September 25, 2021

The pandemic has imposed uncertainty upon many new graduates who are trying to get their foot into the Canadian workforce.

Many new graduates have been forced to settle for jobs that are either not relevant to their field of study or are less than what they were hoping for.

“As a graduate of global business management, I was looking and hoping for a position like a business analyst or a manager at a reputed business organization but I had to settle for a customer service representative job,” said Pankti Patel, a financial services representative at one of Canada’s big banks who graduated in September 2020 from Fanshawe College. “This hinders my career progress down the road which is frustrating.”

This situation, however, depends upon the field of study of these graduates. For example, according to Indeed Canada, nursing job postings have ramped up by 50 per cent as compared to last February, whereas jobs in finance, real estate and many other industries saw a major decline in entry-level job openings.

While many new graduates face challenges finding a relevant job, there are some for whom COVID-19 has been a boon in finding them a job right after graduation.

“COVID-19 has helped me getting a position of a technician at City of Ottawa as I was already working as a part-time security personnel at their COVID-19 vaccination clinic,” said Daman Singh, a recent graduate from Conestoga College.

Similarly, Kinnar Bhimani, an Applied Manufacturing Management graduate said that it was tough to find a job in his field, but COVID-19 was not the reason; lack of experience was. His constant efforts in applying for as many openings as possible landed him a job as a machine operator at Hight Tech Gears Limited.

The youth unemployment rate in Canada was a record high of 29.10 per cent in May 2020, according to a Statistics Canada report published in July 2020.

The report also suggested that new graduates could lose $25,000 or more over the next five years as compared to the earnings of previous graduates, if the labour market situations do not improve.

Now that the vaccinations are in progress, there is some hope for the economic recovery in the coming months which might open paths for the new graduates as well. Still there is no clear evidence for when the situations will attain normalcy.

“Having hope and keeping up the efforts is all we can do now. Job search is a frustrating process anyways and COVID-19 has made it even worse,” said Patel.

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