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Janine Perri
Janine Perri
May 04, 2020
3 minute read

College Students Are Continuing On With Their Professional Plans Despite COVID-19

94% of respondents in our recent survey intend to move forward with their professional plans.

College Students Are Continuing On With Their Professional Plans Despite COVID-19

COVID-19 has upended the job search process, especially for those who are newest to the workforce: college students and recent graduates. In April, RippleMatch released a survey of 2,210 college students to learn how COVID-19 has affected their search for full-time jobs and summer internships. It turns out that even in the middle of a pandemic and record levels of unemployment, most college students are not deterred from pursuing their professional plans.

According to the RippleMatch report, 94% of survey respondents intend to move forward with their professional plans, such as starting a new job or continuing their job search. This includes the 56% of college students who are still on the hunt for a job or internship, as well as the 38% who have already secured a position. Unsurprisingly, of the 38% who had secured jobs and internships, only 6% accepted an offer during the COVID-19 outbreak, underscoring the difficulties that current job seekers are facing. The rest of the respondents with a job or internship had accepted their offer prior to COVID-19. 

Interestingly, the proportion of students job-hunting vs. starting a new job varies by industry. Overall, students in business and technical occupations were the most likely to have a job in place. The industries where students were most likely to have already secured a position include finance (73%), consulting (48%), and software engineering (45%). By contrast, 

the fields where students were most likely to still be applying for jobs were marketing & communications (73%), HR/admin (68%), and design (78%). 

Furthermore, RippleMatch found that only 6% of overall respondents stopped their job search entirely in the wake of the coronavirus. However, this percentage also varies by field. For example, 20% of survey respondents pursuing a teaching career paused their job search (which is not surprising, since schools closed nationwide). Conversely, less than 1% of students pursuing manufacturing or finance hit the brakes on their search.

Among all students who are on hiatus from job hunting, more than half (53%) said that they are focusing on online classes and don’t have time or energy to look for jobs. Finally, more than half of the respondents (51%) who paused their search noted that they don’t think companies of interest are hiring right now. That means it’s more important than ever for employers to advertise their open entry-level positions in order to reach talented candidates.

To find out more about how entry-level roles and internships were impacted at the onset of COVID-19, download our Navigating Entry-level Jobs & Internships During COVID-19 report.

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