Pandemic Aftermath: What’s in Store for 2021 High School Grads

pandemic high school grad
pandemic high school grad

Pandemic Aftermath: What’s in Store for 2021 High School Grads

Your senior year of high school should be unforgettable. And for the class of 2020 it was—but for all the wrong reasons. The pandemic overshadowed their milestone celebration and for many graduates, it also changed the trajectory of their future plans. But what about 2021 graduates? If you’re graduating this spring, you’re probably wondering: What’s next? Or maybe your son or daughter is the graduate. Check out what to expect: 

Stricter College Admissions for 2021 Grads 

Many 2020 high school graduates deferred enrollment into traditional four-year colleges. For some, the uncertainty and need to quarantine made the decision to leave home too difficult. Others may have had to help care for a sick relative or fought COVID-19 themselves, or their families just couldn’t afford the expense at that time.  

While some students may change their college plans after their unintended gap year, others will still plan to attend in 2021. What does that mean for you? There could be fewer seats available at traditional colleges or universities because the 2020 students who deferred their enrollment have already taken them. With fewer seats left to fill, admissions offices will likely offer them to the highest-performing students, which means the path to college is expected to be much more competitive for 2021 grads.  

Employment Opportunities 

During the pandemic, many people served as essential workers. They worked on the frontlines, in places like hospitals, automotive shops, electrician and plumbing companies, restaurants, and grocery stores. Their jobs were made more challenging by the pandemic, but they were employed in steady industries, earned a paycheck, and gained a lot of professional experience.  

Does that make you think that some jobs weather any storm? While others were unemployed, essential workers got to: 

  • Gain professional experience 
  • Avoid employment gaps 
  • Add to their resume 
  • Acquire transferrable knowledge and skills like communication and customer service 

Alternative Paths for 2021 Grads 

There are quite a few jobs that are great options for high school grads right now. Here are some of the top job prospects for 2021 high school grads who may not want to attend a four-year program, according to U.S. News and World Report: 

  • Plumbers 
  • Electricians 
  • Home or personal nurses 
  • Physical therapy assistants 
  • Maintenance and repair workers 


If you want to be a Plumber, Electrician, or if you want to work in healthcare, you’ll need some training, but it won’t take you four years to complete. At Porter and Chester Institute in Connecticut and Massachusetts, we offer a variety of training programs in healthcare and the trades, as well as Computer and Network Technology, Automotive Technology, and Cosmetology. You’ll learn both online and in labs that simulate a real-world setting, from industry professionals who have spent years honing their skills. And you can complete most of our programs in as few as nine to 12 months. If you’re ready to take charge of your future, fill out the form to request more information on our programs.