We are often told that a university degree is vital to securing employment and long-term term economic security. But is this true in Zambia? With increasing numbers of people studying for a degree we ask whether higher education adequately prepares students for employment and ask whether degrees are still considered important by employers.
Does higher education adequately prepare students for employment?
Media reports frequently suggest that employers are unhappy with the way that higher education prepares students for employment. Employers complain that students lack basic skills required for the workplace. In contrast, more and more students are attending university desperate to acquire the skills required to succeed in the workplace. This raises a number of questions:
- Are educators failing to listen the requirements of employers?
- Are employers failing to communicate to educators the skills that they require for the modern workplace?
- What changes need to be made to the current system?
Does having a degree really matter?
A simple question but one that is frequently debated by students, employees and employers.
Why does this question remain unanswered?
For a start not all degrees are the same. Degrees are awarded for a range of subjects and are awarded from a number of different education providers.
- Could it be that employers value degrees in some industries but not in others?
- Does a degree from one education provider prepare a student better than a degree from an alternative education provider?
- Does the grade you obtain mean that you will perform better in the workplace?
- If you are planning on running your own business does having a degree really matter?
Looking at the jobs adverts we receive from employers and advertise on www.gozambiajobs.com it is clear that many employers want applications from those with degrees. Do they do this because they value the skills that a degree-holder has or because it acts as a screen to reduce the number of applicants? Could it be that experience is sometimes more appropriate than a degree?
What is the evidence?
A study from the UK suggests that in some countries there was a relationship between the number of graduates and economic growth in those countries. A further study suggested that graduates on average will earn more during the course of their life than non-graduates. Have any studies on either of these topics been undertaken in Zambia? What effect will the digital age have on learning and knowledge? Could degrees become obsolete?
Have your say
Lots of questions have been raised above and it would be great to hear your opinions. Why not share your opinions with us below.
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