Its not a pretty sight for young aspiring professionals looking to enter the job world to fulfill their dreams. Pakistan suffers from a ridiculous unemployment rate of 5.9% or roughly twelve million people without a job. According to the Statistics Division, over 500000 graduates remain unemployed across the country. While it easy to outsource the fault for these crises to external events it is high time we adopted a proactive approach to solving the problem. At the very least, we have to assume some blame for ourselves and not underestimate the effects our own biases have on our lives. What stands out in this regard are the absurd myths that we associate with careers, and some of them need to be dispelled as soon as possible.
Myth #1: Assigning careers based on irrelevant factors
The first thing that needs to end is assigning careers for students based on irrelevant factors, like their grades or their genders. An example of this can be where a student at the top of his class is expected by his parents to enter the esteemed engineering field. Likewise, a slightly-below-average student would be urged by his parents to opt for the commerce stream just to be on the safe side. Needless to say, such actions lead to nothing but resentment down the line. According to experts, unemployment among engineers is higher than in any other field. The growth of industry is slowing and does seem to be optimistic in the coming future due to recent economic conditions. When such external factors are ignored, as well as personal factors, the result is a miscalculated decision—and to top it all of, the student doesn’t even enter the field by his choice so he is unlikely to find passion in the work to compensate for the poor employment conditions. This gives rise to underemployment where skilled, knowledgeable individuals have jobs which do not utilize their skills. But more importantly, it prevents one from availing other opportunities that arise.
With technological advancement, careers as we know them are transforming and evolving. Information and communication technology (ICT) is being integrated into all areas of government and economic activity. This has led to a vacuum that requires computer science majors to be present to cater to these needs. However, when the trend began, it required individuals who were willing to depart from the traditional wisdom around degrees like engineering and medicine and enroll in computer science degrees. Indeed, today the potential for people to go from rags to riches through computer science, sometimes even without a formal degree, is massive. Freelancing has allowed individuals to earn thousands and millions through activities like writing, research, and programming, which can be self-taught with enough dedication.
Myth #2: University degrees guarantee employment
Another dangerous myth is that university degrees are enough for getting employment. Besides the top universities, most average universities focus simply on quantity and not quality, resulting in a poorly designed program which fails to incorporate soft skills and mindset development into a student’s grooming. These are aspects that students should take charge of by themselves and emphasis needs to be paid on them. Ignoring them and expecting lifelong success simply by enrolling in a university degree is unwise. In a world where practical knowledge is increasingly becoming outdated and replaced, self-education should complement formal education through real-world experiences and a willingness to learn newer stuff.
To conclude, the entire career landscape is rapidly shifting and if there is one strategy that guarantees failure, it is remaining stationary and refusing to adopt newer ideas and mindsets.