“Entry level tech jobs have vanished thanks to COVID”

I’m a masters student at one of the top universities in the U.K. and am studying computer science. This year, it seems that entry level jobs in technology have almost disappeared. 

I’m one of the lucky ones: I completed an internship last summer and I already have a full time job lined up with the technology division of a U.S. investment bank, starting in 2021. But I’m one of the only students in my circle of six friends from the course who actually has a job to go. The internal college forum is full of final year computing students complaining that they’re are stuck in a cycle of applying for jobs and hearing nothing back. It’s causing them a lot of stress: these are top students with excellent grades.

It seems that the pandemic is to blame. Start-ups that might previously have hired graduates are suddenly preoccupied with trying to secure funding. I know several people who were planning to join start-ups, but who had offers cancelled at the last moment. They’re now looking for alternatives. Meanwhile, there are rumours floating around that Google hired hardly any grads in London this summer. If true, that might be making matters worse. 

Some of the problems finding graduate technology jobs in London this year might also be because of Brexit. Friends of mine have said there seem to be more interviews happening in Europe than usual: one of my course colleagues has been interviewing for machine learning jobs in Switzerland because he’s had so little success here. 

Banks could do well out of this. Other students look at me and they see that I have peace of mind and the security of a stable offer from a company that’s not suddenly going to change its mind. This could make a huge difference in the next recruiting round as students who might otherwise have applied to tech firms and start-ups will apply to banks instead. It’s bad news, though, for people who genuinely wanted tech jobs in banks as the competition – which was high even before the pandemic – will be higher still in 2021.

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