By Ruqaya Al-Huwairni
A college degree is not important when it comes to finding a job. In fact, it may be an obstacle in landing a good job. In a 2015 survey carried out by the General Authority of Statistics, 50 percent of Saudis who graduated from local universities were jobless. The results also showed that high school and post-secondary institute diploma holders were luckier in finding jobs.
The number of college graduates is on the increase and they face a lot of difficulty finding jobs that are commensurate with their academic qualifications. The majority of them have high expectations and want to prove themselves. But how are they going to find such positions when they do not have what it takes? By this I mean that they have university degrees in subjects that are not in demand. Moreover, the results of most of them are poor.
The poor grades can be attributed to the poor percentages achieved at secondary level. These students finished high school with low grades and somehow managed to overcome the obstacles standing in their way to get into university. One of these obstacles is the general aptitude test. Any student who does not score 85 in the aptitude test should not be allowed to enroll in college. Universities should not take into consideration a student’s high school grades but rather consider a student’s aptitude results.
High school graduates should be encouraged to join science colleges and enroll in technical and vocational institutes because these are specializations that are in demand. Universities and institutes should also require students to study humanities to gain daily skills needed for jobs. This will guarantee Saudi students who graduate from college better jobs that will help them become financially stable and better able to get married. This is also the only way that the Kingdom can replace expatriate workers with Saudis.
Technical and vocational institutes can train Saudis to do the jobs currently done by expatriate workers. The Ministry of Labor and Social Development should lend graduates of such institutes loans to start small projects or factories.