January 13, 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.
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Deptartament of Optometry and Vision Science
Michael Rothschild: In my opinion, the biggest trends we will see in the job market, given the pandemic, is more caution in hiring. There hasn't been a decrease in the demand for optometrists in the job market, the need continues to only grow. However, people aren't as anxious to stretch their budgets, add that new doctor. People looking to hire OD's will be more cautious, more careful to make sure they are hiring the right person. Optometrists who are looking for work, should take extra time to make sure they are putting their best foot forward. Return phone calls, respond to emails in a timely manner and be professional in conversations with potential employers.
Michael Rothschild: In today's environment, anything that shows "flexibility" stands out on a resume. The eye care world is changing fast and employers need to know that their optometrists can change roles quickly and effectively. Resumes should highlight special skills like teleoptometry, speciality contact lenses or low vision. Demonstrate your interest in the vast experiences you can have in delivering optometric care.
Michael Rothschild: The best places to find opportunities in optometry are in rural areas. These areas are underserved in all aspects of medical care, including eye care. The need is great and OD's can practice full-scope medical care while appreciating respect from other medical providers in the area.