March 28, 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.
Dr. Ryan Stouffer: I think the job market we've seen a lot of different trends here that kind of happened since the pandemic. On the one hand we've seen a lot more opportunity actually believe it or not, so many more organizations realize they need to. Get into social media and they get into the Internet, and they need to tell their stories online right. That's how we're connecting with customers right now is online platforms, as opposed to the traditional you know foot traffic or you know billboards on roads advertisements on radio things like that so.
On one hand there's a lot more opportunity because so many more organizations realize they need to connect and they need to get in this space and the need to tell her story. And to there's a lot more opportunity because space boundaries have kind of been removed as a barrier for a lot of employment and the communication studies field, because. Now I mean with digital technology is everyone working from home it doesn't really matter if you're working in turning whatever for someone in San Francisco or someone. In Virginia, you can still do that job here through these technologies here, so one example of that I grew up in the middle of nowhere Michigan and my mother works at the Chamber of Commerce right now. And they had some staffing issues and so actually got an intern from Virginia who's now working for my local county. Small county and Michigan so there's been kind of that increase, of course, the pandemics also had some harmful effects on the job field here there's just so much more uncertainty right now organizations i'm think are expanding as much.
Also, a lot of students, want to get into the sports world via either broadcasting camera work technical side of things, social media. So many different aspects of course the sports world is just in a huge state of upheaval, especially the smaller sports world where a lot of our students go, you know smaller baseball teams minor league soccer teams. Things like that so there's been kind of that just upheaval in the lack of ability to plan, so I think of a lot of organizations just aren't hiring right now, just because they're kind of holding steady and waiting for the US to move on here, so I can see those the double edged sword has as many things in the world, here or yes there's been definitely some.
Dr. Ryan Stouffer: Increase uncertainty and probably lack of hiring some fields other fields again because I mentioned are doing better than ever, I think soft skills are the two biggest I have our communication, surprise, surprise and project management. Communication I think in the again the digital age, working from home working from all over the country both the written communication and oral communication needs to be top notch and proactive.
I know many of my soon to be graduate struggle, sometimes being proactive in their communication reaching out to me when things are happening as opposed to after things are happening, so I think that idea of always being open always responding like hey I got that email or yet i'm working on it may be a few days and just always having that communication flowing here is one of the most important skills in both written and oral format.
And i've mentioned project management so many people are now either working from home or working on their own much more working and kind of out with direct without direct supervision.
And so the ability to stay organized and stay efficient is huge, something I personally feel i'm really strong and I always try to impart my my students come up with an organizational strategy, make sure none those balls get dropped, make sure you know where all your projects are because I think that ability to do that be efficient and work from home work from anywhere is a really something you'd set soon to be graduates or recent graduates apart here.