November 13, 2020
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.
Russ Leighton: The outlook for U.S. Airlines in a post-pandemic economy is still unknown. Right now, it is likely that thousands of pilots will be furloughed as most U.S. carriers have drastically cutback operations, especially internationally. This will make applying for the very few job opportunities that do exist extremely competitive. Candidates with more flight experience and bachelor's degrees will have a better likelihood of success. Military pilots and civilian pilots with aviation degrees will have the best chances of success.
Russ Leighton: The cargo airline sector is the least affected by the pandemic, so far. In fact, they have gained business during this time period. Entry-level pilot jobs at small cargo airlines will be today's graduate's best opportunities to break into the professional pilot career. Large cargo airlines like UPS, FedEx, DHL, and Amazon will become the more sought-after, long-term careers due to the stability they offer.
Russ Leighton: The largest impact technology may have on the pilot profession during the next five years will be an increase in using drones for jobs that were typically performed by manned aircraft. It is still unclear how well drones will perform small air transport missions and how much infrastructure must be in place for this to be successful.