Some years ago, graduating from college with a degree was seen as a great achievement in one’s life. Fresh graduates were guaranteed good jobs. It was unheard of that degree holders would be looking for employment for months.
All those privileges have all but fizzled out. Fresh graduates unemployment has been on a steady increase and is at the moment the highest among all demographics.
While some people blame the youths for being sluggish, others say they are unemployable.
Many analysts have, however, attributed the unemployment plight of fresh graduates today to the following factors.
Outdated University Education.
While the job market is continuously changing, the courses and programs of study of many colleges have changed very little.
University education has failed to keep up with the requirements of today’s job market. This has created an enormous gap between what colleges teach their students and what employers want from their workers.
Some employers are spending a lot of money to train their new employees to bridge the gap created by fresh graduates’ lack of skills.
Many people have therefore called on colleges to invest more to make their students fit the job requirements of employers.
Colleges should also, in addition to academic work, expose students to some necessary hands-on skills in their various fields of study.
Little or No Experience.
Most fresh graduates who apply for jobs are always hindered by the requirement to prove they have a certain level of experience in the position.
New graduates are, therefore, at a disadvantage since they are always the last ones to be considered for their lack of experience.
Graduates who made out time to gain experience either through volunteering or internship improve their chances of getting hired.
The importance of experience in the workplace is becoming more apparent as employers prefer people (graduate or not) who have had some work experience, rather than spend money training fresh graduates.
Employ-ability skills are highly sought after by employers of labor. Businesses are looking for experienced workers because of their ability to work with little or no supervision.
Little or No Skill.
Apart from experience, employers also prefer to hire people who have relevant skills that can help their businesses. That’s one reason why skill acquisition is better than a college degree.
Most fresh graduates are not employable because they never practiced what they learned in school. All the information you crammed to pass your exam is of little value to employers.
New graduates come out of school with little technical or soft skills. Unfortunately, colleges do not teach these skills.
The only skills students acquire in colleges are those that help them cram their lectures and make good grades. Nothing prepares them for the practical aspect of the work they will do after school.
Some employers are not helping the plight of new graduates by looking for classes of degrees instead of what a graduate can do.
While some fields of study, like medicine and law, require professional and advanced degrees, many others do not. Employers should focus less on the grade of degrees and more on other things such as technical, social, technological, and soft skills.
The pressure from society on young people is always to go to college so they can get a good job.
With this mindset, students focus their attention on getting good grades and graduating from school.
This mad rush to get a degree has created a situation whereby so many people have certificates or degrees but can barely function in any job description.
Your certificate and degree can no doubt help you get into a job, which is what many graduates want. However, employers have discovered that most fresh graduates do not possess the necessary skills.
It is now ironic to see fresh graduates doing minimum wage jobs and non-graduates in high profile positions.
While college education gives graduates some advantages, a degree in itself is of little value to you if you do not leverage it.
Most times, it is the things that you learn after college that will set you apart from the rest of the degree holders.
Photo by MattHurst