About 53% of university graduates would deny the myth, “A college degree is a job”. They are either unemployed or indulged in a job that doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree. According to ILO news, nearly one billion people are unemployed in the world. Never in the past has unemployment been this severe in a decade. What could be the reason behind it?
When young people are choosing a subject at university, most of the young people will hope to find a great job. In reality, many fresh graduates fail to find work in their field and some are even forced to take up work below their standards. An outdated higher education system in universities is the root cause that should be modernized and also, lack of employment opportunity which should be increased.
Firstly, students are not well prepared for their first job by an old university education system for a number of reasons. Many programs are theory-based, which means that highly educated graduates lack simple skills required for employment. The problem that our education system has, it judges students on the basis of the marks they obtain on their final examination. The tests that we have in our universities actually test our memorizing capacity rather than our practical knowledge. I don’t see a real purpose of memorizing the whole book. Students would just memorize it for the sake of passing examination and forget it completely after completion of examination. In fact, they are not well tested for the real world environment instead they are regarded superior for securing A+. For example, many IT graduates do not possess simple computer skills even though they have secured the highest marks in their exams. How would “What is computer?” serve in their job?
Secondly, although the students are well qualified, limited employment opportunities have been one of the major causes of unemployment. Millions of students are graduated in a year. However, the numbers of companies providing job opportunities are hardly increased in the year, so students do not get a job after their graduation. For instance, more than thousands of people graduate as an engineer in a year but the number of companies recruiting engineers remains the same.
A reformation in the higher education system and increase in employment opportunities could alleviate many of the problems but would require joint efforts from universities, private sector and the government. A reformed system should focus mainly on technical subjects. If employers and universities could work together, they could teach students practical skills that companies look for. Meanwhile, the government could emphasize on development of companies that offer employment.
Boosting post-graduate enrollments could also be one of the measures to decrease unemployment after graduation to some extent. Given the decline in jobs, many graduates would choose to go for further studying. Although it is not the complete solution to a problem, it offers some relief to the current pressurized rate of unemployment.
Moreover, top universities, for instance, are all located in urban areas. There is huge regional disparity. As a result, both qualitative and quantitative difference is seen. Therefore, our country is unable to divert graduate students in rural areas as most of the students prefer to live and work in urban areas because of the availability of facilities. Hence, government should try to encourage youngsters to work in rural areas by making lucrative offers they cannot deny. This would decrease the disparity between urban and rural areas, and also it would increase employment opportunities to some extent.
In conclusion, the main reason why graduates cannot find a job is because they are not equipped with the skills that the institution seeks and also due to the shortage of provision of employment for a large population.
BBA First Semester, Kathmandu University School of Management