Sumary of ‘It’s so hard’: how the pandemic upended young people’s career paths:
- Morgan Vella and his friends used to hold high ambitions for what life would look like after graduating high school: leaving their regional Victorian town for university in the city, enjoying a world of busy dormitories, student bars and lecture theatres.
- But two years and seven lockdowns later, the Kyabram P-12 College year 12 student says a lot of his friends have simply “given up” and plan to complete their Victorian College of Education (VCE) certificate without an Atar.
- Year 12 students struggling through extended periods of remote learning are rethinking career paths due to ongoing uncertainty about how the pandemic will continue to disrupt their lives.
- Some students are giving up on plans for university and opting for trade qualifications as the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 take their toll.
- “Prior to the pandemic, I don’t think students were aware of the need to research the job market,” TCD partnerships manager Samantha Devlin says.
- Devlin says a decision by the federal government last year to double university fees for some future arts students to fund cheaper degrees for in-demand courses such as teaching, nursing, maths, science and engineering has “definitely” had an impact.
- The Notre Dame College Shepparton principal, John Cortese, describes completing high school in a pandemic as “meeting all the signposts along the way, then all of a sudden someone’s ripped them out and you have no certainty where you’re going”.
- “For some students, the aspirations they had are gone because they’re not guided anymore, it’s all up in the air,” he says.