September 9, 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.
Pennsylvania State University
SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill
Georgia Southern University
Louisiana Tech University
University of Maine at Presque Isle
State University of New York at Oswego
Columbus State University
California State University
The UniGroup Companies
St. Norbert College
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
Lewis-Clark State College
Seminole State College of Florida
Oral Roberts University
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
The Rev. Dr. George LaMaster: One entry-level position in communication is not like all the others. I recommend that job candidates start with the expectations in the job advertisement. Study them. Then, tailor the resume to highlight how your experiences match their expectations. Lists of "skills" mean very little unless they're substantiated with education or work experience.
The Rev. Dr. George LaMaster: I prefer "leadership skills" to "soft skills." One of the most common answers here is "communication skills," which can mean many different things. Often, whether they know it or not, the most critical leadership skill is emotional intelligence: an awareness of self and others. Related skills include listening and conflict transformation.
The Rev. Dr. George LaMaster: The most important technical skill is the proven ability to learn new technical skills. Sure, some positions may require proficiency with particular software. However, better is the experience of working on a project where you had to select the technology, learn it, and evaluate its usefulness for future work.
The Rev. Dr. George LaMaster: If a student asked me that question, I'd say it's the wrong question. Here are some better questions: "Who do you want to help? What problem do you want to solve? How do you want to make a difference?"
The short answer, though, is knowing yourself and networking. Most people will earn more by changing jobs. The skills that help navigate those transitions are the ones that will shape a career.
Pennsylvania State University
Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications
Dr. Bu Zhong Ph.D.: Content curation - Selecting content from social media and news reports and reorganize it by providing added value, and then share it with different audiences (e.g., your bosses, colleagues, customers, or social media followers, depending on the purposes of content curation). The key is providing added values to the selected content, rather than simply sharing it like regular social media users.
Dr. Bu Zhong Ph.D.: Social media analytics - obtain and uncover insights by analyzing information circulated on social media platforms.
Dr. Bu Zhong Ph.D.: Data analyzing - learning some basics about statistics and using the skills to process data created by citizens, institutes, or governments.
Dr. Bu Zhong Ph.D.: I expect each of the above soft skills to add $3000-$6000 to the annual salary for the first year or two. The number can go higher after a graduate has worked for over 3 years as a communication professional.
SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill
Department of Liberal Studies
Dr. Douglas MacLeod: Although communication skills in high schools and colleges are somehow considered "soft" by some, the fact is the ability to be able to speak effectively, whether orally or through some form of visual media, is never going to go out of style. All graduates, traditional or non-traditional, will need to hone their ability to speak to another person.
And, with what is inevitably going to become a post-COVID world, it seems to be more critical than ever that students take seriously the technologies that are now prevalent and imperative to our ability to connect...Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, even OK, old-fashioned e-mail, we need to build up a better understanding of how these new modes of dialogue can be used in our personal lives and our professional ones.
These are skills that don't come easily, as many seem to believe. Yes, some have a natural ability to converse, and some are very tech-savvy; but most need to be taught those skills, and those students who need to be trained must be open-minded to learn and open-eared to listen.
Dr. Douglas MacLeod: This question about the work opportunities is problematic because, with COVID, the disease has changed our entire world's dynamics. With that said, I would say that the internet is filled with many sites that will provide you with job opportunities in whatever field you wish to be in; marketing, public relations, communications, broadcasting, graphic design, etc.
You must search, do your research, know what you want, and know what you can do; a job doesn't come easily. I would say make sure when you are in college to get your degree, speak to your professors, find internships in your area, make sure you are in a school that has something like our Communication program at SUNY Cobleskill that has internship possibilities...even if they don't pay, the experience is going to be most helpful to you. If you cannot find a job in your area, you should be willing to move or travel; from my perspective, a job opportunity is a job opportunity.
Of course, if there is something personal in your life that you cannot get away from, you would have to think about your options, but if you need a job and nothing is tying you to your current home, then take the risk...no risk, no reward. Why college is so important is that it gives you the education and contacts you need to move you forward into the professional world quickly.
Dr. Douglas MacLeod: As far as where we will be in five years, technologically, we have been thrust into the future in 2020 due to COVID. I think we were moving slowly but surely to the models we see now: shop from home, work from home, learn from home. Much of what we will see in the next five years will be similar to what we are witnessing now, whether we like it or not, but I think it will happen at a much faster pace. So, the question is not so much about where the technologies are going to be...the question is: Are we going to rapidly learn how to use those technologies so we can keep up with the market the way it is going?
We can longer depend on the traditional methods of communicating and working. Yes, we must learn the contexts, the histories, the old-fashioned ways; but, that is what should fuel students and graduates to look at what the job market is going to look like when they move on into the professional world. College is meant to expose you to both; SUNY Cobleskill's Communication program, for example, provides you with an interdisciplinary experience that gives you a sense of what was, what is, and what will be in the way of visual communication...writing, production, and theory/history.
We provide you with the skills you will need once you step out in the job market--whether in broadcasting, journalism, marketing, advertising, publishing, or fields outside of the discipline, like education, law, and sales. So, the long and short of it is not so much about the technologies leading the charge; it is about how students and graduates can continuously acclimate to those changes that will make all the difference.
Georgia Southern University
Department of Communication Arts
Dr. Pamela Bourland-Davis: I think organizations are especially interested in students who would contribute to conversations and decisions on diversity, equity, and inclusion. For example, I see articles where the number of diversity officers is increasing, which suggests organizations are trying to be more sensitive to the potential impact of decisions.
I also see organizations reflecting on the pandemic, to the extent that, for example, film production units have assigned individuals to oversee safety issues related to preventing the spread of COVID-19.
One of our recent graduates just completed her training online for a new position she accepted, so all of our students need to be prepared to "work from home" or "work from anywhere." The students may not realize the relevance of managing their coursework right now through in-person, Zoom meetings, and some work submitted online. That is how the world of work is shaping up, so I'm hoping the students will maximize their experience to sell their work.
Dr. Pamela Bourland-Davis: We all know technology changes, so the best thing for our students is learning multiple programs, cameras, lighting, etc. so that they can adapt. Zoom has meant meetings can occur anywhere, offering flexibility. In contrast, the theatre has adopted programs that allow the actors to talk with/over each other, so I would anticipate options that provide features unique to particular groups to continue to increase. And while many will want to meet in person again when we can, the adaptability of Zoom meetings will allow even easier global and international conferences to occur.
Dr. Pamela Bourland-Davis: There will be a demand for students with expertise in communication, regardless of which particular degree. Students within some majors, such as multimedia journalism, may need to be more entrepreneurial initially. We're already seeing many students getting this kind of experience with their social media accounts or testing out new approaches in student media. They also have many opportunities to learn about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives on campus or through Study Abroad programs, allowing them to move into leadership opportunities in the future quickly.
Dr. Judith Roberts: Young graduates will need a variety of skills that were not required ten or even five years ago. Ten years ago, they needed to know how to take pictures, layout pages, edit copy, write stories, of course, and work on deadlines. Five years ago, they needed to know how to take video on the fly, upload it remotely, and write a corresponding story. Now, they need to do all that and update concisely and quickly to many social media outlets have a shockingly accurate knowledge of media literacy and immediate wisdom in source verification. We're asking our media to accomplish; our graduates today have to be prepared to take any information, verify it, condense it, and publish it on multiple platforms.
Dr. Judith Roberts: Communication and journalism are needed everywhere, from rural once-a-week papers to a 24/7 online media outlet. One of the best things our graduates have going for them is that they can live anywhere -- they have the option of writing for so many different venues. Journalism and communication aren't going away. They're just expanding.
Dr. Judith Roberts: When I was getting my undergrad in journalism, people kept telling me, "Journalism is a dying field." It is not. That's the furthest thing from the truth. We have journalism on so many different levels, with so many other outlets. My students today do so much more than I did as an undergrad, but it's so much more fun. Learning new technologies and telling people's stories with social media and film and pictures and writing is the heart of journalism. We're just telling stories in new ways, and that is fascinating to see unfold.
Jacqueline Hansen: Of course, this depends on the specific job opportunity, yet here are eye-catchers for me:
-Creative solutions to problems/challenges faced with results noted (whether at a job or school)
-Internships within the field or for a nonprofit organization that one is passionate about
-Certifications, aside from degrees (lifeguard to marketing analytics)
Jacqueline Hansen: Without a doubt, skills that would be required in their dream job. I often tell my students in college that they are here not only to earn a degree but also to get a job. Dream big, think big. Gap years should not be about putting all on hold, but about defining where one wants to be and reflect on how to get there. Think now about what job you would love to do, research it via career sites, note the skills employers are looking for, and build your portfolio with those skills. How? Seek certification programs or take the time to polish your skill set in the business arena. Example:
if one wants to be a Social Media Coordinator, then polish those skills on a business level. Offer to take over or even create an Instagram page for a local small business (they need our help, especially during the pandemic).
Jacqueline Hansen: Mobile devices will reinvent themselves to meet virtual working methods better. We all can manage to get by, but it is still challenging to meet all business needs from a smartphone beyond the conversation. Additionally, you have to love wearable technology; that too will only get better, giving Alexa a run for her money.
Jacqui Lowman Ph.D.: I think that something that stands out are the experiences outside the classroom. These would include internships, practicums, fieldwork, experiential learning. There is great value in being able to apply this knowledge.
Jacqui Lowman Ph.D.: If people need to take gap years, I would recommend that they continue to work on their communication skills. Read and write/create content for a wide range of audiences. Continue to learn and use technology. Look for opportunities to demonstrate leadership. And work on self-confidence. Volunteering for nonprofits that could use their help would be excellent. Those are great on resumes, will build skills, and the students will feel amazing helping others with their skills.
Jacqui Lowman Ph.D.: I can't give you the name of a particular technology that would have staying power. I'm surprised that email is still actively used. I always tell my students that I am not trying to tie them to any particular form of technology--that would be foolish, since the tech changes so quickly. I want them not to learn a way of tech but to develop confidence that they can adapt and adjust to anything, including life.
Michael Riecke: Finding a job is a full-time job. The communication and media industries are highly competitive. As students prepare to become graduates and enter the job market, they should be cultivating their professional network and building relationships, using resources at their college or university to develop a resume appropriate to their discipline, and seeking every experience and opportunity to expand and improve skill-sets critical to their chosen career path.
Getting the job you want takes work and initiative. Passively submitting resumes on websites likely won't get you far.
Michael Riecke: I can't predict if we'll see a significant piece of hardware significantly disrupt our industry in the next 3-5 years. Still, it is increasingly vital students can analyze and synthesize social and web analytics. The media industry is so fragmented, finding an audience is an incredible challenge. The ability to process data and take action on the data can drive results.
There's also a growing need for every communicator to have some experience producing video and visual media. I see that need increasing as employers look for employees who can do it all.
Michael Riecke: Starting salaries in the field of media and communication are generally lower than most entry-level professional positions. It's partially a matter of supply and demand. I think young professionals perceive media and communication careers as more glamorous and exciting than other paths. As a result, employers often find themselves with plenty of resumes to sift through. As you advance through your career, you can expect moderate to substantial salary growth.
They may not openly admit it, but many employers see the first job as a test of who has the stamina, talent, and passion for succeeding. If a new employee puts in the effort, doesn't balk at long hours, and gets the job done well without a sizeable financial reward, it's generally interpreted by the employer as a sign of commitment. That display of commitment typically gets rewarded.
Columbus State University
Department of Communication
Dr. Sarah Smith-Frigerio: In Public Relations-and Communication more broadly-strong verbal and written communication skills remain the most important skills young professionals need as they enter the workforce. I always recommend that students focus on honing their writing skills across multiple platforms as they work to complete their degree programs. Flexibility, problem-solving, and decision-making skills become increasingly important as young professionals advance in their careers.
Dr. Sarah Smith-Frigerio: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Public Relations is a field where job growth exceeds the national average for job growth across all sectors. Young professionals in Public Relations can work in various industries (government, healthcare, business, media, social services, etc.). Finally, young professionals can find employment in different organizational types, from large corporate communication teams to boutique firms to non-profits. There are many opportunities across the U.S. for Public Relations and Communication graduates.
Dr. Sarah Smith-Frigerio: This is an excellent question! I believe we're getting a glimpse of this right now. We always strive to train our students to leverage existing digital platforms effectively and to be able to leverage any new technology developed in the future. With the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, we've seen many organizations need to quickly shift to remote work and focus on digital platforms over more traditional media channels. We've also seen Communication and Public Relations professionals need to effectively communicate with stakeholders about health and safety measures, changes to operations, and more. I suspect this will continue for the foreseeable future. Many industries will continue to incorporate remote work, remote collaboration, and a digital platform focus over the next five years.
California State University
Department of Communication Studies
Sakilé Camara Ph.D.: I think the pandemic has impacted everyone, and so graduates in the field of communication are no different than graduates in other fields. However, the pandemic is an opportunity for students to start thinking about their future careers and life trajectories. Graduates must think about what steps they will need to take to get noticed on the job, how they will need to stand out as unique people, and to be proactive in their search for employment.
Sakilé Camara Ph.D.: What is a good place? Geographically, every place on earth has been impacted; every organization has made changes to its infrastructure or have closed their doors for business. The question is not "what good places can graduate find work in the field?" Every place is a good place. The question should be, "how do graduates reinvent themselves to fit into what might become the new normal?" The answer lies with the student.
Sakilé Camara Ph.D.: Technology is not new to the field of Communication Studies. We study technology from critical, social, and rhetorical perspectives. Technology has impacted the world and every field. However, I don't think we actually expected how much of the human connection we would miss when social distancing limited our contact. Texting wasn't enough. Emails, skype, and zoom have all become modes of information overload. We needed human contact.
Humans are stimulotropic, which means we need stimulation to grow in much the same way that plants need light to grow (heliotropic). Apparently, technology is not the panacea of all things, and it isn't our enemy either. How we communicate effectively and efficiently through technology will be key. How we access resources will be important. How we value relationships from this point forward will make a difference in our social world. Technology will have its place, and so will human interaction.
Megan Piechowski: Experiences are critical to an individual's success, growth, and development. We frequently see students or recent graduates leave jobs off their resume because they don't think it aligns with their professional career goals. A summer internship at an industry-leading company is an excellent experience and will catch the hiring manager's attention. Working a customer service position part-time during the school year also shows you are a hard worker, can prioritize your time, and have experience working with people. You can learn something from everything you do. So take some time to think about what you have learned about yourself, to this point, and the experiences that have helped get you where you are today.
Megan Piechowski: The amount of data available to companies grows every day. How companies capture and use data will continue to drive innovation and new technology in the field. With advanced data analytics, successful companies will be able to drive more value to their organizations and create better experiences for their customers, tailored to their individual needs and expectations. Customers want more information in real-time and expect the companies they buy from to deliver.
Megan Piechowski: People and organizations will work differently on the other side of the pandemic. In the near term, graduates will be entering a more virtual, remote work environment, requiring a lot of employers to think about their culture, leadership, and how their people work together. While I believe companies will return to more in-person work in the future, I think it will be more flexible, more efficient, and more collaborative as companies focus on maximizing the value of bringing people together.
Jim Neuliep Ph.D.: Dr. Jim Neuliep, Professor of Communication and Media Studies at St. Norbert College, argues that recent graduates with a degree in Communication and Media Studies are in an excellent position to assume a variety of career options. Neuliep asserts that Communication majors should be open to a whole host of potential careers. For example, virtually all employers list communication skills as a central criterion for hiring new employees. Communication majors may not recognize the diversity of jobs open to them. Neuliep notes that pharmaceutical companies often hire communication majors as pharmaceutical representatives. What do pharmaceutical representatives do? They interact/communicate with physicians, physician assistants, and nurses about a particular product. Communication majors may think they need a degree in the sciences to work for a pharmaceutical company. The pharmaceutical company will teach the recent graduate everything they need to know about the product they represent. In many cases, the training may take weeks, but the communication major will know more about the product than many in the healthcare industry. The key is to practice what they learned in their communication classes in healthcare settings.
Neuliep also maintains that Communication majors must learn to be communicatively competent; that is, they must learn to be assertive and responsive. According to Neuliep, assertiveness is the ability to approach others, initiate, maintain, terminate the conversation, express one's opinion without attacking the other person, and defend one's position without attacking another person's situation. Employers are looking for assertive communicators. Neuliep is careful to point out that assertiveness should not be confused with aggressiveness. They are very different. Neuliep also notes that competent communicators must be responsive. Responsiveness is the ability and willingness to listen, show empathy, and to be cooperative. Employers want this. Responsiveness should not be confused with submissiveness. Neuliep stresses that the competent communicator must be versatile and balance assertiveness and responsiveness, knowing when to be assertive and knowing when to be responsive. Just about any employer is looking for these qualities.
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
Angela Cirucci: It's OK to take some chances. Try some things that you may not have thought you would ever try in a career. Don't think about your first job as your dream and last job. Instead, think about it as a stepping stone. You will learn so much about your field and yourself your first few years out of school.
Angela Cirucci: I think that better and more presence-inducing technologies will be necessary. People like feeling like they can connect, but if we can't do that offline for a bit, we will need to be able to do it, almost as well, online. So, I think tech, like Zoom and Skype, will improve. But, I also believe we will see more immersive shopping experiences. Besides, I believe that educational technology may finally get the boost it has long waited for. Although professors have known it for some time, people are beginning to realize that sites like Blackboard and Desire2Learn lack in many areas, including being able to reach markets outside of colleges and universities.
Angela Cirucci: We have continuously heard that emerging adults hate face-to-face communication and want to stare at a screen all day. I think that COVID has helped to highlight just how untrue this (moral panic) sentiment is. This generation yearns for in-person experiences, just like everyone else. Perhaps, that idea will begin to fade away. We can instead focus on how graduates have specific skills and levels of comfort with digital media that allow them to be crucial in a variety of fields. I hope that a more significant focus will be put on the experiences of digital users from all backgrounds...and I think that those graduating will have a lot to offer in that journey.
Seth Bradshaw Ph.D.: My general advice for graduates beginning a career with a degree in communication or media, is to match their specific training to positions in the industries that are growing the fastest: public relations, advertising, specialized writing, and various forms of new journalism. One key to advancing in these fields will be a willingness to change as the industries shift and grow.
Seth Bradshaw Ph.D.: The technologies that will be most important in the field, in the next 3-5 years, will be audience-centered. The most successful techniques will focus on what audiences can do with them, not on what companies or media can do to audiences with technology. The particular technologies will vary greatly depending on the specific purpose-e.g., B2C, B2B, internal, or external uses-but the most successful will focus on the audience.
Seth Bradshaw Ph.D.: I don't think anyone knows what the enduring impacts of COVID will be on graduates. In the short-term, the effects will be a tight job market and high levels of anxiety. In the long-term, we will likely see a shift in what employers and graduates are willing to accomplish in virtual settings. Conversely, as various forms of remote education and employment increase, we may see a premium placed on face-to-face communication and soft skills.
Mandy Butler: I would advise them to be flexible and avoid getting bogged down by preconceived notions of what they thought post-graduation life would look like. So much of life's disappointments come from being unable to adjust expectations when circumstances change, so I would remind recent graduates that, by our very nature, theatre artists are in a constant state of adjustment. When something goes wrong in production, we pivot; it's just what we do, and we don't think twice about it.
I would urge, not only recent graduates, but also, anyone in theatre, to remember that we have always adjusted to new mediums of performance, whether we were dealing with the advent of film, radio, television, or the web. Until we can do it safely, traditional live theatre will be missed, but if we allow ourselves to meet this challenge with an open mind, we can still do what theatre has always done: meet the universal need for human connection. That seems more important now than ever before, so we have a responsibility to keep creating spaces where we are vulnerable, authentic, and brave. It's not as easy, but we can still do that online.
The beauty of this situation is that it's a kind of wild frontier for artists. While web performance is certainly nothing new, the art created on the web has often been viewed as "other than" traditional live theatre. This modern time is pushing us to rethink that division and bridge the gap. When geography ceases to be a factor, there are also many opportunities to collaborate with people more easily. That's a new silver lining in all of this.
Mandy Butler: I have never been a huge technology person; I still have a flip phone. But I would wager that, through the use of technology, the role of the theatre audience will be redefined somehow. Stage actors have a unique relationship with those who come to view their productions, so I'm hoping that someone comes up with a way to simulate that, at least to a degree.
Mandy Butler: I think that the live Theatre might look very different when we are back in conventional performance spaces. It could be a long time before we can safely sit shoulder-to-shoulder with a perfect stranger while we experience a production together. Productions themselves may look different for a while; maybe we can't safely have physically intimate scenes on stage for a time. Whenever you lose anything, even temporarily, that loss can be discouraging. There may be some theatre practitioners who decide that they are missing what it is that drew them to the Performing Arts in the first place. Maybe some people decide that they no longer want to dedicate their lives to a career that looks so different than they thought it would; I can understand that. Many things that make theatre magical may be missing or altered, but that just means that we have to find new magic.
I think the biggest thing that new graduates are going to need is hope. They are going to need to maintain high morale, when it would undoubtedly be easy to give up hope. I think we will obtain that hope the same way we do everything in theatre: together. We will need to collaborate, brainstorm, listen, challenge, reassure, validate, and love each other through the work, the way we always have. If we remember that at its core, theatre must remain collaborative, even while we are physically apart, we'll be okay. It will be hard, but we'll be okay.
Lindsey Perez: Build your peer network. To work in the sustainability field means you're willing to help solve world problems. It's not a field to act alone, and there's plenty of world problems related to climate change, social justice, and health and wellness - all topics addressed in the work of sustainable leaders.
Lindsey Perez: Access to tools that allow professionals to analyze a particular sustainability topic is becoming more available. For example, Cove.com is an energy assessment tool that helps both the architect and the engineer explain energy reductions, without significant training. Other tools and databases allow design professionals to dig deeper into material transparency and embodied carbon. The fast pace of evolving technology makes tools more accessible to designers. Still, it provides better evidence when making design decisions that are better for the environment, social justice, and human health.
Lindsey Perez: There will be enduring impacts of the coronavirus pandemic for everyone. We all know that graduates were not meant to celebrate their accomplishments in isolation, but it is human nature to be resilient. Graduates and professionals are all pivoting and adjusting plans to move forward. Graduates within the field of sustainability will be able to study the correlations to sustainability topics and the world's response to COVID-19.
Dr. Agena Farmer: The communication major can have a decisive edge over other applicants because of the careful attention paid to listening and learning to craft a message to any audience. The job market is looking for responsible communicators who can accurately respond to an issue without creating unnecessary conflict.
Molly Yanity Ph.D.: Getting a journalism job out of college is always tough and, here we are, in the middle of a global pandemic with historic unemployment, so it's going to be even tougher. That said, I have already had students, who graduated in May, hired for jobs in the field. But, my general advice here is to be realistic about your situation and move accordingly. Let's say you have to start making your student loan payments. You likely aren't going to be able to supplement an entry-level position with a serving job right now, so maybe you have to take the responsibility in education, or marketing. That's OK. If that is the practical route you have to go, do it, but keep your journalism contacts fresh. Keep looking for great story ideas and pursue them on a freelance basis. You are too young, at this point, to make a career mistake that is going to derail you. I had a recent grad interview for a writing gig in NYC in March. She got a call that the publication froze hiring. She just accepted a job in her hometown school district and is working part-time in retail. It's temporary... and temporary is fine while the entire country has its finger on the pause button.
Molly Yanity Ph.D.: I'm an educator who doesn't believe that technology dictates what we do. There are apparent exceptions to that as TV, the web, mobile, social dictates a lot. But regardless of the platform, good journalism is good journalism. Rather than focus on specific technologies, focus on your ability to be agile and flexible. Data reporting, or what we used to call computer-assisted reporting, is massive right now. But look at what the New York Times is doing with all that Covid-19 data? Could you take an enormous data set and turn it into something readable for a 25-year-old on mobile? Could you package it for quick hits on social? Could you do a deep dive on the policy? That, to me, is the best way to think of technology. If you focus too much on pivoting from one platform to the next, you'll miss the forest for the trees.
Molly Yanity Ph.D.: You just graduated during a global pandemic. The best part of your senior year was stripped from you. You probably couldn't even celebrate your faux-commencement at a restaurant! The enduring impact is that you are resilient. Maybe you chose to apply for graduate school, or are still hitting the bricks on the job search. But, you are going to have to be creative, patient, and tough. You will have to swallow some things you don't want to consume -- like jobs that you don't necessarily want to be your career, returning to your parents, and maybe helping to support them. But, you have an opportunity to prove you are creative, innovative, and tough. If you navigate it well, you will be the most tough generation of young people since World War II.
Emily Moore: Be intentional about making connections with others. Listen to others carefully and seek to understand their perspectives. Remember that your listening skills are just as crucial to excellent communication as your speaking and writing skills.
Emily Moore: The pandemic has shown us how easy it can be to connect virtually, and I think we will continue to use video conferencing technology going forward. Learning how to use this type of technology effectively is essential.
Emily Moore: The flip side of almost any challenge is an opportunity. The pandemic has brought many challenges, but it also has provided us with opportunities, that we didn't have before, to build creative solutions. Graduates who use this time to develop their flexibility, resilience, and determination will be better positioned for whatever the future holds.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Communication and Marketing
Angie Faller: No matter what industry you go into, essential human skills will be of the utmost importance for advancement. These include verbal and written communication skills, creative, critical thinking skills, and the ability to work constructively in teams of diverse and inclusive backgrounds. Be flexible and committed to reinvesting in your skills throughout your career.
Angie Faller: Artificial intelligence and digitization will continue to change how we work and the jobs there are to be done. This is why graduates must commit themselves to be lifelong learners.
Angie Faller: Graduates can expect that remote work will persist after this pandemic.