By CY Ming
I refer to the article “It’s your attitude, not lack of experience, jobseekers told” (FMT, Feb 9).
The report is spot-on and it would be interesting to find out why many fresh graduates have unrealistic expectations.
Taking into account the large number of unemployed graduates, there must a variety of reasons why they are not offered employment at the salaries they want.
Firstly, these graduates probably do not know what is required at work, which is vastly different from campus life.
Apart from reporting for duty at the work place, they are required to produce goods or services that generate revenue directly or indirectly for their organisation.
Without the knowledge and skills acquired through job experience, they will not be able to produce enough to earn their keep.
As such, fresh graduates need to learn at the workplace, and what they have studied is largely academic with little application.
Studying at tertiary institutions requires money for course fees and living expenses, which are usually funded by parents as scholarships are few.
Many undergraduates do not work part time for pocket money, while those from well-to-do families lead comfortable lives.
Upon graduation, they expect to be paid enough to maintain their standard of living, without continuing to rely on their parents.
Most undergraduates are disconnected from society, with many leading cocooned lives. For example, how many of those who studied tourism ever talked to tourists?
While large sums were spent on their tertiary education, employed graduates rarely spend any of their own money on training in order to perform better at work.
New workers need to be trained before they can perform on the job, and they do not have to pay for the training provided by their employers.
If fresh graduates turned down such job offers just because their salary expectations are not met, they will never make good of themselves, whether they choose to be an employer, employee or self-employed, unless they change their attitude.
These unemployed graduates are not as smart as they think. They do not realise that they must be able to generate income for the company more than their salaries.
Paying high salaries to workers, regardless of their academic qualifications, is cheap if these employees generate revenue several times more than their salaries, thus bringing profits to their companies.
On the other hand, paying normal salaries to fresh graduates can be too high if they do not stay long enough to contribute, as employers would not be able to recoup their investment.
Sadly, the gap between education and industry is too wide these days. It is more like a chasm.
CY Ming is an FMT reader.