The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Career Preparedness of Chemistry Graduates

Abhishek Ladwa, Dylan P. Williams, Richard A. R. Blackburn


Recent research has established that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a shift in University student expectations of their graduate prospects due to unavoidable changes in their learning experiences during the pandemic, as well as the decrease in number of available jobs because of the economic impact of measures put in place to reduce COVID-19 transmission. This study used a survey to investigate: (a) the impact of the pandemic on student destinations six months after graduation and (b) the variations in perceptions of personal level of career preparedness between pre-pandemic graduates and graduates at different stages of the pandemic (i.e. the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021). 40 University of Leicester chemistry graduates engaged with the survey and analysis of the data revealed a non-statistically significant negative impact on employment six-months after graduation that appears to only affect graduates in 2020. The data also suggests that increased experience of the blended learning approaches adopted at the University of Leicester during the pandemic studies may better prepare graduates for remote working practices (e.g. using remote video conferencing software).


Employability; Careers; Transferable Skills; Chemistry; COVID-19

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