IT) and technical studies, which, due to the dynamic development of technology, seem to remain some of the most desirable competences on the labour market.
Trade, management and finance
Another field that is sought after on the labour market is graduates of management and trade-related studies. Finance and accounting, partly mentioned above, should also remain among the professions sought after by employers. While research also shows some potential for marketing, it is also important to be aware that in times of crisis, costs can be cut in terms of reduced promotional spending, so this is not likely to be the No. 1 direction in the near future.
Finally, a profession that’s already experiencing shortages, that is… medicine. The shortage of nursing graduates had long hindered the work of medical units, and in the age of a pandemic it soon turned out that this shortage in a crisis situation has dramatic consequences. The medical profession has always been considered to be one of the most solid and its position is invariably maintained (and even strengthened) due to the global fight against the coronavirus.
Everyone for everyone
As in Tuwim’s poem, we cannot forget about simple professions and craftsmen, because they build the foundations of our everyday life. Due to the relatively small losses in the industry, workers will probably still be sought after for the labouring positions. When planning your educational future in an era of question marks, you should first of all be open to changes and sometimes necessary rebranding.
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