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Survey: Students Optimistic About Jobs, but Not Salaries

July 7, 2020
 
 

Many recent surveys have painted a dismal picture of what students expect from their futures.

But one from Barnes & Noble Education found that some students are optimistic about finding jobs in their field.

Nearly half of the students surveyed said they were optimistic about finding a job within six months of graduating. Many students -- 62 percent -- also expected to have a full-time job within six months of graduation, and recent graduates are likely to stay on their expected career paths. Only about one-quarter of recent grads said they are uncertain they will be able to get a job in the field they want.

About half of respondents anticipate the COVID-19 pandemic will impact their ability to find a job, but only 13 percent are planning to adjust their career paths. This confidence could come from feeling prepared through their coursework, the report states. Nearly 75 percent of respondents think their courses prepared them well for where they want to work.

“Students are very aware of the connection between their coursework and career prospects. They appreciate classes that are specific and specialized to their field or industry, often viewing these as the most ‘useful’ portion of their studies,” Lisa Malat, president at Barnes & Noble College, said in a news release. “At a time when colleges and universities are focused on demonstrating value, ensuring students understand how their coursework is directly preparing them for their desired career can make a major difference.”

Still, about half of respondents said the transition to remote learning and virtual interactions negatively impacted their academic confidence, and many also struggled to study from home.

About 44 percent of students said the pandemic and ensuing rise in unemployment have also impacted their ability to pay for college. And while students are confident about finding relevant jobs, 66 percent are worried about finding a job that meets their salary needs.

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