As many as 24 percent of the educated people – those who have acquired undergraduate or graduate degree – remain unemployed, according to a latest report by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE). It was noted that the overall unemployment rate in the country has reached 16 percent contrary to the figure of 6.5 percent presented by the government. Some of this unemployment can be blamed on the coronavirus pandemic but not all of it especially when such a large percentage of the educated people are not being hired despite having the degrees. The problem that can be identified here is that although many universities are awarding degrees, most of the subjects being taught are either not relevant anymore or if relevant the level of education is not up to the mark. Therefore, many educated people are left jobless.
Moreover, many schools do not provide counsellors who can guide students in choosing the right career path and the right university. Even after the foundation year in universities, many students do not make informed choices when it comes to choosing degrees and therefore post-graduation most end up jobless due to the redundancy of what they have studied or because of the excess of labour supply in that field. There are some sectors in the country which are understaffed as not many people opt for those particular subjects. Most universities, especially public sector universities do not have departments specifically designed to link their students to the industries. Hence, students are left to make choices based on what they see and think is the best which usually is not the best.
In addition, the unemployment statistic also comes from those people who choose not to work after graduating. Up to 40% of degree holding women do not or are kept from working due to their social circumstances. This adds to the unemployment figures as they have the skills and qualifications but are not able to work. This factor is degenerative for society, especially in sectors such as health where people are able to get the seats but when they finish their education, they do not take jobs. This is one of the causes of understaffing in the health sector. Lastly, it is crucial for universities to develop a comprehensive plan along with the industries so that the unemployment rate can be reduced.