More Than Half Of Global College Students Reconsidering Career Path

Some 56% of college students are reconsidering their career paths amid the global Coronavirus pandemic. That’s one of many changes the pandemic has had on current college students, according to Pearson’s 2021 Global Learner Survey. Specifically, the survey reveals students are more interested in science and healthcare fields or starting their own business. Of those to respond, 45% have been “inspired by the pandemic” to start a career in healthcare or science. And 53% report a new interest in starting their own business.

The pandemic has also apparently changed college students’ valuation of their college education with 68% saying they see more value in their college education now than ever before. And 72% report feeling a new urgency to finish their education.

The report comes on the heels of a similar report that found 42% of 1,250 surveyed high school students beginning college this fall say the pandemic has impacted their college major choice.


The survey reveals college students — and parents of school-aged students — believe students have become more empathetic since the start of the pandemic. Of the more than 4,000 parents surveyed, 83% believe their child is more aware of the hardships of others. And 85% of the college students polled reported gaining a new appreciation of the struggles of others. Two-thirds of college students say they have become more interested in social issues.

Parents and college students also believe they’ve become stronger and smarter, according to the report. Some 69% of college students say they’ve grown as a person, having gained “self-motivation, adaptability, and emotional resiliency.” And 80% of the college students say they believe the pandemic has made their generation more resilient.

The Global Learner Survey was conducted between April 28 and May 12, 2021 and included a sample of around 4,000 parents of children aged 11 to 17 and 2,000 college students based in China, Brazil, the U.K., and the U.S. The entire report can be found here.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.