Manko Participates in Panel on Current Job Market Trends

Posted on 2/22/21 7:56 PM

Tammy Manko, EdD, director of the IUP Career and Professional Development Center, recently participated in a panel of experts on Zippia to discuss current job market trends.

Zippia provides online recruitment services and strives to provide expert opinions on what aspiring graduates can do to start off their careers in an uncertain economic climate. In the January 12, 2021 article, Zippia reached out 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.

Manko covered the following topics:

In your opinion, what are the biggest trends we'll see in the job market given the pandemic?

Manko: We'll see an increased need for change management and agile responses. We'll also see an increase in the number of interviews being conducted virtually. More workplaces will conduct onboarding virtually and use flexible and hybrid work schedules, more specifically those including work-from-home or virtual work, at least temporarily, if not more permanently. We will see continued hiring and organizational growth, despite concerns from many regarding the job market. All industries will experience an increased need for upskilling and reskilling of employees. Technological skills will be in high demand and so will human skills, such as emotional intelligence, negotiation, nonverbal communication, collaboration, and change agility.

If a graduate needs to take a gap year, what skills would you recommend they try to enhance, and how should they go about doing it?

Manko: I recommend all graduates and professionals become adept at virtual communication in all its forms, so they can be effective communicators in all settings and are prepared to work with various technological platforms and tools. I also recommend all graduates and professionals review the NACE Competencies naceweb and ensure they have and continue to hone the outlined career-ready skill sets as well as these additional career and life skills (or power/soft skills): adaptability, prioritization, positivity, emotional intelligence, and nonverbal communication (i.e., body language).

What general advice would you give to a graduate beginning their career?

Manko: Aside from the recommended skills development mentioned in response to the gap year question, I encourage new professionals to find meaning in their work and to differentiate themselves in a positive manner by reskilling and upskilling, and to prioritize lifelong learning and the development of leadership/executive presence. All professionals will need to be able to mine data and analyze information. New graduates should take the initiative to join and be active members of professional organizations and engage regularly in professional networking to build and maintain relationships that will help them with their career development and management. That's especially important in the virtual world that we're facing today when face-to-face networking cannot take place. Taking professional networking one step further, I advise young professionals to identify a few mentors that will be there to help them learn and develop and several champions who have diverse skill sets and job responsibilities in their organization that will support, promote, and advocate for them within and outside of the organization.