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Research project

The Impact of Covid-19 on Recent Graduates' Career Decisions and Outcomes

Project overview

The Covid-19 crisis has a potentially profound impact on those entering the labour market, in particular recent graduates, seeking to gain a return on their human capital and access to appropriate forms of employment. Using a mixed methods longitudinal approach, this research investigates how the Covid-19 crisis is experienced across the most recent graduate population, its impacts on their career behaviour and outcomes and which graduates may be most affected.

This project aims to investigate the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on graduates’ immediate and potentially longer-term employment prospects and how they are adapting to this challenge. In addition to providing insight on the effects on recent graduates’ integration into the labour market, including how they draw on different career management behaviours and resources, the study will reveal the differential impacts on a recent cohort of graduates. The study will address whether there are inequities across the graduate population on the effects of this crisis in terms of drawing upon resources which may influence their career decision-making, including social networks and ties, career planning and resilience.

The project aims to inform future policy on facilitating graduates' access to fair and sustainable employment outcomes. A major outcome of the project is the sharing of data with both supporting institutions and the HE practitioner community to enable them to use this as a basis for developing provision. This will enable them to map high-impact policy and practice changes in response to graduates’ experience since the time of the pandemic.


Lead researcher

Professor Michael Tomlinson


Research interests

  • Education, employment and employability
  • Transitions from education to work
  • Career capitals and resources
Connect with Michael

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs

Michael Tomlinson, Florence Reedy & Damon Burg, 2022, Higher Education Quarterly, 77(3), 486-500
Type: article