April 3, 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.
Fort Hays State University
Department of Political ScienceWebsite
Larry Gould Ph.D.: Yes. Unless we carefully examine the implications of our institutional business models (especially tuition, fees, textbook costs,etc.), we will create a new equity crisis for lower income students and families that have been impacted by the pandemic. The current landscape left behind by the pandemic certainly favors high middle class and wealthy families more so than ever before.
Larry Gould Ph.D.: From our perspective, any job, even a low-paying job, that serves the public good is a great job. If you only measure a "good" job in terms of salary, you will be missing the opportunity to create social value and wealth that goes far beyond an individual perspective. Many of these public service opportunities were exposed during the pandemic and will continue to be important in the years to come as jobs and/or careers.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Department of political science and public administrationWebsite
Thomas Barth: The workplace is likely not going to be the same again after what has been learned about the benefits of meeting and working remotely. There will likely be more opportunities to work remotely for organizations anywhere in the world. However, you will need to work even harder and be creative about building and maintaining relationships in this environment.
Thomas Barth: Consistent with the answer above, be prepared for a zoom world, and if you do work in-person, be more respectful than ever of peoples' space. The elbow tap may become the new handshake!
Fort Valley State University
Political Science ProgramWebsite
Johnny Green Ph.D.: Because of the nature of a wide range of political science positions, including positions such as policy analyst, legislative assistant, public relations specialist, social media manager, marketing research analyst, political consultant and attorney, to name a few, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting that the employment of political scientists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Increased demand for public policy analysis in both government and non-government organizations will support employment growth for these workers https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm#:~:text=Employment%20of%20political%20scientists%20is,employment%20growth%20for%20these%20workers
Johnny Green Ph.D.: I don't believe there will be too much disruption in the above referenced jobs (in question 1) because of the nature of their work and because they are not "front-line" workers, their interactions with people won't be quite as impacted as it is for some other occupations. But even with that factor highlighted, with the increase in coronavirus vaccine shots in the population, it looks to be a sign that the worst from a social interaction standpoint might actually be behind us. If that is true, then job prospects for political science graduates should take off (as some already have) because as things come back to normal, part of the new normal will find many older workers who took some form of early retirement and therefore, we can expect other job openings to start ramping up in the post coronavirus economy. And to note, that a day at work might include anything from Managing a Social Media company, analyzing socio-political and economic data to conduct research on a policy issue; synthesizing qualitative data as a foreign policy analyst or preparing information for release as a public information officer, and many others!