A clash of COVID and careers

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

employment applicationA new poll sheds light on what today's high school and post-secondary students think about the coronavirus crisis, as well as how it's affected their plans for the future.

The poll from Young America's Foundation (YAF) and The Federalist involves 1,600 students – half of them in high school, and the other half in college. It was conducted April 24-27.

"More than three quarters of them say that they're okay with the current restrictions and the disruptions in the economy because they are keeping people safe even when those disruptions may harm their own generation," explains Spencer Brown, spokesman for Young America's Foundation.

Among the post-secondary students polled, 29% reported losing their job or having their work hours cut because of the coronavirus pandemic.


"Of that same group, those post-secondary students, 48% … say that they've now changed their post-graduation plans as a result of the pandemic," Brown continues. "I think that is something that has the potential to have real impacts down the road – because if they're now reevaluating their priorities and their life plan, as far as how they're going to go out into the world and begin their career, that can have a real, lasting effect on the next generation."

The poll also found:

  • 30% of students don't feel safe expressing controversial or unpopular opinions in the classroom.
  • Most students approve of their local government's response to coronavirus.
  • Students ranked buying a home and making a lot of money as more important than getting married.
  • Female students, in particular, rated home ownership as a priority.
  • More than three-quarters of students believe closing schools for the remainder of the spring semester was the right call.

According to Brown, having young Americans involved in the polling helps organizations such as his. "We work with students – high school and college – every single day, and so for us to take the stories we hear from students and compare them against this sort of hard, empirical data is very helpful," he tells OneNewsNow.

"It allows us to see what trends that we're hearing about on campuses from our students are symptoms of larger problems; and it obviously helps us to reach students in new and better ways because we know [then] what they're worried about, what they're thinking about it, where they need more information and help."

Brown says it also provides a real opportunity for parents and grandparents to have important conversations with the students in their lives and share what Brown views as "better lessons than they would get in the classroom."


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