The fall 2020 semester is fast approaching and the uncertainty heavily looms over higher education institutions around the world. According to The Chronicle, there are seven different types of reopening plans for nearly 3,000 institutions across the United States. Davidson College’s College Crisis Initiative (C2i)’s research indicated that 25% of institutions will be primarily online, 14% of institutions will be hybrid, 21% will be primarily in person, and 26% of institutions are still undecided for their fall reopening plans. This uncertainty affects all parties involved from faculty to the staff as well as the students.
Many institutions have already started seeing the impact of COVID-19 on enrollment. McKinsey and Company reported that “nearly half of high school seniors in the United States are likely to defer enrollment or look for a different institution if faced with remote learning this fall” and “50 to 70 percent of college students expect tuition discounts if online lectures are the new normal in the approaching semester.” Institutions are now tasked with having to reassure students of what they can provide while still trying to make plans with so much that’s unknown.
The reassurance that students are looking for is to see higher education institutions investing in career services in the era of remote learning. “I’m definitely worried about the impact online classes will have on career services,” Aseem Saxena, a machine learning engineer at Panasonic, said when explaining his reasoning for forgoing his master’s degree in the fall, “The university where I got my undergraduate degree had a great program where students got to work on relevant projects, through a partnership between the university and industry. I’d like to see some version of that now.” Institutions may find that providing online career services will be what makes them competitive in the virtual world.
To address these concerns, Symplicity recently launched its new Virtual Career Fair offering, currently available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic. Our aim is to empower students and employers with a modern, fully virtual platform for students to find opportunities and for universities to continue the career readiness experience—whether a campus is open, hybrid, or fully online. The announcement came earlier this month and Virtual Career Fair is already the foundation of many clients plans for the fall. The best part is that this offering is available to everyone—even if an institution is not a current Symplicity partner.