The COVID-19 Landscape as a Master’s Graduate

Are you worried about how your future work prospects might look like during this pandemic? Let us see what you might run into as a newly hatched, or soon-to-be master’s graduate.

Katrine Lionett Pedersen

The most discussed topic in 2020 must be COVID-19. It’s everywhere. Literally. And the buzz is entirely understandable because it’s a very crucial topic that has influenced our everyday life significantly. We’re all affected by the pandemic in one way or another. But how does the COVID-19 landscape as a master’s graduate look like?

One of the many unfortunate consequences of COVID-19 is the unemployment numbers. In addition, the fear of not finding a new job in the next unforeseen future if you’ve been laid off adds to overall stress. As a master’s graduate or a soon-to-be master’s graduate, you might feel anxious about even getting a job after finishing your studies. But let’s see how a pandemic might affect your future prospects as a university student.

Recessions Influence Unemployment

Let’s face the harsh truth; some university students and soon-to-be master’s graduates are more worried about their future than others. Taking into account the sector and industry the students expect to land their first job in.

And we feel you. Some sectors have truly suffered the worst economic consequences possible.

There are around 40,000 Danish graduates each year, and tellingly 1 out of 6 graduates do not get a job a year after graduation.

Back in May 2020, 14,000 lost their jobs in Denmark due to COVID-19. It was the worst month so far in terms of unemployment, while the pandemic has existed. In comparison, in the worst month of the financial crisis of 2007-2009, 13,700 jobs were lost in Denmark. During the financial crisis of 2007-2009, overall 200,000 jobs in the private sector were lost. And the count of unemployment in Denmark due to COVID-19 has not ended yet.

The Research also shows that university students who graduate during recessions will experience a lower income in the short term than university students who graduated within a boom.

On average, during a downturn, master’s graduates have an annual income that is 20.1% lower in the first year after getting a job. While 11.7% lower in the second year in comparison to graduates who got a job during a boom. Nevertheless, the effect should tail off after 5 years.

New Plans of Action

Well. We didn’t want to frighten you even more than you possibly already are. These are just some of the challenges that you might run into during a pandemic, as a master’s graduate. The reality definitely differs from when COVID-19 wasn’t here. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to consider how you deal with this landscape of chaos. 

Firstly, we encourage you to sign up with Excelerate and get the opportunity to find a thesis collaboration and thereby increase your job opportunities after graduation. Moreover, to combine your passion with your thesis. Obviously. No, but really. It’s so essential and helpful if students establish connections with a company before graduating. It’s the easiest way to get access to the labor market. 

Do your research as a master's graduate
Investigate your opportunities. Photo by Fausto Bottini

Secondly, you can make yourself more attractive to companies by working on your CV and your job application very thoroughly. I mean, if you didn’t get to sign up with Excelerate and get a kick-ass thesis collaboration established. Also, do your research properly, meaning that you ought to investigate the “supply and demand” within your planned work sphere. 

Some sectors are not hiring as many master’s graduates as usual due to implemented limitations for survival. So not because of you but because of their business. And that’s how the COVID-19 landscape as a master’s graduate might look like…

Broaden Your Research

Nonetheless, don’t cross your bridges before you get to them. Meaning that you shouldn’t use your time being concerned about something that might happen in the future. Also, don’t self-reject before you even start applying for jobs that’s not gonna be of any help.

However, if you experience difficulty finding your first full-time job you can consider broadening your job search. We’re not encouraging you to apply for jobs you don’t want to have. That’s not what we stand for, and you should definitely hold on to your true passion.

Even so, in case COVID-19 has interfered with your plans regarding job search, making you look for other opportunities that are not entirely connected to your true passion, remember to roll with the punches. You can always revisit your initial goals and passion after trying something different than what you at first expected to work with. Who can tell where the road goes?

After all, passionate students are the future. Always hold on to and never forget what you’re passionate about and good at. A pandemic shouldn’t prevent you from doing that forever.