Study abroad enchantment: Courses that foretell a bright future for your child despite the COVID-19 disruption

COVID-19 By Sharad Somani January 20, 2021

The pandemic has upended student aspirations across the globe. But at the same time, the challenges experienced during this period – socially, medically, technologically, financially – have highlighted several areas that need a radical transformation.

Students must know that several new and advanced professional skills would soon be in demand to fill these gaps. International universities are moulding their curricula to suit a post-pandemic job market. Choosing the right course can make all the difference to your child’s career prospects in the post-COVID world.

Apart from healthcare and AI, sectors like education, communications, and social work will witness a surge in demand for skilled professionals. Read on to know about some courses that can promise your child a bright future:

  1. Healthcare

Diagnostics, bioinformatics, public health, and hospital administration are some areas that have been witnessing a steady growth. Interdisciplinary fields that leverage computation methods like statistics and programming in bioinformatics are likely to gain prominence.

Universities like Queen Mary University of London in the UK have been adapting to the challenges of COVID-19 to prepare for the new academic year. They have introduced innovative, blended learning in the bioinformatics space.

Cardiff University, one of the leading healthcare research departments in the UK, is offering a variety of undergraduate courses for students in healthcare sciences, medicine, and public health this year.

An MSc in Bioinformatics from Imperial College London could help your child get established in this field. The university plans to increase on-campus teaching and research activities as the year rolls.

  1. Data science and AI

Several global recruiters will be looking for AI professionals to help companies adjust to the new normal. The World Economic Forum has said that AI and related digital technologies are set to generate huge opportunities since both ‘digital’, and ‘human’ skills will become critical to organisations in the years to come. This year, the demand will increase by 16% in data analytics and AI, according to WEF.

From 2020, there will be a surge in job opportunities for data engineers, data analysts, data scientists, and engineers versed in machine learning and AI. Some companies are beginning to collaborate with educational institutions to source skilled professionals. For instance, the MSc course in Data Science for Business at the University of Stirling has been facilitated by a collaboration between data management and analytics firm SAS and HSBC and the Data Lab.

The Masters in Data Science at the London School of Economics gives greater weightage to statistical perspectives, allowing students a thorough grounding in theory, along with technical as well as practical data science skills.

James Pitman, Managing Director of Study Group and the Chair of Exporting Education UK, recently said that reintroducing post-study work rights will encourage Indian students in the UK to obtain a world-class education. The new Graduate Immigration Route will give a great start to student careers by providing them with opportunities to work while studying and even after graduating.

  1. Supply chain management

Shortage of personal protective equipment, grocery items, and electronics have impacted the global supply chain, across different sectors, in varied ways. The existing ecosystem will have to implement new standard operating procedures to manage the supply chain using the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, and machine learning. These methods will help supply chain managers gain insight into their markets, as well as supply and demand trends, and innovate accordingly.

Nehemiah Scott, director of the supply chain management program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, told the media that the university put together a new online course titled, Managing Supply Chain Disruption During COVID-19 alongside its regular courses to adapt to a changing reality.

  1. Education

The face of education has changed overnight. Educators must now adapt to new learning methodologies and the use of Augmented Reality and AI. Universities like Harvard are already offering Higher Education Teaching Certificates that train students in alternative teaching strategies like storytelling. These courses also teach students how to design comprehensive curricula and implement active learning techniques and effective classroom design. These skills will be invaluable in securing good jobs in a post-pandemic world.

  1. Social work

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of social workers. Frontline social workers have become the new-age heroes since they are helping people deal with financial instability, emotional insecurity, and physical problems – even at the cost of their safety. The demand for skilled social work professionals has increased exponentially in hospitals, schools, and offices across the globe. Courses like a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Gwynedd Mercy University, Pennsylvania or the Graduate School of Social Work in the US are considering these factors while designing their syllabi.

  1. Communications

With face-to-face communication giving way to virtual interactions over video calls, emails, and social media, communications professionals will play a significant role in the future. While Cornell University is offering a course in Interpersonal Communications skills, Wayne State University’s course in Crisis Communication is based on a modified curriculum to adapt students to the new requirements in this sector. Educationists also believe that the WHO’s Risk Communication Learning course could soon be adopted by educational institutes looking to expand their programmes for communications during pandemics and other health emergencies.

Helping your child prepare for the right vocation is the prudent way ahead. And it all starts with your child choosing the right course in the right international university. You can assuage their financial anxieties of being able to sustain themselves in a foreign land in these uncertain times. Western Union allows easy  online registration and convenient outbound money transfers, so your child can tide over any financial emergency as they settle down in a new country, classroom, and life.