Job opportunity for recent university graduates
By: Brandon Cesar Lopez Rojas, Willians Alexander Yujra Vizcacho, Ana Paula Flores Chavez
On May 1, International Workers' Day was celebrated, a day that has been commemorated since 1889 after the struggle of Chicago union workers for their labor rights. For this reason, this article focuses on the subject of Labor Life and the priority objective is to identify the influential variables that allow young university graduates to have greater possibilities of inserting themselves strongly in the labor market.
Empirical evidence in Latin America indicates that recent graduates find it increasingly difficult to find a job and those who do find one end up confined to low-paying jobs or without the basic benefits of formal employment (Vedder, 2013; Abel, 2014; Yamada, 2015). This reality is not unrelated to what Peru is going through, mainly due to the high rate of informal jobs. In addition, it must be taken into account that the number of professionals has increased significantly and this makes it difficult for graduates to find their first job. In this sense, the context forces young people to be better prepared and to be more perseverant in obtaining their first job.
First of all, employers seek to hire the "best candidates" for the job in demand, and the simplest resource they have to register them, without the need for an interview, is by observing their academic performance in the university through the order of merit and/or university transcript (Torres, 2019, p.4). As the author mentions, the fact of having performed as a good student is an advantage, but it must be specified that it does not guarantee the hiring or, at least, not with the highest salary or one of the highest in case the applicant wishes for it. This is because within that group where there are usually competent university students, there are students who are more competent than others, and therefore, what makes the difference at this point is the conformity against the healthy ambition of continuous training.
Secondly, another aspect to consider is the university of origin. This argument becomes more valid when we observe that graduates from universities considered to be of higher quality remain unemployed for less time than their peers from those of lower quality. (Towers, 2019, p. 76). The above being true, you have to know which are the 5 most prestigious universities in Peru. For the newspaper "La República", the respective order is as follows: Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University (UPCH), Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP), National University of San Marcos (UNMSM), National University of Engineering (UNI) and La Molina National Agrarian University. However, employers are recommended not to underestimate or categorize applicants from provincial universities because very good professionals are also graduated from there, competent and with great professional aspirations.
Thirdly, according to the leading human resources company in Spain, Ranstad (2017), it is highlighted that knowledge of languages increases the chances of accessing a job by 37%. The reason is that we live in a globalized world where we usually work with statistical data written in other languages or interact face-to-face or virtually with important people or institutions that mainly require English proficiency. For this reason, it is also essential for a graduate who has great professional goals to have certification in this highly demanded language.
Finally, according to a study carried out by Biggeri, Bini, and Grilli (2001), which focused on the factors that affect the university-work transition, the results showed that the university-work transition is especially affected by factors such as gender (in favor of men) and previous work experience (to have internships during university). Regarding the first point mentioned by the authors, it is very accurate because according to another study carried out by Vargas (2014), it is stated that, in this way, subtle discrimination is applied by the institutions at the time of hiring, that can be: different valuations to women's work vs. men’s work, gender stereotypes, etc. For this reason, it is necessary that employers also change certain prejudices regarding the value of women's performance because they are also very competent and considering that these situations cannot keep happening in a world where the Sustainable Development Goal 5 "Gender equality" is pretended to be achieved.
Likewise, it should be noted that the variable internship is a quantitative variable that represents the number of months of work experience before finishing university studies. Regarding this, in the same way, it is recommended for graduates to take a few months of internships before applying for a job, so this variable does not represent a future issue.
Role of the State to promote work for young people in Peru
It is well known that the State through its agencies has to promote work. In this case, one of the last actions carried out by the Legislative Branch was Law 31396, which had the purpose of recognizing pre-professional and professional practices as work experience. This Law represents a positive situation for thousands of young people who carry out their internships and is a great step toward curbing the previous experience required in the workplace.
The beginning of working life for a recent university graduate is the most complicated part because it requires patience and preparation in a complex context such as the Peruvian reality. However, this leaves us with interesting thoughts and recommendations for future graduates and employers, for the latter it is advisable not to underestimate the performance neither of women or graduates from provincial universities because both groups possess competent skills and because we live in a world where integration of all must be a fact. Likewise, for young people, it is recommended to carry out previous work practices and to certify their command of foreign languages and courses following their professional career since all these variables together will help their strong insertion into the labor market.
Torres, D. (2019). The labor insertion of recent university graduates in Peru. Thesis to opt for the degree of Licentiate in Economics.
Legal standards. Law No. 31396, Law that recognizes pre-professional practices and professional practices as work experience and modifies legislative decree 1401. January 18, 2022.
The Republic newspaper (2022). What are the 10 best universities in Peru, according to the Sunedu ranking?
Randast (2017). Knowledge of languages increases the chances of finding a job by 37%.