Ministry feels market is unable to absorb the glut of BBAs, BComs, BCAs and BBMs
With the labour market seeing a higher supply of graduates in general arts, commerce, business management, and ICT, labour ministry officials said it was necessary for students pursuing higher studies to make informed choices to ensure their employability.
Labour ministry officials said almost 50 percent of the 2,300 graduates, who attended the national graduation orientation programme last year, had studied BBA, BCom, BCA and BBM.
When there is an “excess” of graduates from these fields, officials said the chances of them getting employed in their related field is less.
“While the employability of these graduates depends on the labour market, when there’s a large pool of graduates in the same field, the vacancies aren’t able to absorb all,” an official said. “These graduates also lack specialisation in their field of study.”
Of the total population, 15,347 holds a bachelor’s degree and about 851 of them are unemployed, states the 2012 labour force survey report.
Labour officials, however, said this is only a suggestion from their human resource department (HRD), which did a background analysis of the various courses graduates came with in the labour market.
Students, Kuensel spoke to, said they do not always choose their courses, and that the courses choose them at times. It was also based on their parents’ suggestions, academic performance and the affordability of the courses.
A BBM degree holder, Kinzang Dorji, who is yet to be employed after he graduated last year, agreed on the surplus of graduates with similar backgrounds, but said they aren’t left with much choice. “During my high school, I wanted to become a doctor, but after my 10th standard, I had to take up commerce, as I didn’t score well to take up science,” he said.
But Kinzang Dorji said he wouldn’t mind working in any field, so long as he gets employed. “I had to take up BBM as it was cheaper comparatively,” he said.
Last year’s national HRD advisory series states that, if the current supply of graduates with business administration, commerce, general arts, IT and BCA continued, there could be a large pool of unemployed graduates.
The national HRD advisory series suggested that the department of adult and higher education (DAHE) and the royal university of Bhutan (RUB) review enrollment of students in colleges, both within and outside the country, to avoid unemployment of graduates and under-utilisation of human resource.
DAHE officials said the scholarship slots are based on the requirement in government agencies, private sector and corporations they receive through the royal civil service commission and the labour ministry, apart from the national human resource master plan.
“So long students perform well, they shouldn’t remain jobless,” a DAHE official said. “Employment opportunities also depend on the competency of students.”
The official also said students, who are sent on government scholarships, can opt for jobs in the private sector and corporations. “It’s up to them, whether they want to establish themselves in the private sector and corporations, or remain jobless because they want a government job.”
But RUB officials said they could probably review the enrollment, provided that there are very good statistics, which prove this assumption. In the absence of such statistics, there was no basis to review the enrollment, just because there is an excess of graduates in certain fields.
When offering such courses, RUB officials said they look at the employability as well. “The BBM and BCom courses offered in Bhutanese colleges are more specialised,” an RUB official said. “A proper study should be done by the labour ministry, rather than making such vague statements.”
By Kinga Dema