February 14, 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.
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Biological Sciences Department
Dr. Robin Verble: I see a need for tech-literate scientists who are able to comfortably navigate in a digital environment being an immediate trend. I think adaptability, the ability to clearly communicate in a variety of media, and versatility will be key skills for success.
Dr. Robin Verble: I think we will continue to see remotely staffed positions, more environmental health positions opening up as employers start to consider their workplace safety on a finer level, and a renewed interest in creating outdoor spaces for public use, which will generate jobs in a variety if ways.
Shahir Rizk Ph.D.: It's hard to predict what the trends will be, but most likely there will be a high demand in the areas of developing diagnostics and vaccines, especially as the mRNA-based vaccines show more success as a platform to protect from infections.
Shahir Rizk Ph.D.: Any research experience will be an important asset to have as you go into the job market. Beyond the ability to conduct and design experiments, it shows that you have had experience in problem-solving, analytical skills. Another very important aspect is writing and oral communication. In virtually all sectors of science jobs, the ability to communicate information to different levels of audiences is crucial to success. In some cases, experience in business administration or public policy can be an added benefit to success in scientific fields.
Shahir Rizk Ph.D.: Entry-level science technician positions are usually a good start for recent college graduates. They help expand on the skills gained in college and usually are well-paying. They also have the potential for upwards mobility into management positions. In addition, many technicians take the opportunity to expand on their skills before applying to graduate or professional schools.