Sad reality for graduates

Reitumetse Mahope

Educated youth in South Africa are finding it increasingly tough to land a job. Even with a degree or a diploma, these qualifications are no guarantees for jobs anymore.

Getting a degree has become the end goal for most students. While it is general knowledge that a graduate student is more employable than a person without education, the course they studied determines their employment potential

The quarterly labour force survey (QLFS) is a household-based sample survey conducted by statistics South Africa (Stats SA) and reveals the following: In 2015 young people generally displayed higher unemployment rates than the elderly, irrespective of levels of education. The highest unemployment rates in quarter 4, 2015 were recorded among those aged 15 and 24 years and 25 and 34. The unemployment rate among graduates is lower than among other educational levels, irrespective of age.

Tasneem Selomi who studied tourism and hospitality at Rosebank college and who was set to graduate sometime this year said it was hard getting a job in this career path.

“All the posts require at least two-years of experience and when you want to apply for a job on the Internet it takes forever.”

Selomi worked in retail because she did not plan to stay home and do nothing. She doesn’t enjoy what she was doing because it was not what she studied for.

Tanaiya Lees a student who studied journalism at Varsity college Pretoria and graduated in May 2015 said: “The challenges are that every employer wants you to have an unreasonable amount of experience, especially for someone coming out of university.”

Solofelang Thobejane also a Varsity college Pretoria student about to graduate said she was also job hunting and the problem was that conglomerates were demanding three, four and some five years of experience. She had just finished studying and saw this as being ridiculous.


Most graduates in search of jobs either lack work experience, practical knowledge for the job or their degrees are irrelevant to the job market.

Young graduates today seem to face increasing uncertainty in their hopes of getting jobs and this uncertainty and disillusionment can, in turn, have damaging effects on individuals, society and the economy at large.

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