Career and education planning has probably not been the first thing to pop to mind over the last few months as we’ve dealt with the impact of COVID-19 and the growing global protest movement, but these events have highlighted some really important things about education, work, and what kinds of occupations we cannot do without; they may evolve, but they are unlikely to become obsolete in our lifetimes.
Think about the people who couldn’t self-isolate because they had to go to work and provide ways for people to get groceries and other essentials, including grocery store workers, truck drivers and delivery people. Don’t forget about the people who coordinate their routes, mail carriers, health care workers, first responders, people who repair things that are important/essential to our daily lives, people who provide emergency services, waste management, and more.
Think about the types of jobs that could be done from a home office at least as effectively as from a corporate location but without the commute, meal-planning, or water cooler interactions. There are upsides and downsides to both situations. Remember that one person’s positive could be another’s drawback.
Think about the jobs that disappeared in the blink of an eye. Think about the occupations that may not encompass the values we expected them to, or whose job descriptions are different than we thought they were. Think about the politicians who have served their constituents well and those who have let voters down.
The footage of the protests and the response to protestors shows a side of policing that may not be the first thing to come to mind when considering a career in law enforcement. Current events are offering insight into the world of work that we don’t normally get. Notice how we are receiving information, how resources are being provided, what changes may be afoot as a result of the global demand for change along with the battle against COVID-19. Existing occupations may undergo big changes and entirely new careers will likely arise out of this time.
If you already have a plan for your education and career, how will it fit into our evolving society?
As you observe what’s happening around us, are you noticing occupations that involve work that resonates with you?
Education is also changing in the face of COVID-19. Schools were abruptly closed from Pre-K to post-secondary and many universities have announced plans for dramatically reduced on-campus offerings for the fall, expecting to provide the majority of instruction online. This changes the availability of education and could be beneficial for students who work and/or have children. Online class discussion is different from in-class interaction and this could be a real drawback to online offerings, particularly for students who don’t have reliable internet access.
On the other hand, for students who don’t thrive in a classroom environment, online learning could be a boon and a real relief. It means not necessarily having to find housing close to campus or dealing with transit or parking, which could also mean not having to give up a job to go to school and some commuting for those with on-campus labs, etc.
Online post-secondary learning has typically not been considered to be on the same level as on-campus learning, but with so many traditional schools making the transition to online courses – even if only temporarily – established online institutions seem poised to level up, particularly since their remote programming and supports are already in place and they are experienced in virtual education. Additionally, it seems likely that traditional schools will embrace a hybrid approach to learning in the post-COVID era (whenever that starts) and offer both online and on-campus options for applicable courses.
Change is afoot all around us. We can all adapt and grow with it. A step by step guide to recognizing your interests and deciding how to incorporate them into your future, What Now? A Guide to the Right Education and Career for You provides you with the tools you need to choose a career path and plan your education. Where to go, what to take, gap years, questions to ask, how to know if you're doing the right thing, and so much more is covered in this informative and efficient course. A must for anyone seeking post-secondary guidance or looking for a career change!