Students' Perspectives on Future Employment: A Qualitative Study on Indonesian Higher Education Institutions during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Muhammad Haekal, Ahmad Arief Muttaqien, Ainal Fitri


This study aims to determine how undergraduate students at Indonesian higher education institutions think about future jobs associated with aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in precariat work. It involved twenty students from two public universities located in Aceh, Indonesia. Online in-depth interviews were used as the data collection methods. Additionally, Snyder’s hope theory was utilised as a theoretical framework for this qualitative study. The theory would be useful in understanding the students’ insights related to the precarity of the future job, especially in the aspect of goals, pathway, and agency. The study found that despite having a lack of visualisation towards the future, the undergraduate students generally believed that COVID-19 and precarious working arrangements were serious challenges towards future employment. Academic achievements such as high grades might not be sufficient unless supplemented by substantial organisational skills, vast networking, and a resilient entrepreneurial mentality. This study also underlined the vital role of higher education institutions in strategically preparing their students to face the unpredictability and precariousness of the future job marketplace.


COVID-19, educational leadership, employment, higher education, undergraduate student

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