Project Jobs Fit (Part I) 1“Many fresh graduates have a hard time finding jobs because their skills and educational background do not fit the needs of businesses”

Whether you agree or not with the above statement by the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), let's face it, finding a job is not as easy as you think it is. And getting an education doesn't even guarantee a job for you in the future. It's really difficult to pinpoint the main culprit in this case because there is a myriad of reasons and a million other factors why people are unemployed or have a hard time getting employed. But there are three things that I have noted about this problem. First thing that I have noted; skills, then education, then business needs. But the main gist boils down to: “Are your skills and education fit for the current business need?” As simple as that.

The fact is, even if you have finished a degree with flying colors if I'm in need of a Chef for my food business, your IT education and the skill you have acquired is futile (at least for my need). It's difficult to put a square peg in a round hole. That's what it is. Will you then have to get another education, just to suit my needs? I don't think that would be wise. First of all, it will take you time. By the time you get the skill that I need, I may no longer require what you can offer me.

This is becoming a common problem in our society these days. You can see this scenario in almost every college or university. You will find students enrolled in courses that are the current need of most companies. Unfortunately, before they complete their 4 or 5 year study, it would already be filled and thus, are no longer in demand like when they first heard about it. 

Supply and Demand

The labor market as with any other market that we know abides by the basic principle of supply and demand. If the supply is low and demand is high, price goes up and if the demand is low but supply is high, the price goes down. The case of nursing graduates in the Philippines is a concrete example of how the law supply and demand affects our employment climate. Many student nurses have actually focused their goals on works abroad because there is an increasing need for medical workers (demand). Thus many have looked into it as an opportunity. And every year we have been producing thousands upon thousands of nurses. But the country's demand could not measure up to the supply. There's just too many of them. Even if there is a good demand outside, it's still an uphill climb to many graduates considering the financial aspect of applying abroad.

Melting Pots

The BPO industry have become a melting pot to many skills and talents that was not absorbed by the current businesses that is more specific with its talent requirement. Thus, when you work in a call center you'll be surprised to see how diverse the pool of people are in terms of the college degrees that they have attained. You will find graduates of education course, medical related courses and other unusual degrees  that you expect to find in a specific niche. It's not bad to see them there of course. It's good, because at least, they are being productive. But it is also disturbing because they are not where they are supposed to be. It's good to have a hand, but if your hand is on your forehead, then that's a different story. The same thing goes with our labor market. It is disturbing, in a sense that people who should be teaching are not in the schools (unless they are in the training departments), and nurses who should be taking care of patients are up on their toes with headsets.

These people are working in the call center, not because they lack the education. You can see them in these areas because that is where opportunities are available. Who could have known or even imagined that they will be working as call center agents? I bet not one of them thought about that when they first enrolled for college. The only thing that I can surmise is that, they are all excited in being a nurse because in 4 or 5 years time, they are hopeful that they will be getting their dream job. They will be landing on high paying job.

Government Solution
A recent labor market study by the Department of Labor and Employment called Project JobsFit: The DOLE 2020 Vision aims to solve the problem of skills mismatch and prepare the labor force to job opportunities that are expected to have a good demand for manpower.

The result of the study highlights the in-demand and hard-to-fill occupations of the key industries that are projected to be the main source of employment growth in the country for the next ten years. This study will impact the incoming college students as this will help them choose the right course that will give them a greater chance of landing a job once they graduate.

If you are about to make the big decision that will impact your future career and employability, why not spend a few minutes and see whether some of these suggested fields will fit you.

Get a glimpse of their findings and weigh out if the agency really pinned down the 108 in-demand and hard to fill occupations. You can also download the complete list here:
Image credit: Bureau of Local Employment
Thumbnail: GenXFinance

108 In-Demand and Hard-to-Fill Occupations