Unemployment among graduate students Unemployment among graduates is a serious problem in Malaysia. Unemployment describes the state of a worker who is able and willing to take work but cannot find it. A high unemployment rate generally indicates an economy in recession with few job opportunities. In Malaysia, today situation is different compare to twenty years ago as there is increase of competitiveness and volatility in labor market. Graduates not only need to compete among themselves, but also with other less educated candidate with years of work experiences.
We can predict that fresh graduate’s chance of employment will become smaller. In my opinion, there are three causes of unemployment among graduate students which contribute to increase number of unemployment. The significant cause of unemployed graduates is the quality of education. This is because the knowledge acquired in higher education by students does not quite meet the expectations of the organisation or company. The education system provided now is not relevant to the current scenario as it failed to produce quality graduate’s who are self-employed and productive.
Besides, they depend on government to find for them some jobs. Graduates should know that academic achievement has little to do with how well they can perform in working world. This can be prove during the interview which most company reject first class graduate, and hired a second class student instead. Most of company also prefer to employ graduates with experience in work although they do not have good academic achievement. These show that the learning environment in higher education does not persuade the development of a student to become attractive and self-confident.
The second reason is due to lack of skills and experiences among the university graduates. Most of graduates lack of several important skills, such as proficiency in English, lack of ICT proficiency and interpersonal skills. We can see there is a skill gap between what skills are required by employers and what skills graduates have when graduate cannot accentuate in interview. Those graduates with essential skills are more preferable compared to them who do not have any skills. Other than that, graduates seem naware of the importance of work experience. It seems they are not really well in communication, presentation, leadership and management. They also lack of confident and need to learn that self-esteem or soft skill comes from doing something well, not just the fact they exist. Graduates need to know that experience is the key to survive and succeed in the work market. It is evident that lack of skills and experience are the cause of increase unemployment graduates. Some of the graduates did not have good communication skills.
Lack of social and communication skills show that graduates have low level of self-confidence. Even thought they have qualification, they are unable to speak well during interviews make they fail in interview. Most graduates also are poor command of English. English is important as most of interviews conducted by mega companies and inability of graduates to speak English influently during interview make the interviewer less interest with them. In fact, inability to communicate well is the reason why most applicants of graduates are not even granted in an interview.
Low quality of higher education, lack of experiences and skills and not have good communication skills are problems that needs to overcome to reduce unemployment among graduate students. The government should have dedicated department or taskforce which can monitor the learning environment in the universities that can influence the development of a productive student. Students are also encouraged to involve themselves in curriculum to enhance their soft skills. Everyone play a role in solving unemployment of graduates.