Of un­em­ployed grad­u­ates

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Mor­ris Mpala

IN­TER­EST­ING story if you Google Anna Alaburda. She is a law grad­u­ate from an ex­pen­sive Amer­i­can univer­sity who grad­u­ated 10 years ago and is now su­ing her univer­sity as she has not found the lu­cra­tive job the univer­sity made her be­lieve she will get af­ter grad­u­at­ing.

Makes me think there is a story here for your learned mind. Do we still see de­grees as a guar­an­tee to a cer­tain level of wealth? Do cer­tain schools/uni­ver­si­ties of­fer the groom­ing pro­por­tional to their cost of groom­ing? (Re­mem­ber de­bate about pri­vate schools on pass rate vis-a-vis fees charged).

Should grad­u­ates of UZ/Nust or other in­sti­tu­tions who have not found lu­cra­tive jobs 10 years on also sue?

Sue who and why? Can uni­ver­si­ties also counter sue for bring­ing their name into dis­re­pute by not mea­sur­ing up to their es­teemed sta­tus of pro­duc­ing a prod­uct that in­dus­try ac­cepts?

For me it is an­other re­minder that the hus­tle in life con­tin­ues till you die. When I was grow­ing up I hus­tled for my dad’s at­ten­tion. Dur­ing ado­les­cence I un­schol­arly hus­tled for at­ten­tion from friends and ladies. When I was in school I hus­tled for good grades, then I hus­tled to get a job and now in work life I hus­tle for recog­ni­tion by my boss. The fact that one grad­u­ated with a de­gree was just the be­gin­ning of the next stage of the hus­tle.

Your take on the Zim­bab­wean per­spec­tive will be in­ter­est­ing to hear. Let us ex­plore the Zim­bab­wean sit­u­a­tion for in­stance. Al­ter­na­tively, given most uni­ver­si­ties in Zim­babwe are State-owned and given that the State man­ages the econ­omy, which is meant to pro­vide jobs to grad­u­ates, there is a case to be made by grad­u­ates who can­not find jobs? Is there a cor­re­la­tion be­tween Gov­ern­ment and job cre­ation against in­de­pen­dent learn­ing in­sti­tu­tions? Are the de­grees be­ing stud­ied rel­e­vant to the pre­vail­ing con­di­tions.

There are a lot of an­gles to ex­plore, the mush­room­ing of new uni­ver­si­ties in Zim­babwe. Do we need them given the job mar­ket?

Are uni­ver­si­ties just a fund rais­ing ini­tia­tive and not a prom­ise to se­cure em­ploy­ment? Are uni­ver­si­ties just train­ing you to be train­able and thus can­not be held ac­count­able to your lack to se­cure a great fu­ture. In the same vein we can ex­on­er­ate the Gov­ern­ment from job se­cu­rity pro­vi­sion un­less it was civil ser­vants. But the op­po­site view is also chal­leng­ing, that is, are un­em­ployed grad­u­ates use­ful to an econ­omy? Do we need streets that are lit­tered with

non grad­u­ates? And where do en­trepreneurs stand in all of this? Whose job is it to cre­ate jobs? Is not job cre­ation a gap that both pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor are chas­ing to max­imise in­comes?

Do we have enough tal­ent to tackle un­em­ploy­ment if Gov­ern­ment was to cre­ate fer­tile ground for busi­ness in­cu­ba­tion? Are we breed­ing busi­ness peo­ple not en­trepreneurs? In any case is there a dis­tinct dif­fer­ence on these? And can we all be busi­ness peo­ple or en­trepreneurs.

Fi­nally do we need these de­grees at all kahle kahle ..?

I have ar­gued MBAs do not run com­pa­nies but is there a min­i­mum re­quired aca­demic ex­cel­lence that one needs to lead as an em­ployer or as an em­ployee?

As an in­di­vid­ual to what ex­tent do I put my fu­ture wel­fare into other third par­ties like Gov­ern­ment, uni­ver­si­ties or po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers? Do third par­ties do an ex­cel­lent job on my be­half...?

Morally, spir­i­tu­ally and fi­nan­cially who is re­spon­si­ble for guar­an­tee­ing em­ploy­ment af­ter grad­u­at­ing. The other is­sue that comes into the poly­no­mial equa­tion is the fund­ing model on the grad­u­ates given the less than nor­mal ab­sorp­tion of re­cent univer­sity grad­u­ates? Will fund­ing this sec­tor be a vi­able busi­ness ven­ture? If not then who funds un­der grad­u­ates ed­u­ca­tion in­vest­ment and the re­pay­ments headaches af­ter univer­sity

We are talk­ing about univer­sity but can take the same ar­gu­ment to lower in­sti­tu­tions of learn­ing and see if the in­vest­ment is worth the prod­uct that is be­ing pro­duced.

Am not here to spoon feed my au­di­ence with so­lu­tions. Pon­der on it and de­clare a so­lu­tion that we will ap­ply across.

All stake­hold­ers need to play their part to solve this predica­ment that is not unique to Zim­babwe and Africa only but a world­wide chal­lenge. Anna Alaburda lost her case in court in the USA and she is re­quired to set­tle her univer­sity fees debt with­out a pres­ti­gious job.

This story brings to the fore the view that by and large you are re­spon­si­ble and ac­count­able to your­self re­gard­less of the fact that in most in­stances you do not have to­tal con­trol on the en­vi­ron­men­tal stim­uli.

“Hus­tling” is 24/7 it’s a strug­gle every­day (ex­cuse the tau­tol­ogy there) with or with­out a de­gree. We owe upon our­selves and our de­pen­dants.




Mor­ris Mpala is the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of MoB Cap­i­tal, a Bu­l­awayo head­quar­tered mi­cro-fi­nance in­sti­tu­tion with foot­print across the coun­try.

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