October 2, 2020
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.
Farmingdale State College
Department of Urban Horticulture and Design
Jonathan Lehrer Ph.D.: The horticulture industry has been deemed essential from the beginning (NY) of the COVID-19 crisis, and most businesses have remained open, conducted business, and hired necessary staff. But horticulture and landscape design are service industries whose success remains inextricably linked to the greater economic situation. So, as the national economy slows, the demand for horticultural supplies and services (such as commercial landscape design, installation, and maintenance) may subside, which will have an enduring impact on job opportunities for Horticulture Department graduates.
Jonathan Lehrer Ph.D.: The Horticulture and Landscape Design industry are driven by urban and suburban development. For example, before COVID-19, urban horticulture was booming in places like Brooklyn and Manhattan. Now, we hear predictions that many residents will flee these urban centers for "safer" areas. Should this happen, growth in this sector may slow, or be reversed. Conversely, areas of the United States that are witnessing population growth due to relocation, retirement, and other social forces will see the expansion of the horticulture and allied services industry. Examples might include parts of the Middle Atlantic and South (Virginia, the Carolinas, Florida) and the Southwest (Arizona, Nevada).
Jonathan Lehrer Ph.D.: Horticulture and allied industries must evolve to meet societal concerns for increased sustainability. For example, many local municipalities are passing ordinances banning the use of gas-powered, landscape maintenance equipment. Companies and residential users will be forced to embrace a legion of new, eco-friendly options powered by efficient rechargeable batteries. These products have improved drastically in the last few years and are much quieter with highly reduced emissions. Interior horticulture is booming, partially driven by emerging technologies, such as efficient LED lighting fixtures and aquaponic growth products. In addition to beautiful tropical foliage plants that improve our well-being, other products, such as vegetables, herbs, and cannabis can now be grown indoors by almost anybody.