Future student outlooks on employment in a post pandemic word

On 31 August 2020, Dr Tracey Dodd and Sascha Tarasenko from the Adelaide Business School presented to year 10 Mary Mackillop College students as part of careers week.

Normally, students would have an excursion to the North Terrace campus to see our facilities, but COVID-19 has disrupted these plans, and many others. However, students were still able to access a fast-paced, interactive workshop through this year’s virtual experience offering.

During the workshop, Dr Dodd and Ms Tarasenko shared insights on career opportunities in the Project Management profession and were delighted to hear the students’ views about career opportunities in the future, including support that employers and higher education can provide to assist the next generation of future leaders. We share the key feedback from the group activity, provided below.

COVID-19 impacts on student perceptions about career opportunities

COVID-19 had not significantly impaired students’ views or career aspirations, however, they do feel that the current economic and social challenges that COVID-19 presents may make it harder to gain employment. Students are still really interested in higher education, with the 40 students who participated in the session planning to attend University. 

Improving career readiness and future employment opportunities

Students highlighted that COVID-19 has increased employers’ focus on work place safety and felt that this should stay post-COVID-19. At least 15 of the students who participated in the session had a part time job, with many of these students having the opportunity to act in leadership roles through supervision. 

Students appreciated the customer service skills that they are gaining through their part time employment and expressed interest in opportunities to engage with further training to maintain positive engagement with challenging customers, as well as continued leadership opportunities. Students also expressed demand for an increased focus on flexibility in the workplace. 

Bold ideas and the bigger picture; the changes that could be implemented through education policy

Students expressed strong desire for practical training options and courses that could be offered during school times through SACE credits. They felt that this would support their future employment opportunities. The students felt that such an approach could support them to translate their skills and education into workplace ready skills for example, Microsoft excel training, how to write formal emails.

By Sascha Tarasenko

The Adelaide Business School provides opportunities for high school students to experience our campus and gain a taste of our world-class education offerings. Schools who are interested can find out more information about our programs through Future Leaders and Shark Tank eSchool.

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