As the COVID-19 restrictions forced universities the world over to shift to digital classrooms, many students who are graduating soon feel concerned about their employment prospects.

They apprehend that employers may not prefer those having earned degrees through online education rather attending in physical classrooms.

The online education during the lockdown did not allow the latest crop of graduates to accrue field experience and establish networks necessary to harness employment opportunities.

Asli Gorkem, 23, a recent law graduate lawyer shares the concern that lack of socialization may not allow her professional career to grow.

“Establishing a network is one of the key elements of success in some professions, which is the case with me. I cannot achieve that through online means as face-to-face interaction is everything for a lawyer,” she said.

She said the choice to select from health and employment is giving her nightmares.

“I have found myself in a vicious cycle where I cannot meet people, build a decent network and develop a reputation, which is the most important thing for a fresh graduate like myself,” she said.

Among all sectors, tourism got the maximum hit all over the world during the pandemic due to flight bans and travel restrictions.

Born in the southern city of Antalya in Turkey – often dubbed as the country’s tourism capital – Serhat Adak, 23, had set his goal at a very early age to become a guide for tourists.

When Adak finished education successfully to realize his dream the restrictions dried up tourist traffic.

“Event seasoned guides had a hard time finding jobs this year because of the outbreak. I was only able to find some occasional opportunities. Finding a job in this sector is now more difficult than ever,” he said.

In 2020, Turkey hosted just 15.9 million foreign tourists, much less than 2019 when it welcomed 51.7 million foreign visitors, according to the statistics released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

“I cannot imagine a worse time to be a [tourism] graduate at a time when there is a much smaller number of tourists,” he said.

The young graduates hope that vaccination efforts worldwide succeed to overcome the pandemic and return everything to normal.

The country launched online courses for all grades shortly after the outbreak in a bid to curb the spread of the virus; this week, the Council of Higher Education asked the opinion of the Health Ministry about the future of face-to-face/remote education and coming days might lead to shifting in Turkey’s education approach amidst the outbreak.

Turkey has so far reported more than 2.5 million COVID-19 cases; nearly 26,467 deaths and 2.4 million recoveries.

The pandemic has so far claimed more than 2.28 million lives in 192 countries and regions since it emerged in December 2019, according to the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

More than 104.8 million cases and over 58.29 million recoveries have been reported worldwide.

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