India’s Educated Unemployment: Aspiration v Capability

India will become the youngest country in the world by 2020 and will have 64% of its population in the working age group. It is a demographic advantage which a lot of countries would love. It only remains an advantage if that part of the demographic is employable.

It is a very big challenge for a country to make its population employable. It is different from the population just being educated. It means there has to be a co-relation between skills/knowledge taught in schools/colleges and skills/knowledge required by the market.

The trend that is emerging in India is that a lot of our youth is educated and has a degree but is not ready to join work without being given extensive training. A lot of companies have publicly stated that the quality of graduates that our colleges are producing are not market ready and need to be re taught most of the things so as to make them employable.

Now this is a problem but it can be solved by training the candidate properly after he/she graduates. It is not the best way but it is still a solution.

The bigger problem arises when candidates don’t realise that their skills/knowledge are not up to the mark to do the things market demands of them and hence their expectations from the market will also remain unfulfilled.

To understand this better, lets look at the graph below. Ideally, you would want our citizens to be at ‘High capability and High Ambition’ because its the best place to be at for anyone. Unfortunately, because of a lot of reasons, a lot of our citizens are at ‘Low Capability, High Ambition’. It leads to a lot of problems for the candidates. It will result in job satisfaction dropping dramatically. If job satisfaction drops, so will job productivity and that’s not good for anyone.

Why is this happening?

There are various reasons for it. Candidates nowadays have a very high sense of entitlement. They believe that they deserve a lot right from the start and if they don’t get it, I am being undervalued or under appreciated. A sense of entitlement is wrong on its own but for candidates who are barely employable, it is dangerous.

Another reason could be the declining importance given to hard work when talking about successful people. Role models set the tone for the work culture of individuals. If they see that their role models got rich instantly and don’t see the hard work they put in to achieve that success then they will not understand the importance of hard work.

No one wants to talk about hard work because hard work is not sexy. It has stopped inspiring people because it involves a lot of effort. The result is ‘fly by the night’ role models keep cropping up. People end up disliking jobs which require hard work and go for things which they feel will give them instant success. The result is that a lot of people leave their jobs because of dissatisfaction and the market doesn’t have enough employable pool to choose from to achieve their best results. It is a massive loss of efficiency all around.

India’s citizens will do well to find a match between their capability and their aspirations. Capability without aspirations is not good but aspirations without capability is disastrous.

[Photo from here]

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