As the city of Lahore goes to sleep, Fahad can frequently be found in his dimly-lit room poring over his textbooks. He is striving hard to get himself enrolled in an expensive MBA degree program at a prestigious university in Lahore. And he is not alone; there are hundreds and thousands of Fahads out there putting their hearts and souls into their studies, believing that an amazing future lies ahead of them.
“If I get admitted to this prestigious university for the MBA program, I’ll for sure land a job that I have always dreamed of” says Fahad and many other aspiring students across the country.
Will all these Fahads get hold of the jobs they’re sure of? The reality unfortunately suggests that the fancy degrees no longer guarantee a good job, they may once did. Outdated curriculum that teaches merely bookish stuff and has zero focus on developing the employability skills in students, is the key reason why jobs remain hard to come by for the country’s educated population.
The world of work is already in a massive transition to a more global, technology-driven, flexible economy in which whole career progressions are being altered, new professions are coming into existence and traditional jobs are being swallowed by automation. The conditions are less predictable and the steps needed to succeed less obvious.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that approximately 70% of the youth who are enrolled in specialized degree programs will have their prospective jobs altered or possibly vanished within a few years, owing to the digitalization and automation.
With the country’s educational standard being at an alarmingly low level and the institutions teaching decades-old curriculum, the ministry of education needs to make serious reforms, or the current unemployment situation will worsen.
To help Pakistan’s youth navigate this more complex and uncertain world of work, the higher authorities need to understand where future jobs will exist and make sure to equip the youth with the right skill sets. This can be done by making these employability skills a mandatory part of the university curriculum.
By taking immediate measures and investing in the next generation to equip and inspire them for a radically different future of work, the government can ensure they’re able to not only survive, but thrive in this new work order – and ultimately ensure Pakistan’s future prosperity.