“Pandemic graduates” arrive to the labour market. How can they succeed?

Recruiters say their clients take into account more than just one year of school when choosing suitable job candidates.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Unsplash)

This article was published in the Career & Employment Guide 2021, our special annual publication focused on the labour market, human resources and education.

This summer the labour market will see the arrival of many secondary-school graduates who opt not to continue their studies at university.

Similar to students from the previous 2019/2020 school year, they will not face the final school leaving exam, the maturita, before they formally graduate from school and make their way to their first full-time jobs. And, unlike their predecessors whom the pandemic caught in a situation for which they were unprepared but only lasted a few months between March and June, the 2020/2021 cohort of secondary school graduates spent most of their last school year in remote learning. Schools across the country closed amid the rising second pandemic wave in mid-October, and did not re-open until just about two months before the end of the school year.

“It is very difficult to assess what chances these graduates will have,” says Nikola Richterová, PR manager of Profesia, Slovakia’s leading website for job ads. Most of the ads on Profesia require secondary-school graduation, she noted.

Labour market watchers agree that remote learning and the inevitable lack of practical training that it involves, may have a negative impact on secondary school graduates arriving to the market to a certain extent. Much depends on which position a graduate applies for, what they have been doing during their studies and not least on their personality and their drive to train on the job.

“There is no single answer for all types of schools and all employers,” said Robert Chovanculiak, education analyst of the INESS non-governmental think-tank. “The more a school is specialised and practice-focused, the more its graduates will lack the knowledge and skills [they would otherwise have acquired]. Subsequently, employers may show relatively lower interest in these ‘pandemic graduates.’”

Preparation was likely affected

The 2020/2021 graduates did most of their learning in their final year of secondary school from their rooms, learning remotely, which in most cases meant online classes.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Top stories

PM Eduard Heger

Non-vaccinated will not pay for tests for work, school or shops

Hundreds of people protested against the amendment that the parliament passed on Sunday morning.

21 h
Dancers perform in the streets of Trenčín, spotlighting the architecture of the city.

Slovakia will open a new institute, this time in Jerusalem

Culture, sports and travel stories rounded up in one place.

23. júl
The Office of the Public Defender of Rights flies the rainbow flag to mark the Bratislava Pride in 2021.

The pandemic has made it clear that we must stand together

International friends and partners of Slovakia celebrate Bratislava Pride.

24. júl

Bratislava Pride will take place online

It will be streamed on July 24 and accompanied by numerous music performances.

22. júl