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.
Terry Chvala: 1. Nationwide (not locally): In certain parts of the country where education is highly valued, and pay is aligned with that value, there is a growing trend that requires all teachers to have a Master's Degree to teach in the public schools. (This is not trending in TX or in our local Houston region).
2. Blended learning
3. Personalized learning
4. Covid-19 related trends:
-connecting students to learning in new ways
-how to reach and engage students in online and blended learning
Terry Chvala: Growing trend in "soft marketable skills," professional dispositions (body language, active listening, confidence, modeling professional attributes, etc.) (some more so due to Covid, but will continue to be skills that are sought after).
Terry Chvala: Although oil & gas continue to suffer locally and regionally, there is still a growing trend that people continue to move to Texas. So this area continues to be a positive job market for educators and other industry. Most area school districts have become fairly competitive (with each other, but nowhere near northern and northeastern states and many others) on their starting teacher pay.
Human and Consumer Sciences
Lisa Diebel: I expect my current FCS teacher education student to have at least one teaching offer, if not multiple requests, at the end of the spring semester. Two of my community leadership students, who graduate this weekend, have reasonable job offers. One at a hospital daycare center as an assistant teacher and another at a local grocery market as a manager. Much to my delight, the pandemic has not stopped their ability to move forward.
Lisa Diebel: I think when you can show experiential experiences and an internship, you will stand out. An error-free resume is also critical.
Lisa Diebel: I think FCS, ED, and CL graduates will successfully find employment anywhere in the US. An FCS degree offers a lot of versatility.