Delgado, V. (2024). Supporting Immigrant-origin College Students’ Transition to the Workforce: Policy Recommendations for Postsecondary Institutions. Early Career Scholars Program. Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions. University of Wisconsin–Madison, Division of Continuing Studies.
Overview: This research brief provides an overview of findings from research conducted with immigrant-origin Latino/a college graduates. The study sought to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic and immigration related factors shaped this group’s transition from college to the workforce. Longitudinal in-depth interviews were used to explore academic setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, experiences with employment after college, and newfound family responsibilities once in the world of work.
Four findings emerged from the qualitative data. First, the pandemic ruptured postgraduation plans as young adults postponed their graduation dates and/or felt ill-equipped to enter the world of work. Second, young adults experienced prolonged periods of unemployment and often worked in positions unrelated to their field of study. Third, once an entry-level position was acquired, financial obligations to their households substantially increased. Lastly, undocumented young adults expressed fear and uncertainty about their futures as they worried about the termination of DACA. These findings provide insight into how the COVID-19 pandemic, economy, socioeconomic origins, and immigration policies complicate the integration of college educated immigrant-origin Latino/a young adults.
Keywords: Latino/a young adults, COVID-19, immigrants, children of immigrants, college, workforce