Many students have lamented the fact they are facing unemployment even though they will be graduating soon. But columnist Jonathan Jansen disagrees with this, saying that people who remain unemployed due to other factors, not necessarily a lack of opportunities. Briefly.co.za explores his notion that armed with the right qualifications as well as the right attitude, graduates will be able to flourish despite the struggling economy
Even as students sat to write their terminal examinations, more than a few South African economists took to social media, saying that graduates face a hopeless unemployed future.
Jonathan Jansen, a columnist for TimesLives disagrees with this, urging students not to believe the hype.
Jansen wrote how the data is clear on a number of points, most graduates will be able to find work.
Arming yourself with the right tools
He explained how the more qualifications graduates possess the greater your income, saying that those who completed their matric would earn more than those who did not. Those with a degree would make more than those with only high school qualifications and those with more than one degree would make more than a person with only one.
Although he did agree that some students did not always find work in the field they have studied in, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Getting your start in the labour market is a good beginning point.
A well chosen qualification is key according to Jansen, saying that it should prepare you broadly for more than one line of work.
Jansen went on to say that in most professions students armed with a degree get the job they have studied for, with teachers,lawyers and doctors often going straight into their desired occupations.
Individual cases can’t supersede the data
So despite the notion that the economy is unlikely to grow more the 2% in the immediate future, Jansen feels that our graduates will be able to find work.
He went on to say that people's argument that their friends had degrees but no job were not good points, with individual cases unable to displace data for graduate employment.
The reasons for these individuals not being employed is often very complex according to Jansen, with some people lacking other traits that a degree cannot provide, such as positive work ethics, self-confidence, and the drive to start at the bottom and work their way up.
The qualification only gets you so far, the rest is up to you
Some of the ‘jobless graduates’ passed with minimal marks or failed a year or simply were not good at interview situations.
Another challenge could be a foreigner without a work permit, or a local who lacked a broader skill set.
Imagine a student with a degree in these modern times who cannot create an Excel spreadsheet, or who cannot search for materials.
Jansen himself said that he would never hire a person like this, regardless of the qualifications they possessed.
To conclude, Jansen said that qualifications is one thing but you still have to ‘show up’ if you expect to find work in a struggling economy, especially where the competition is fierce. No degree can provide you with the attitude you need to succeed.
In other words, the qualification is one thing but you’ve got to “show up” if you expect employment in an economic downturn and in contexts where the competition is fierce.
There is this thing called “attitude” that no degree can provide for you.
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