When Sam joined university, he had three key things in mind after his graduation; getting a job, owning a posh house and a car.
With these at hand, Sam thought the rest like marrying a beautiful lady and looking after his parents would be automatic but to his surprise, five years elapsed minus him securing a job. Not even a house or car as he had anticipated.
Sam’s experience is just a drop in the ocean, many university graduates are floating on the streets in search for white collar jobs.
Many job seekers nowadays even fear to move with envelopes in town because tomato sellers and other market vendors always sympathize with them.
“Look at her, she is looking for a job…..bambi…,” Venders always say after feeling sorry for these graduates.
“Universities are there to offer possible solutions to social, economic and technological problems in society but many university graduates today do not possess the skills required to address such challenges”, Ahmad Kawesa Sengendo, Rector at Islamic University in Uganda pointed out during the 13th commencement lecture of Nkumba university last year.
Could this be due to lack of creativity and innovativeness among students or universities are not offering the appropriate skills suitable for the current job market? Your guess might be as good as mine.
Francis who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in information technology last year says the problem of unemployment is not caused by lack of creativity but the aging educated still desire for more.
“When a student proves to know more than the one who taught him/her, the teacher looks at that student as a threat to his or her job and they do not create room for fresh graduates to take over”, Francis notes. He adds that the same applies to places of industrial training. Those in 70s are still doing work that their grand sons and daughters are meant to be doing.
However, Anita Muhairwe (MBA student at Nkumba) says that a student should start planning for a job right from first year and not waiting to graduate before starting to hunt for a job. “Make reasonable friends who will be able to connect you if you can’t create your own job”, Anita advises.
Though Sengendo notes that by the time students finish a degree, what they learned may already be obsolete, the number of graduates is higher than the rate at which jobs are being created.
Statistics show that over 400,000 graduates are passed out every year by universities and colleges in Uganda all eying the few available jobs.