Out of the Wreckage of COVID, the Rebirth of College Career Services – New England Board of Higher Education
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the labor market, with more than 40 million Americans who have filed for unemployment. Even as some states have attempted to reopen their economies, allowing 4 million people to head back to work, the unemployment rate still hovers around 16%. And we’re still in the early innings of recovery—perhaps even just batting practice. The recovery will be long and difficult, and communities of color are bearing the brunt of this economic impact, exacerbating inequities that have long existed in our education and workforce systems.
Recent data from Strada Education Network’s Center for Consumer Insights found that nearly one-quarter of Black and Latinx Americans have been laid off since the pandemic began. This environment is especially daunting for recent graduates, attempting to enter the worst job market since the Great Depression. Never in modern memory have we faced this sort of threat to prosperity.
Something deeper, and in some ways more pernicious, has long been troubling higher education, which has a career development infrastructure ill-suited to helping students navigate this moment. The impact of the pandemic is revealing systemic issues in our outdated approach to career preparation.