Graduate Employability: Whose Responsibility Is That?


Students study hard for almost 20 years to gain certificates that entitle them to get a good job. Their parents continue to support along the way. Unfortunately most countries around the world experience increasing rates of unemployment and this causes wide range of negative impacts on graduates themselves, their families and the community at large. The issue is worsened by the increasing rates of enrolment in higher education institutions. People normally blame governments for not providing employment opportunities. But is that fair? And who else is responsible?

Students and Parents

Demand for certain jobs changes from time to another. So when students select a particular course they must make sure the market is big enough to absorb them upon graduation. In most cases, students do not conduct any kind of research to see the trends in the market. Another problem related to choice of specialisation in many countries is when parents force their children to enroll in a programme which does not match with their skills or aspiration. Their main focus by doing so is to have specific social status in the community, comparable to other relatives of friends. While young students may not be qualified enough to make their own decisions and investigate the market, the responsibility transfers partially to universities to consider the number of students in each intake based on detailed market research.

Educational Institutions

The past decade witnessed establishment of very large number of universities, colleges and other educational institutions. They offer large scope of programmes in various fields. One significant characteristic most of these institutions share is that they are privately owned by businessmen and corporations. This means they are profit oriented! In many cases they do not employ qualified lecturers either to save cost or because those lecturers are not available. Furthermore, the criteria of accepting students in certain programmes are very fixable that is a student from arts or human science background can go to medial or engineering schools. If educational institutions do not pay attention to the quality of their graduates, businesses must notify them of what kind of employees they need and what skills they have to be equipped with.

Business Corporations

Companies always look for the best candidates to fill their vacant positions. They do not give opportunity to fresh graduates as training them is going to be costly. They do not realise that what they pay to recruit experienced professionals is sometimes more than hiring and training a young executive who is more likely to remain loyal in the long run. Even worse, hiring new employees in many private companies is based on the relationship they or their relatives have with the company’s owner(s). Doing so backfires the business outcome and at the same time waste opportunities for qualified candidates.

Policy Makers

If education has become a kind of doing business where students pay for certificates without being actually qualified to fill the position required by those certificates. And if businesses do not carefully choose their employees and advise universities on the skills they need, then it is the responsibility of the governments to instill rules and regulations to license new universities and monitor their practice continuously. The fees must also be reasonable and matches with the average income. Regulations must be taken seriously and national awareness must be communicated effectively.