First of two parts
Only a few of
the 385,000 students who will graduate this April will land a job within
the next two years. Many of those able to get a job will be in call
By Carl Marc Ramota
Contributed to Bulatlat
The country will have about 385,000 new graduates by April. Unfortunately,
the employment pool can accommodate only a few of these graduates thus
leaving many others asking themselves whether college education was worth
the time and money at all.
Only four of every 10 graduates will land a job within the year of their
graduation, a recent study reveals. Many of those able to get a job within
two years will be in call centers.
In a recent report,
the National Statistics Office (NSO) confirmed that the
Philippines' jobless rate rose to 11.3 percent in January from last
October’s 10.9 percent. This means some 4.03 million Filipino adults were
unemployed as of end-January, up from 3.9 million a year earlier.
About 35.9 percent of those
with jobs as of end-January were employed in the agriculture sector, while
services and industry sectors accounted for 48.4 percent and 15.7 percent,
The government through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) admitted
that the 6.1 percent supposed growth in the Gross Domestic Product is not
enough to generate new jobs especially for fresh graduates.
Thus many of this year’s graduates are left with only two options: either
to work in call centers or leave the country. This largely explains the
continuous brain drain in the country and the soaring underemployment
Underemployment rate was pegged at 17.6 percent in 2004, higher than the
17 percent rate in 2002 and 2003.
Lack of job opportunities is forcing many college degree holders to work
in call centers or as domestic helpers and caregivers just to earn a
living, even if these jobs do not match their degrees for which their
families spent large sums of money.
In a recent report, the
Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) projects that a third (123,584) of
this year’s prospective college graduates will come from business-related
courses such as accountancy, masters in business, secretarial and
commerce. Others will come from the education discipline (88,062 or 20
percent); engineering and technology (56,851, 13 percent); mathematics and
computer science (943,141, 9 percent); and medical and allied courses like
nursing, radiology and medicine (30,166, 6.9 percent). Some 13,831
students are also expected to graduate from the maritime discipline this
new graduates, as their previous batches were, are doomed to become idle
in the following months, even years after graduation.
conducted by Dr. Roberto Padua and Dr. Juliet Daguay of Mindanao
Polytechnic State College reveals that lack of jobs has forced 41 percent
of males and 50 percent of females to become idle after graduation.
percent of the total graduates are likely to land jobs within the year of
their graduation. The other 40 percent will not be able to find employment
until next year while the remaining 20 percent will probably become
unemployed for the next two years. On the average, a graduate has to wait
for 18 months before being employed.
separate study, Dr. Adriano Arcelo, a consultant for the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in his study
found that medicine graduates have the shortest waiting period, with only
1.87 months. Criminology graduates, on the other hand, have to wait for
8.67 months before landing in a job. Meanwhile, electrical engineering,
medical technology and social sciences major will be idle for at least 4.2
months before becoming employed.
waiting period for most graduates may take forever. Apparently, jobs
requiring higher education comprise only around 7.2 percent of the total
job opportunities in the country. And ironically, elementary graduates
(11.1 million) and high school graduates (10.9 million) make up most of
the employed sector based on the census data in 2003. It is probable
however that these comprise the sector that is largely considered
underemployed, are self-employed or doing odd jobs.
why even some of the deemed prestigious courses register high unemployment
rate. Surprisingly, leading the pack of unemployed professionals are
lawyers, with a 20.55 percent unemployment rate. They are closely followed
by architecture and commerce graduates with 20.48 percent and chemical
engineering majors with 19.78 percent.
a scenario, employment uncertainties will definitely hound this year’s
graduates as much as it continues to hound last year’s graduates.
Baral, 19, and a graduating Information Technology (IT) Major at the
Polytechnic University of the Philippines fears she might have a hard time
finding a job related to her degree.
admits she joined the bandwagon of fresh high school graduates who took IT
and other computer-related courses as these were “in demand” during the
latter years of the 1990s. However, it was quickly replaced by nursing and
care-giver programs at the start of the new millennium.
I’ll apply for a part-time job on websites while waiting for employment,”
she told Bulatlat. “The way I see it, in the end I might still land in a
low-profile and lowly-paid clerical or secretarial job, if there are no
other jobs available.”
that she is also considering joining her classmates in applying as call
just one of the college students who are anxious of being sidelined after
Economic Woes Drive Bright Graduates to
By Carl Marc
BACK TO TOP ■
PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION ■
© 2004 Bulatlat
■ Alipato Publications
Permission is granted to reprint or redistribute this article, provided its author/s and Bulatlat are properly credited and notified.