The basics
Study abroad : Career Prospects

Finding work in the time of coronavirus

Find out which industries are still hiring amid the coronavirus pandemic with our guide on finding work as an international student or graduate.

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Needless to say, the coronavirus pandemic has impacted many jobs and businesses around the world, causing unemployment and financial concerns for many people. The knock-on effect for international students is the potential loss of a part-time job or the fear of not finding work after graduation. Some countries have been more flexible around international student rights and are granting access to hardship funding, others have been less accommodating.

 

While these are challenging times, there are still opportunities for work no matter where you are, you just need to know where to look.

 

How do I find graduate jobs?

Of course, not all industries are suffering in the same way due to coronavirus. In fact, some are actually seeing more interest in their services as a result of the pandemic. So where exactly should you be looking for jobs and which sectors are experiencing growth amid coronavirus?

 

1) Online teaching

Whether you’re in your first year of university or your last, you already have the ability to tutor others with your existing qualifications. As schools close and parents are required to balance work and family life, home tutoring could be a lucrative option for you at this time. If you speak another language, you are in a particularly fortunate position as lockdown is encouraging people to improve their language skills from home. This type of experience would look great on your CV, putting you in a good position when the job market does improve, and you’ll be able to talk about what you were doing in lockdown which employers will value.

 

2) Start-ups

While many established and well-known companies will feel the sting of coronavirus on their finances, it is reported that start-ups are still hiring amid coronavirus. According to Forbes, a database was created, which outlines 180 start-up ventures with employment openings. In addition, the UK government has also chosen to help British tech start-ups with a GBP 1.25 billion support package. Similar investments have also been made in Germany and France to support these types of businesses in particular.

 

3) Online exam supervision

As exams and lectures move online because of closed university campuses, there has been a surge in demand for online exam invigilators. As universities will now require more of these services, this is an area that will be looking to increase its capacity, providing opportunities for employment.

 

4) Food preparation and delivery services

As governments advise people to stay indoors to prevent the spread of coronavirus, some people are struggling to get access to food and other essentials. In particular, vulnerable people who have been advised to remain home at all times. This has resulted in high volumes of online food deliveries, which is putting a strain on existing resources for supermarkets. For example, the UK supermarket chain, Tesco, has hired 45,000 additional employees in just two weeks to cope with all of these bookings.

 

Similarly, takeaway delivery services such as Deliveroo and Just Eat are also still seeing demand, particularly with the new contact-free delivery option, ensuring customers and staff are kept safe. What’s more, this type of work is accessible to many as you don’t need to have a drivers’ license or heaps of experience, just a trusty bike and a good work ethic.

 

5) Warehouse assistants

Amazon has announced that it is looking to recruit 100,000 new employees to work in its warehouses to cope with the influx of orders. Now that many stores are closed, people are turning to online shopping. Popular items include hammocks and footballs as people prepare for a summer in lockdown. While this might not be the job you imagined having at this moment in time, it’s still great experience and would provide you with an income at a time when the job market is taking a hit.  However, make sure you are provided with personal protective equipment as you will be working alongside other people.

 

Where can I find resources and support?

Much will depend on where you are studying at the moment or where you intend to work. Different study and work destinations have developed various resources and programmes.

 

Students in Germany

You can find links to job boards for part-time work in Germany on websites such as DAAD.

 

Students in Canada

International students currently in Canada are permitted to apply for the Canadian emergency response benefit, providing a temporary income of CAD 500 a week for up to 16 weeks. This funding will be available to students who have involuntarily lost/quit their job because of coronavirus.

 

Students in New Zealand

The New Zealand government is allowing international students to benefit from its wage subsidy scheme. This programme will allocate between NZD 8 billion and NZD 12 billion to businesses, allowing them to pay their employees amid coronavirus.

 

Students in the UK

If you’re looking for work in the UK, there are many helpful job sites including Targetjobs where you can search for internships, training programmes and other forms of employment.

 

Students in Australia

International students in Australia can sign up to the Victorian Government website to get access employment opportunities. Make sure you also check what resources are available to you through your university. They usually have a careers portal or links to relevant job boards on their website.

 

Don’t forget that you can also read about why employers look favourably at international graduates and get to grips with your rights when interning or working abroad. Do you have more questions about how coronavirus is affecting student life? Why not take a look at our FAQs