February 4, 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 Minnesota Medical School
Biomedical Graduate Research, Education & Training (BGREAT)Website
Sharolyn Kawakami-Schulz Ph.D.: COVID-19 has certainly impacted the landscape, but not all of the effects are negative. There is still a level of uncertainty about how exactly things will change, and some sectors that employ our graduates may be impacted more than others. However, on the whole the pandemic has demonstrated how important science and research are, and we expect this to be reflected in the job market. The unemployment rate of scientists has been low, and we expect this trend to continue.
Sharolyn Kawakami-Schulz Ph.D.: As the workforce continues to adapt to restrictions resulting from the pandemic, graduates can expect to find more workplaces discussing hybrid workdays, with a combination of in person and work from home activity. In some sectors, the pandemic has demonstrated that remote work can be a new normal. As graduates work across various sectors and in a variety of types of roles, each person's day will look different. However, flexibility and adaptability will continue to be key skills for success.
Sharolyn Kawakami-Schulz Ph.D.: Graduates who possess certain technical skills should be sure to demonstrate in their job documents how those skills meet the needs of an employer. However, more than any particular technical skill, graduates will need to demonstrate their ability to continue to learn and adapt. Communication skills - written, oral, and to various audiences - will continue to be key in their ability to succeed and do well in all sectors.