January 29, 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.
Yilei Shi Ph.D.: Yes. The civil engineering industry is heavily affected by the pandemic. A lot of private companies have already laid off employees because of lost future contracts. The public sector didn't appear to be affected much and is actually hiring some new employees. Recent graduates find it harder to secure a job.
Yilei Shi Ph.D.: It depends. I have heard some summer interns at consulting firms were accommodated with totally remote internships in summer 2020. Current employees, including new hires, mostly work at home if work allows. For construction industry, employees will go to actual job sites every day.
Yilei Shi Ph.D.: Hands-on testing experiences and computer skills, including professional software skills, caught up on eyes to employers.
Greg Lyman: There won't be an enduring impact because manufacturing and automation will continue in the future.
Greg Lyman: Automation, control, networking and soft skills like communication - being responsive to internal and external customers, working in teams, and oral and written presentation skills.
Greg Lyman: -Internships at technology or manufacturing are the best and past experiences where graduates can show they are reliable and responsible.
-Extracurricular activities such as involvement with student clubs, volunteer activities, etc.