By Ishrat Ansari

While lack of jobs and obstacles in progressing through careers is a phenomena spread across the globe, the situation is even worst in countries like ours (more because of political instability than anything else). There are hundreds and thousands of students graduating from universities each year, many without knowing what the future will hold for them. Numbers aren’t very in favor of

  1. Lack of jobs intro
  2. role of universities
  3. real life story (reference below)

My neighbour, whose son graduated in electronic engineering a year ago from one of the top engineering universities of Karachi, happily informed me one day that he was heading to Australia for higher studies. I congratulated her, but deep down I was sad because I knew why he chose to go abroad. Around six months ago, he was extremely depressed about being unemployed and his mother asked me to help him find a job. I told her that my field was completely different but I could at least advise him how to search for jobs on the internet etc. I felt so sorry for him but failed to do anything except for encouraging him.

The situation in Pakistan is quite different now. The market is flooded with engineering graduates. Here, I am not talking about computer or software engineers, of course. Private universities are producing a large number of graduates but industries are not offering many job opportunities for a number of reasons. Her son, after actively searching jobs for a year lost all hope. I knew his family could afford to send him abroad but what about those graduates who do not belong to affluent families? Parents invest in their children by sending them to private universities and expect that they would be able to secure a good position after graduation, but that hardly happens.

Before writing this piece, I spoke to many engineering graduates and almost half of them said they have had really difficult times. I eventually found out that the main problem is the slow growth of the industries. Hence, to cut labour costs, industries prefer technicians over engineers. Recently, jobs were announced in 3G and 4G technologies and telecommunication graduates were interviewed for them. Unfortunately, companies ended up hiring mostly technicians because they need to be paid less. They can hire two technicians and pay them what they would pay a single engineer. Now, my question is why engineering universities do not make an effort to help their students find jobs after graduation? They should have contracts within industries that would help accommodate their graduates; otherwise, there is no point in producing so many graduates every year.

Joblessness not only frustrates young men of the country but also their parents. In short, it affects the entire family. My heart goes out to these fresh engineers, who invest so much money in education and work hard with the hope that they will have a good future.

By Ishrat Ansari via Tribune