COVID-19: How does it affect your future?
As we are in the middle of a global crisis due to the COVID-19, everyone’s utmost priority should be their safety and that of the people around them. A host of changes that one can expect to see in the coming months or years might feel unfamiliar or unsettling. As a study abroad aspirant, you might be constantly wondering about the impact it will have on your academic plans. Will the Universities remain closed? What will happen to the student VISAs? Should I postpone my study abroad plans? What will happen to my University admissions?
With the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL and IELTS exams getting postponed, millions of students are under a huge dilemma on how to go about with their study abroad plans. This is a crucial time to stay positive and not let anxiety get the better of you. In this blog, we aim to cover :
What is the economic impact of COVID-19?
COVID - 19 has taken a toll on every aspect of human civilization. The virus swept through countries like a wildfire infecting populations at an alarming rate. This forced the hand of the governing authorities to take stringent lockdown measures which impacted several industries. Shutters were pulled down, malls were closed and businesses worldwide lost customers at an alarming rate. With people being encouraged to stay indoors, travel and tourism is unlikely to thrive as well.
According to Flightradar24 the number of daily flights globally is now less than 100,000 which is less than half of what it was in 2019.
Chinese industrial productions are down by 13.5%in the first 2 months of the year according to the China National Bureau of Statistics.
Global shares took a nosedive as investors pulled out and more Americans lost their jobs than they did in half a century. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics more than 6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits.
Economists predict the slowest growth rates for the best economies of the world since the recession of 2009.
The aftermath of the COVID-19 might look disastrous however concerned authorities, governments and think-tanks around the world are already focusing on damage control.
Surely the growth rates will fall short to what was forecasted but the global economy will bounce back as it always has in the past.
How will the world recover from this recession?
Going by history, the global economy will eventually recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, that is what has happened over the past 50 years whenever the global economy is faced with a crisis.
Experts believe that a V-shaped reversal is still possible. Governments all around the world are already committed to strategies they believe will help revive the economy.
Leaders of the G20 pledged over $5 trillion into the global economy to limit job and income losses from the coronavirus. While an economic recession on a global scale might seem inevitable but it won’t be the first time we will be grappling with the same. The entire world was hit by the Great Recession during 2007-2009 which happened because of the collapse of the United States housing bubble. Falling housing-related assets contributed to a global financial crisis which led to the failure or collapse of many of the United States' largest financial institutions. However the government responded with an unprecedented $700 billion bank bailout and $787 billion fiscal stimulus package which helped the country carve its way out of the recession in 2009.
Much like what they did in the past the US government is taking similar measures to counteract the recession.
- The US Senate has passed a $2.2tn emergency relief package, marking the biggest rescue deal of its kind in US history.
- The government is also planning to backstop businesses hit by collapsing consumption because of the low demand.
- As businesses start losing trust in China, it is expected that western countries will start manufacturing their own products without outsourcing to China.
- To facilitate this, cutting-edge automated factories would be set up, the ones that will use advanced robotics and machine learning techniques. This would bring in increased job opportunities in a wide range of sectors, most importantly manufacturing, management and electronics.
But the main question that stands now is how does it all concern you? What does it mean for your future and more importantly where does it leave your plans of higher studies?
Is MS your best bet right now?
Sooner or later this pandemic will cease to be the epicentre of public attention and life will return to normal. Slowly but steadily the number of cases would stagnate and then finally disappear. As the world prepares for economic regrowth, there will be no better time than this to invest in education. This is certainly not the ideal time to hunt for jobs or to initiate a startup, as our country too is an unprecedented situation. All the educational institutions are closed; professionals are expected to work from home at least for the next two months. It will certainly take a year and half to two years for our country’s economy to get back on track.
The ideal thing to do under these circumstances would be to position yourself in a better situation than your peers -- the best way to do so is gain sophisticated knowledge in your field through a Masters degree. As the economy starts to look up the entire world would be in the need of trained professionals. A MS degree will not only help you stand out from the competition but also expose you to better opportunities.
What is the ideal timeline to follow?
With restricted access to the outside world, you will have plenty of time available to be used productively. This makes it one of the best times to prepare for GRE, IELTS, improve your vocabulary and complete online courses that add value to your profile. To prepare thoroughly for GRE, you need only 200 hours of time, which is very well available now. Particularly if you are a student, you will not find time to concentrate on anything else later, as the colleges would be fully focussed on catching up with the delay -- trying to complete the entire semester in a month or two. Make sure that you are significantly better placed than your peers to capture future opportunities. Remember, lost time can never be made up!
Make best use of your time
- Start preparing for GRE, TOEFL & IELTS
- Keep updated on recent exam news (contact GREedge help)
- Build profile for admits by completing online courses
- Begin shortlisting universities (it’s time consuming)
- Get ready to give tests online
What if you already scheduled an exam?
ETS says taking the GRE General Test at home is now available in selected countries where students can take the test at home beginning Friday, March 27. The service is currently unavailable in India, however, ETS has assured that they are working to provide this service to additional locations impacted by COVID-19. Considering the huge number of test-takers in India, one can expect ETS to introduce ‘test at home’ facility pretty soon. For now, all the exams scheduled till April 11 have been postponed.
What should you do next?
Tough times never last. Now more than ever is the time for tough decisions and more importantly, progressive actions. Start preparing for your exams from today and attain a competitive advantage over the contemplating competition. Prepare a foolproof plan of action to make the best of this lockdown period. Prepare a timeline to pursue your MS dreams and set realistic goals you can achieve everyday from inside your home.
Have more doubts?
Do consider getting in touch with our student counselors to get more information and clarity about the current situation.