In many countries today there are many highly qualified graduates without employment. What factors may have caused this situation and what, in your opinion, can/should be done about it?
Across the world there are many countries where people with advanced degrees are struggling to find employment. I think this is because full-time employment is no longer the cornerstone of modern economies. Universities need to re-structure study options in order to keep abreast of this development. People often declare that there is no work around anymore. In fact, there is plenty of work. Casual, on-call, contract, part-time and temporary positions have proliferated in recent years. What is much rarer now is permanent employment, meaning positions with a long-term contract, benefits, stability, internal promotion and skills development organised by employers. The problem is that the university education system was designed for an employment-centred economy. People would dedicate anything from five to seven years to diligent study in order to get a guaranteed career at the end of it. There is no guarantee anymore. The solution is for university education to accommodate new working arrangements. Study options need to be broken down into shorter “booster” qualifications taken on an as-needed basis with more part-time, evening and distance options. A more realistic scenario now is for workers to balance two separate income streams while studying on the side – perhaps for the length of their working life – rather than studying full-time for six years and then working full-time until retirement. The post-employment economy is only a problem for people who are not prepared for it. Unfortunately many of these people are highly-qualified graduates who are the product of an antiquated education system. Revamping university study should resolve this issue.