February 6, 2021
Given the change of course that has happened in the world, we wanted to provide expert opinions on what aspiring graduates can do to start off their careers in an uncertain economic climate. We wanted to know what skills will be more important, where the economy is doing relatively well, and if there will be any lasting effects on the job market.
Companies are looking for candidates that can handle the new responsibilities of the job market. Recent graduates actually have an advantage because they are comfortable using newer technologies and have been communicating virtually their whole lives. They can take what they've learned and apply it immediately.
We spoke to professors and experts from several universities and companies to get their opinions on where the job market for recent graduates is heading, as well as how young graduates entering the industry can be adequately prepared. Here are their thoughts.
University of West Alabama
Department of Business Administration
Janie Gregg: From what I have read, and there are many articles out there from reliable sources, such as in the WSJ and the Chronical, there is a belief that the corona pandemic will have a long-term effect on recent and upcoming graduates. With the pandemic still in full swing, one way they will be impacted is possible work from home jobs will become more prevalent than before, if jobs can be found. So many companies have closed or cut their production due to loss of revenues during the pandemic and that trend is likely to continue, as well. It doesn't seem that the vaccine, at this moment, is doing much more than minimal protection, especially against new mutations of the virus. Until the world can solve or more effectively fight back against the virus, I think this will have an enduring impact.
Janie Gregg: Recent grads will likely be working from home more, if they can find jobs. I am working from home, and the day at work looks a lot like it did on campus, but without interruptions! I had many walk-in students asking for help. Now that has gone to Zoom meetings and more use of FB messenger to allow students (and me) not to feel alienated. Also, there is a disconnect between regular working hours and working many more hours, maybe broken up during the day and night.
Janie Gregg: All technical skills will very likely stand out to employers, especially the ability to communicate using several platforms and programs which are written and verbal, for instance, the ability to produce error-free documents with Word and to use Zoom.