WORK-LIFE BALANCE / DEC. 30, 2014
version 2, draft 2

Post-Secondary Education Helps Young Adults Find a Good Job in Developing Countries

Working youth all over the world seems to be a vital part to their local economy. Learning a trade at an earlier age guarantees a person will experience better opportunities later on in their career pursuits.

In certain parts of the world, however, youth workers are struggling to find work that helps them earn a decent living.

According to a study by the International Labour Organization, the United Nations has determined that it’s necessary for young people in developing countries to have post-secondary education in order to find quality work.

The report found that 83 percent of youth from low-to-upper middle class societies who have higher-learning education are working in non-vulnerable jobs—or employment that doesn’t consist of tasks that are completely foreign to the worker.

The number has since dropped to 75 percent in the countries stricken by poverty and a low-income economy.

While possessing certain skills sometimes ensures that a person will obtain a non-vulnerable job, this is not always the case in a developing country.

Having higher education in a low-income country doesn’t guarantee that a worker won’t fall victim to a nun-vulnerable trade.

In some places, younger workers have been mismatched with a job according to their skill assets. This problem, better known as “skills mismatch,” refers to the existing gap between the “skill-level of those seeking employment and the demands of the jobs available on the market.”

“Skills mismatch” varies depending on if a worker is from an advance or emerging country.

For some overqualified youth living in low-income nations, they are employed in industries that do not encourage them to work to their full potential. In the same instance, under-skilled youth workers are stuck working vulnerable jobs.

The UN mentions how this disparity is mainly caused by poverty and destitution.

Youth living in struggling economies find themselves unable to afford and attend school. At the same time, they may resort to working in low-income trades in order to help or provide for their families. Thus, instead of going to a post-secondary school, they opt out of any opportunity to improve their labour skills.

However, the study’s author Theo Sparreboom says that it’s better to be over qualified than under-skilled in any labour market.

“Yet, it is clear that continuing to push forth undereducated, under-skilled youth into the labour market is a no-win situation, both for the young person who remains destined for a ‘hand-to-mouth existence’ based on vulnerable employment, and for the economy which gains little in terms of boosting its labour productivity potential,” said Sparreboom.

As long as workers of all ages aren’t striving for more advance skills, they will continue to work in low-income jobs. Parents who are surviving off of low wages won’t be able to afford schooling for their children to succeed, and the vicious cycle will forever continue.

Overall, the study visibly displays how a lack of education will only prolong poverty in the developing world. It’s up to the younger generation to seek higher education as a way to acquire stable employment in the future and to help break the cycle of economic scarcity. 

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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