Around the world, COVID-19 has put a lot to our test. It has questioned our safety nets, health infrastructures, professional patience, body immunity, and now, definitely and silently our most sought careers. The pandemic has brought forth such a strong wave of displacement that even after nearly eight months of its entry in our lives we’ve not been able to make a lot of sense of its long-term impact in our personal or professional lives.
How will it change our daily lives in the future?
How long and to what extent will we deal with the job losses?
How much will university education change in the long run?
What degree will fetch the kind of jobs we want?
Which country will offer the most opportunities in the post-pandemic world?
And most importantly, will the gap between STEM fields and Humanities widen post-COVID?
Research has shown that STEM majors have been on the rise since the Great Recession. According to reports of Emsi, a labour market analytics firm, in the academic year 2009-10, the number of graduates from STEM degrees were nearly equal to those of Humanities. However, according to the same research, by 2016, STEM majors (bachelor-degree) and above, had grown by 43%, while degrees in the humanities majors had declined by 0.4%. While one would easily assume that the trend must be continuing in the academic years post 2016 and especially in the COVID era, many university leaders are predicting the contrary. Many of them have given statements predicting an increasing demand for arts and humanities degrees in the wake of coronavirus as young people reassess their values and companies require more empathic and analytical thinking at this point in time.