How much weight on learning JS to land a Junior Front End Role

I’m progressing through my front end learning road map and have completed a thorough course in JS essential (will complete a further one later covering OOP). Starting projects to buff up my skills and figure out portfolio projects. However, looking to learn React and will do the majority of my portfolio using React so am wondering to what degree it would be good to spend time doing projects without a JS framework at this stage with the understanding, as I am told, that the majority of development is done the React way?

React is still just JavaScript. You need to understand the fundamentals of JavaScript to be able to use React more successfully. In a job, you may be required to maintain older code that does not use a modern framework or you may be involved in converting an older code based into one that uses a library like React.

I think knowing a little plain JS DOM manipulation is worth it. It might not be what you end up using these days but it can still give some insight. Plus, it can be fun to do it “by hand” for small projects. But for anything remotely complicated plain DOM manipulation quickly gets out of hand.

You also have to unlearn most of it again when switching to a framework so that is one argument against getting too comfortable with plain DOM manipulation.