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Work outlook of new graduates

business / Columnists
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Work outlook of new graduates

Remember when information technology-related courses attracted a lot of students in the country’s schools and colleges?

Under the impression that computers are the wave of the future, parents who wanted their children to have gainful employment right after graduation encouraged them to enrol in IT subjects. The expectation held true for some time.

Not anymore. According to the latest study by Jobstreet.com Philippines, the jobs that pay well these days are in law, healthcare and journalism. The average entry level position salary in these work areas is either on par with or higher than those received by their counterpart in computer technology.

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The demand for legal services is indicative of the increased litigious nature of our society. Practically everything that is the subject of disagreement winds up in court for resolution.

The rise in the need for health services providers reflects the deterioration in the quality of health of our people, especially those living in the urban areas that are beset by natural and manmade environmental problems.

Journalism graduates have the spike in Internet-based messaging and millennials-oriented marketing strategies to thank for getting good paying jobs in companies that want to tap the profitable youth market.

No doubt, this report on potential go-to jobs would be instructive for recent high school graduates who have yet to decide on what to do in the next phase of their lives.

Bearing in mind the results of the study, they may either enrol in a short term course to get a head start and gain experience in any of the three work areas mentioned, or enter college to earn a degree that would give them better credentials.

In the latter case, however, there is a risk that, after four years or so, the job profile earlier mentioned may no longer be subsisting and other work positions would be in demand.

In the 1990s, amid reports of shortage of nurses in the United States and Canada, thousands of Filipinos enrolled in nursing courses.

Unfortunately, by the time the students graduated and got their licenses, the demand for nurses had already abated. Many of the new nurses had to take on jobs unrelated to their education to earn a decent living.

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It is sad to note that many of our colleges and universities foster the idea, directly or indirectly, in their students’ mind that the “mark” of their success is getting employed in private companies, preferably those in the top 100.

Graduates are considered to have arrived if they hold high executive positions and that status often paves the way for them to receive the school’s “outstanding alumni” award.

The bias toward employment is enhanced by the practice of private companies to post recruitment notices in school premises ahead of graduation, or send hiring feelers to the top graduates. The promise of perks and privileges, and sometimes signing bonus, makes the invitation practically irresistible.

Going at it alone in business or engaging in entrepreneurial activities hardly form part of the suggested post-graduation bucket list of college graduates who, with their youth, have time and opportunity on their side. They can afford to make mistakes, and learn from them, and still have the time to start things all over again.

Often, the idea of becoming entrepreneurs, rather than paid employees, appeals most to students who showed some entrepreneurial streak during their student days, or found inspiration from alumni who took the entrepreneur route immediately after graduation and never looked back.

A businessman once told this writer that in the alumni reunions of Taiwan’s business schools, the graduates engaged in their own business, no matter how small, were held more in esteem than those who were in other people’s payroll.
Given this spirit of entrepreneurship, it is no surprise that Taiwan, despite its small geographical size and limited natural resources, enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the world.

New graduates, please take note.

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TAGS: Business, Employment, Information technology, schools
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