More than one billion of the world's student population is still facing pandemic's challenges, UNESCO reports. In the UK, for example, studies revealed that one in every five high school graduates was considering to change their autumn plans - students now show growing interest in gap year activities, temporary employment, and staying closer to home. In the United States, on the other hand, volunteering and short online courses are considered as good alternative options for the autumn semester.

Post-pandemic trends among high school graduates are getting more noticeable in Lithuania as well - according to the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, 40% more students have enrolled in vocational education instead of universities, compared to last year, "CodeAcademy" writes in a press release.

"In the midst of the unknown, well-focused, fast and goal-oriented studies become a strong source of support for a young person's future," says Šarūnas Dignaitis, "CodeAcademy" community manager. According to him, it is now crucial to carefully weigh all the options: “The decision to acquire knowledge quickly and efficiently is especially useful in this post-pandemic year. It allows students not only to cultivate the desired competencies but also, if necessary, to successfully re-qualify or give it a try in a new field.”

As the need for IT professionals grows despite the pandemic, prospective students are actively showing interest in IT studies and alternative ways to acquire knowledge and skills.

According to Dignaitis, the interest in the fall semester of coding has remained high despite the new circumstances. The most frequently asked question, however, is about how the studies would be held in case of the second coronavirus wave. “Our experience shows that it is rather important to the future IT specialists to experience the peculiarities of remote working, thus we are ready to move from face-to-face format to online learning in just a couple of days. Students can be assured they will complete IT studies on time and will be able to stand out with strong IT skills in the labor market.”

"CodeAcademy" students are already rounding up last year's IT courses in the virtual space. This year, since a number of inquiries were received from all over Lithuania and even from abroad, the academy plans to offer both in-classroom studies and virtual groups. With the ever-growing trend of large technology companies hiring remote professionals, virtual studies will also be a great way for students to prepare for the popular nature of IT work.

The tendencies for short high-quality studies started emerging even before the pandemic, when vocational education and continuous professional development through intense courses became increasingly valuable in comparison to the traditional education.

"High school graduates will be deciding now about their fall semester," says the "CodeAcademy" representative. "The new reality of studies is certainly not without its challenges, so it is necessary to show young people that even in this situation, they can obtain the desired value of education and while not missing out on student life."