Still studying? Most likely your job will not require a degree

As graduation day is becoming closer and closer, I can’t but wonder if I will find a job, or better yet, a job in my field. But the statistics aren’t very positive. According to Accenture’s U.S. college graduate employment research, 51% of recent graduates feel underemployed. This means that more than half of recent graduates are in jobs that do not require a degree. With the youth unemployment rates also high, the leap from university to the job market does not look very appealing. I have the privilege to study in Finland, where higher education is free, but how about the millions of young people who spend thousands of dollars in their education? Knowing that more than half of the people you study with will be underemployed after graduation, some even unemployed, and others back in education, means that the amount of people from your class who are actually putting their education to use, is extremely low. Many with huge debts haunting them, this puts young people in a very unfortunate situation right at the beginning of their careers.

 

This is not just an issue that us as young people should be worried about. If young people, who are the future leaders of companies and countries, are not in decent jobs, the societies are losing at large. Policy makers should be worried about the resources they are spending on public education and the future of their country. Business leaders should be worried about who will operate and lead the companies in the future. There is no need educating people, if there are no use for the education.

 

But what are the factors behind the high graduate underemployment rates? Is education not preparing us for working life? Or do jobs no longer require degrees? Here are three possible reasons behind the high rates of graduate underemployment.

 

  1. Education not preparing graduates with soft skills

Some say that it is because graduates do not have the required soft skills to perform in a workplace. Students are still encouraged to learn things by heart and write essays from books they have read from cover to cover. However, many times university does not prepare students for effective communication or enhance their problem solving skills, which are essential for the working life.

 

  1. The required technical skills are changing faster than educators can keep up

Young graduates are usually missing even the basic technological skills that are needed in the 21st century, like Search Engine Optimization, programming and web design. With even the basics missing, it is difficult to keep up to date with the constantly advancing technology. Education is failing to keep up with this pace, making young graduates even more less likely to be employed. There are many organizations that offer programming education online for free, but higher education institutions should also include it in their curriculums to make the skills more widespread and their graduates more employable.

 

  1. High employer turnover vs. Recruitment costs

Others argue, that because of high employer turnover and the financial resources it takes to hire and train a new person, companies are not so willing to recruit so often. Another possible reason for requiring less hires is the advanced technology as more and more tasks can be done automatically or by robots and artificial intelligence.

 

Whatever the reason is, it’s clear that it’s not just unemployment but also underemployment that is a challenge young graduates face more often than not, and it is the responsibility of all policy makers, educators and business leaders, to help equip the future leaders for a better future. As for me, I just have to wish that I’m within the about 18% that score a job that fits their degree.


Written by: Alexandra Byskata

 

Reasons for high employee turnover with the youth

Companies around the globe are facing high employee turnover, especially among the youth. But what are the possible reasons behind this?

High employee turnover can be due to the youth leaving their current company because they have found a better position at another company. The new position may be more attractive to them; offering more money or having other positive benefits than the current one. The youth nowadays lean more towards finding better opportunities, and if a company cannot offer this to them, they will leave.

This is because the paradigm has moved from the previous generation to the 2000’s. The millennial generation want fulfilment from employers. The economic system has made it as such, due to the reality of having small salary amounts on entry level jobs, the fierce educational competition amongst graduates, and fewer job prospects in the job market.

Young employees often voluntarily leave jobs where they feel bored or where they are not engaged enough. High-performing youngsters have to feel that their needs are being taken care of, that they can work towards a clear vision, and feel professionally challenged. If those pumped-up youth feel stuck at their current workplace, they will most definitely seek a new one, with better ventures where they feel they are growing.

Internal conflicts with supervisors or colleagues can also be a cause for concern. The majority of youth nowadays face tremendous pressure from their superiours, and are even coerced into doing jobs that are either not part of their job portfolios, or jobs for which they are underpaid. This pressure might arise because of the generation gap existing from the previous generations, to the way of living of millennial youngsters.

Adaptability is thus key in preventing the youth from leaving a company. By understanding the common reasons for high employee turnover with the youth, companies will deal with their young employees more conscientiously and efficiently manage their businesses to prevent such disasters from ever occurring.

 

What skills are needed to work in a global market?

Hiring international HR is a huge responsibility from every possible perspective you can think of. Not only as a monetary investment of your firm, but it is also a monumental monetary and emotional investment that is being made by the people you are employing from other countries. Thus, this blog explores topics beyond the usual “Top 5 skills I should look for while hiring International Talent”, to explore the matter with a lot more thought and process for all of us to know.

I’m assuming that you understand the investments being made while hiring such talent very well before you read this blog, or that you have enough budget to explore such a thing. That said, you are looking for someone exceptionally unique. Otherwise, you would have searched for someone from your resident country itself.

Being 2017, our processes and thoughts have escalated and become more person-oriented as ever. The importance of teamwork and the reliability on teammates has increased in these times more than ever before, and hence it is important to recruit employees who have a character that fits best with the team(s) in your firm. Hiring just the best will not do it because they will not be the best when they aren’t a good fit in the team you allocate them to. Not only will you end up misusing your resources at that point in time and reducing positive results, a situation can most likely arise where that individual ends up losing their momentum and slow down the progress of their own talent and potential.

That said, various companies and universities have regularly mentioned many skills that they find important for people in today’s ever growing world where borders are diminishing. If one starts to accumulate these, you will find 16 skills that are, more or less, common in all the lists online which are what employees need to possess in this age and hour for the global market. There isn’t any grading or scoring system to any of those points because it depends on what kind of a person you’re looking for. However, every employee seems to need all of these skills in today’s world. These 16 skills are as mentioned below. Are all your requirements mentioned in it?

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These 16 skills can be actually be divided into these 3 sections:

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Such categorizations have been made based on the graph below. It’s a percentile graph of the kind of job descriptions and duties employees have been getting since 1960 all way to 2010. One will see why it has become increasingly important for global HR managers to consider such information more seriously.

 

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The need of 2017 is finding people who are exceptional in “Problem-solving in technology-rich environments”. The problem is that studies say there is roughly only 6% of the current population who really possess this quality. Therefore, it is your responsibility to create environments that make your employees more efficient and hire people who will fit best in the environment you have tailored for your workforce.

Hope this helps and eases the process for you in your endeavor to select some of most amazing individuals from around the world for your workplace.

Best of luck!

Written by Sean Ankit Bothra.

Education isn’t preparing youth for jobs of the future.

The world is changing faster than ever in our history. If we’re seeking to evolve and meet a new era of human existence, we need to make EDUCATION a top priority and develop a new appreciation of its importance.

Here’s an experiment to start with; Try and ask a group of 6 years olds which of them thinks they’re creative and they’ll all put their hands up. Ask a group of 20-year-olds and over, the same exact question and most of them won’t.

The thing is, we’re all born with this kind of primal trust in our abilities and skills.

And the more we commit to classrooms I’m strongly convinced we are losing touch with these talents.

By repeatedly being dragged to this environment where we have to experience this narrow type of intelligence and standardized tests. We are committing what I like to call “Spiritual suicide”.

Most of today’s youth from all around the world think they are not fit nor ready for today’s workplaces.

Ironically, one of the main reasons behind it is; EDUCATION.

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Think about it, every single idea and concept from a hundred years ago have been questioned and evolved eventually. All but one, EDUCATION that is.

So is today’s school systems preparing youth for the future? Or the past?

Here’s a second experiment; Try and ask today’s Entrepreneurs and startup owners about the most valued workplace Skills they seek in their workforce and teams. Strong chance schools won’t be teaching any of it.

We need to create environments and spaces in our schools and workplaces where people are engaged and inspired to grow away from all the theoretical and traditional schooling.

Not because it will make them better communicators or thinkers but because as the world evolves, the sustainability and the very future of our communities and institutions will depend on it.

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Today’s work environments demand a workforce that is passionate about what they do, a new generation with a strength based attitude, better communicators with organizational skills and a strong set of leadership and Interpersonal skills.

Which are not the set of skills and competencies that our education offers? A rigid schooling that gets us to have this limited view of our own capacities and limits us from understanding how much potential we have for growth and change.

Although it’s too good to be true that Education systems can be changed. Countries like “Finland” are a living proof that it can be done.

An education where students have more time to explore one’s passion rather than do endless homework, have more time to discover their surroundings rather than be caged in a classrooms, have schools that are students centric so that students actually likes to be there rather than wait to leave, where they learn to think for themselves and get engaged enough to learn by doing!

A place where youth can be themselves and grow as human beings and most importantly be happy.

And certainly, other countries should adopt its education system, ASAP.

So if we can customize apps and technology daily then it’s our role and duty to do the same with education, cause while students are 20% of today’s population they are for sure 100% the future.

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Written by Bilal Belhadj

AIESEC launches Let’s Get Real campaign

The campaign calls out youth to get engaged in the global affairs

Today AIESEC launched ‘Let’s Get Real’ campaign to raise awareness about the UN Sustainable Development Goals amongst young people. The campaign urges youth to get to know the Global Goals by translating the sophisticated language into simple messages that feature relatable tips for their everyday lifestyle choices. AIESEC aims to make 1 million youth aware about the SDGs and encourage them to act for a cause they care about. Visitors of the Youth4GlobalGoals website can pledge to one of the SDGs, manifesting their will to become SDG advocates and take action.

According to the YouthSpeak Survey, 55% of young people are not aware of the Sustainable Development Goals. Through Youth4GlobalGoals initiative AIESEC aims to mobilize every young person to act for the SDGs. Let’s Get Real is the biggest awareness campaign AIESEC runs since the YouthSpeak Survey campaign in 2016, which gathered over 180.000 responses.

‘Let’s Get Real’ is our shout-out to young people out there. We want to burst their bubble, let them know that life issues go beyond photo filters or a number of likes, if to take into account diverse realities of 1.8 billion young people in the world. At the same time, we want young people to see how privileged they can be and what responsibility this brings’, says Alonso Salazar, Global Vice President Digital Marketing in AIESEC and the creator of the ‘Let’s Get Real’.

‘Let’s Get Real’ campaign release includes a refreshed version of youth4globalgoals.org website that will allow youth to understand the SDGs better through gamification and interactive website features. The campaign will run in 120+ countries and will be powered by a network of 40k young volunteers. ‘Let’s Get Real’ is AIESEC’s contribution to engaging youth with the ‘One For All’ campaign powered by PVBLIC Foundation.

Get engaged by taking a pledge at youth4globalgoals.org to become one of out of the youth advocates.

About Youth4GlobalGoals:

The initiative aims to mobilize young people to contribute with actions to SDGs. Throughout 2016, 32.000 young people went abroad to volunteer in 4,500 SDG-based projects. Moreover, AIESEC hosted YouthSpeak Forums in 200 locations and educated 56.000 people on the SDGs. The initiative reached 12.5 million people. Please find attached the full 2016 report: http://bit.ly/Y4GG2016

Why don’t the youth possess the soft skills needed for today’s jobs?

Nowadays, a lot of jobs are available for graduates to be employed and to earn a fair amount of income. However, it is believed that the youth is facing joblessness not because there is a lack of jobs out there, but because they do not have the right skills for the jobs they apply for. Here are 3 reasons why.

 

1)   Little or no focus on building and learning new skills:

A lot of graduates focus too much on the academic and neglect building up on their authentic selves. They have been told from their parents to go to school, middle school and high school with the aim of reaching the highest grades : the famous A+. Teenagers are pressured into going to university or college right after they finish with their schooling, so as to have a tertiary education. Then on, they are compelled to look for full-time jobs with their degrees. This extreme focus on academic results and the lack of time and effort put into building the right skillsets they need to be employable is actually what denies the youth of a well-paid job by a potential employee.

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2)         Modules need to be reviewed by universities:

Gaps in formal education are also another reason for why the youth are not prepared for work. According to Fraser Nelson, students are “egged on by teachers (and government ministers) who say that a university degree is always worth it; perhaps true a generation ago, but not anymore” (The Telegraph, 2016). Universities have been charging a lot of money out of students, though they do not frequently review their syllabuses. Hence ‘useless’ modules are being taught to students year after year, with the growing lack of the necessary soft skills needed for these future graduates to kick start their careers. If universities partnered with companies and the government to change what’s being taught once every two years, and to instill important skills into future degree holders, the job market would not have been such an unnerving zone.


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3)   Working experience is highly needed from graduates:

More than academic results, experience is much needed in the workplace. Many graduates have never had a job before their university lives. Because employers look for past work experiences in students, the large majority of graduates keep waiting in the dark for this super important call to confirm if they got the job they applied for, or if they still need to go hunting. The Bureau of Labor Statistics report that in 2016, prior work experience was required for 47.8 percent of all jobs, while a bachelor’s degree was required in 17.5 percent of jobs. The necessity of working experience has outgrown the need for a degree, or a diploma during the last decade. If graduates want to have a full-time job right after their degree, they absolutely need to work on their soft skills by being on the lookout for job experiences.

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Written by Aamirah Mohangee,
Mauritius.

Back to the Future: Cars so fly

On October 21st of 2015, a heavily modified De Lorean DMC-12 emerges on a highway of flying cars accompanied by bolts of lightning. Dr. Emmett Brown, Marty McFly and his girlfriend Jennifer Parker ascend down to the town of Hill Valley to find a future of 3D-holograms, voice controlled home appliances, very different from their reality of 1985.

 

The futuristic scenes from the film Back to the Future gave a generation an exciting image of what the future might be. Movie geeks were counting down to the date in 2015, dubbed “Back in the future day”, hoping for someone to invent a real life hoverboard before the time was up. Today some of us live in smart homes, and drones with cameras are becoming ubiquitous, but unfortunately we don’t have flying cars; the ultimate symbol of the future. At least not in the way most of us imagined it.

 

As we look into the future today, we see different possibilities and opportunities than in 1985. Not flying cars, but electric ones, providing a cleaner way of transportation. Although people still feel confident that the development of technology will keep making our lives better, it’s not all about optimism. Global warming, population growth and rapid urbanization are challenges that might bring devastating results if not dealt with accordingly.

 

Roughly 20% of all the carbon emissions globally are caused by transportation (of total fuel combustion). A large part of that transportation is goods moving around the world, but a large part of it is also just everyday trips to grocery stores and workplaces on cars and mopeds. There is also a huge variation between different countries, ranging from 6.1% in Kazakhstan, to over 90% in Paraguay. Urbanization, the fact that 6 out of 10 people are projected to live in cities in 2030, coupled with the projected number of car ownership rates that are going through the roof, are going to be a challenge. Already in 2014, half of the world’s population were exposed to air pollution levels at least an alarming 2.5 times higher than what is recommended by the World Health Organization. It might be a good thing that traffic jams for now are just going to be limited to two dimensions, instead of three.

 

While people are looking up to companies and governments to come up with clean solutions to problems, a lot will come down to people changing their habits as well. Electric cars are still out of reach for the majority of people due to their high price, but electric bikes and scooters are becoming cheap enough. If it’s only a question of comfort, choosing public transportation over driving can help reduce the carbon footprint. And let’s not forget about cycling or just plain good old walking, which are the best options from the ecological perspective. Although hoverboards are undeniably awesome, let’s hope that the day they hit the market, they’ll be green.

Don’t worry, Be happy

What is the one thing that everyone has in common? We’ve all got 99 problems. No matter who you are, or what you’re doing, it’s likely that you will run into a speed bump eventually. If you are in a leadership position, your chances increase. So what can you do to avoid this?

I’m sorry to tell you this but the answer is nothing. Problems cannot be avoided, otherwise perfection would be reality. But the truth is that nothing ever goes perfectly. Instead of trying so hard to focus on perfection and trying to make sure that everything is ideal, try to work on your reaction to situations when something doesn’t go as planned. You have pretty much 3 options:

Number 1: You completely freak out, lose control and cry yourself to sleep in the fetal position.

Number 2: You just ignore it and hope for the best.

Number 3: You try to stay positive, open minded and look for a solution.

I don’t know which one of those sounds the best to you (we all enjoy being in the fetal position occasionally), but I would say number 3 is a safe bet. The truth is that when things go wrong, all you can do is try to fix them or try to find an alternative. Sometimes, the alternative even ends up being better than the original, but you can’t and won’t be able to experience that if you just freak out and freeze.

As Willie Nelson said Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” Almost as important as thinking positively throughout hardships, is that the people around you do the same. If you are in a leadership position, you have to lead this attitude by example. If others see you calm, with a smile on your face, they will know that everything is okay and they will also be calm and think clearly. Because, let’s be honest, if in five years you look back at a bad moment, and it won’t seem that bad, then your problem really isn’t that big. And with a calm demeanor and positive thinking, you can always come up with some solution that will smooth things over.

So next time when you find yourself in a difficult situation, and you feel like there is nothing else that you can do to fix it, take a moment, breathe and stay positive, then you are sure to come up with an alternative.

Leadership skills – the missing piece for youth employment?

Universities teach a lot about hard skills and theories, but when it comes to being able to implement the learnings in practice, a lot of young people find it difficult. This has also been noticed by many employers who say that young people are missing the soft skills needed in a professional environment. It is important that young people know how to manage time correctly, communicate effectively in different environments, and can get through challenges when facing them. But if universities are not equipping young people with these skills, they need to search elsewhere for the experience.

At AIESEC we have noticed the need of better leaders in the world and believe that leadership can be developed in anyone. AIESEC’s unique leadership development model seeks to prepare youth to take a stand on what they care about and become capable of making a difference through their everyday actions. We believe that by equipping young people with these leadership skills, they will be more prepared for the future. All our products develop four leadership qualities that are related to current world trends. These qualities are self-awareness, world citizen, empowering others, and solution oriented. Below you can read how these leadership qualities are relevant professionally for young people.

  1. Self-awareness

The declining need for formal leaders has brought about the need for more self-aware leaders. A self-aware leader knows what they are good at, what is important to them and what they are passionate about. When young people know themselves they are able to make better decisions for their careers as well. The youth of today want to work for a company that shares the same values as them and that does something good for the world. Being aware of their own values and passions helps them choose this kind of organisation and this increases employee retention. In addition, a self-aware leader focuses on their strengths over weaknesses, making them more ready to take on new challenges at work, not letting their weaknesses slow them down.

  1. World citizen

With globalisation, the business world has less and fewer borders. However, globalisation has also brought growing nationalisation in many countries. This is why being a world citizen is an increasingly important skill to have in the working life. Being interested in the world issues and especially taking responsibility for improving the world are essential to do business in a globalised world. AIESEC gives young people the opportunity to challenge themselves in another country. They are able to learn about the people and culture of that country making them more equipped to work with people from different backgrounds. This doesn’t only apply to an international workplace, but any job where there is a need for teamwork and interacting with other people.

  1. Empowering others

The quality of empowering others is needed to navigate the complex and interconnected modern world. Communication skills are vital for any relationships to work, so young people need to be able to communicate effectively in diverse environments to get their point clearly across and avoid any chances of misunderstanding. It’s also important that young people know how to collaborate with other people to achieve a bigger purpose. Lastly, by developing the skill of empowering others, young people will be able to contribute to the personal development of others and empower them to take action. This means that they can empower their co-workers to reach higher and challenge themselves.

  1. Solution oriented

The fast pace of the modern world also makes it a more uncertain place, and young people need to be prepared for change. Instead of being frozen in the face of a challenge, young people should show resilience and be flexible. The uncertainty of constant changes might seem frightening, but by staying positive, a young leader can steer their team forward despite the uncertainty they might face. This calls for the willingness to take risks when they are needed. This quality is very important in a working environment, as you can never know what changes might happen the next day economically or politically. A solution-oriented leader does not let failures hold them back, but gets up and continues to fight towards what they are aiming for.

We believe that if we develop these four qualities in young people, it will make them ready to face the challenges the world has in front of them. They will also be able to turn the theories and knowledge they have learnt at university into practice, making them more employable in the long run.

– Written by Alexandra Byskata

Farm for your life

The Sustainable Development Goals have very clear goals. No Poverty, Climate Action, Quality Education etc. But often times, when looking at the current events happening around the world, it’s hard to just isolate one issue at a time as they are often interconnected.


This week in SDG X is a novel writing initiative to keep the network and the blog’s loyal readers up-to-date with a brief collection of news directly related to the Global Goals.


This is the case currently in the Lake Chad Basin in Africa. People are suffering from hunger and are fleeing from fighting and violence, trying to seek refuge. And yet, the crops there are doing worse than ever. The impact of environmental degradation, climate change, and many droughts have affected the situation there critically, according to the FAO Director-General. People are trying to find a safe place where their fight for survival might be just a little bit easier, they are just trying to provide for their families and make sure that their loved ones survive. And yet there are wars all around and then the environment works against them as well. It’s a truly terrifying situation and one that is in need of immediate attention.

The FAO Director-General noted that since 1963, Lake Chad has lost around 90 per cent of its water mass with devastating consequences on food security and the livelihoods of people depending on fishing and irrigation-based agricultural activities. Furthermore, while Lake Chad has been shrinking, the population has been growing, including millions displaced from conflict areas.

“Agriculture, including livestock and fisheries, can no longer be an afterthought. It is what produces food and what sustains the livelihoods of about 90 per cent of the region’s population.” said Mr. Graziano da Silva.

So what can be done to help? How can anybody improve the situation of these people? Well, since the crops are currently not working, the UN has developed a two year plan to help save them. Meanwhile, they are urging us to provide as much help financially as possible. They are also teaching farmers different farming techniques to achieve best results under these circumstances as well as buying the excess food from food markets in that area so as to feed the hungry.

It’s a truly horrifying situation that the people there are facing and it is hard to imagine what it would be like to suffer the same. To help save the animals and the people in these areas immediate action is needed and all efforts must be focused on saving these lives that are already slipping away.