April 13, 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.
Janet Alder Ph.D.: The soft skills all graduates should possess in order to be successful are communication, teamwork, and leadership skills. Specially, they need to be able to explain their research and communicate about their project with non-technical people rather than just other scientists. Furthermore, although academic research has become more collaborative over the past decade, graduate students typically have ownership of their thesis project whereas in industry they will need to be working with many others on a team in order to move a product from bench to bedside. Finally, it is important to be able to inspire and motivate others to work toward a common goal in industry so leadership qualities make an individual stand out.