January 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.
West Texas A&M University
Department of Agricultural SciencesWebsite
Dr. Brock C. Blaser: Some of my most common advice to recent graduates is that they need to realize that they are not the boss or CEO of the company (yet), and they need to remember they need to earn their promotions and advancements. Additionally, they need to recognize authority and respect the direction they are given. Most people start at the bottom and work up, and they need to put in their time at the bottom. Another piece of advice I give is to look for opportunities to go above and beyond the job expectations. Get to work a little early, stay late to finish a task, etc. Work to help your company grow and find ways to help that happen in your position.
Dr. Brock C. Blaser: I think this varies with discipline. For example, in agronomy/plant science, holding a pesticide applicators license at graduation is a nice perk but not a requirement in all jobs. Either way, students should seek out those licensing opportunities within their discipline and work to earn that license, or at least be prepared to take the exam, etc., when a future employer requests it.
Dr. Brock C. Blaser: Again, this varies so much, even WITHIN a discipline. In many agriculture opportunities, it is seasonal. When in the season, work starts before the sun comes up and ends after it goes down. But, out of season, expect a little more computer and office work during traditional 8-5 schedules. This is tough to generalize as so many occupations are so different.