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Mismatch of present education and Job profiles

There are all sorts of reasons to get an education. It gives you perspective on the world, it makes you a complete person, and of course most importantly of all, it helps you to build a career. Unfortunately this link between education and jobs seems to be breaking down.

The existing literature on job–education mismatch in India mainly focuses on over-education. Individuals with more schooling than required for their jobs are considered overqualified, and thus mismatched. The estimates of over-education and under-qualification suggest that the educational system is either providing inadequate skills or creating more graduates in those disciplines which have relatively less demand. A sound occupational-specific education would ensure the matching jobs. There is a need to strengthen the education and training policies at the province and district levels.

About one-third of the graduates are mismatched either in over-education or in under-education category. The over-educated graduates are further classified into ‘apparent over-educated and ‘genuine over-educated categories. Approximately 60 percent of the graduates are in the former category while the rests are in later category. More than one-fourth of the graduates are mismatched in qualification; about half of them are over-qualified and the half are under-qualified. For instance, a graduate who studied accounting rather than marketing at university would be better equipped to analyze financial statements at an accounting firm, although both disciplines are within the business domain.

In this, managers are not assigned a skill level due to the diversity of their experience and education level—they are grouped under the management skill level. There are four skill levels and their corresponding education level requirements are the following:

  • management – managers
  • professional – some university education
  • technical, paraprofessional and skilled – a non-university postsecondary diploma, certificate, or apprenticeship training
  • Unskilled – no more than a high school diploma.

A minority (35%) of those occupying a professional position—the highest skill level of their job was closely related to their field of study; only 56% of them are having a job not at all related to their field of study. This corresponds to the specific nature of high-skilled occupations. Those in unskilled jobs were more likely to be in jobs that were unrelated to their schooling: 45% of them were not at all related to their education. Just over one-half of the managers were in positions closely related to their education.

Most employers underlined that they had problems finding employee(s) with adequate qualifications and professions but very often they also complained about the lack of workers with required work experiences.

Even with unemployment hovering around 9%, companies are grousing that they can’t find skilled employees, and filling a job can take months of hunting. Even if such individuals find a job, it is likely that it will be outside their field of study. For example, had IT-related degrees, while it might be great to have a Ph.D. graduate read your electrical meter, almost anyone with a little training could do the job pretty well.

With regard to education to employment, while there are some interesting efforts in the area, there is nothing comparable. There is no comprehensive data on the skills required for employment or on the performance of specific education providers in delivering those skills. This was a major challenge in conducting the current research.

Finally, think of the education-to-employment system as a highway, where three drivers—educators, employers and youth—all want to get to the same destination. There are three critical intersections—when young people enroll in post secondary education, when they build skills and when they seek work. At each point, each driver needs to take account of the others to keep moving safely and efficiently. Our research, however, shows that doesn’t usually happen. As a result, too many young people are getting lost along the way.

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