February 23, 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.
Russell Moss: Historically, hiring in farming activities, like viticulture, are less negatively impacted by a slumping economy than other industrial sectors. There has been a negative impact on the hiring of people for direct-to-consumer roles at wineries, as tourism has suffered during the pandemic. However, farming has to continue. So while vineyard management and winemaking positions saw an initial decrease in hiring due to the immediate impact of the pandemic, I suspect we will see hiring for these roles quickly rebound. Further, hiring for temporary harvest positions has increased dramatically, as wineries are unable to get workers from abroad due to pandemic related travel restrictions.
Russell Moss: Employers in the farming sector, like viticulture, value practical hands-on skills and experience combined with a solid theoretical understanding of the farming system. If a recent graduate had farming experience prior to entering university or if they had acquired farming experience through multiple summers of internships or summer jobs, they will be more likely to attain gainful employment upon graduation. However, students graduating with applied degrees in viticulture or horticulture, are not just relegated to farm management jobs. They have been trained in science and can work for laboratories, consulting businesses, sales and other agricultural support roles.
Russell Moss: The average salary of a vineyard manager has increased by about 6% since 2015, according to the annual Wine Business Monthly survey.