Challenges and Opportunities in the Job Market

Challenges and Opportunities in the Job Market

There are a host of new and emerging Challenges and Opportunities at the work-place. Obsolescence and change have a significant effect on both the decline of some professions and emergence of others.

The new generation of employees has characteristics which are distinct from those of the earlier generation. Many employers attach great importance to Atitude, Emotion and work ethics.

In fact they base their decisions of recruitment and promotion on the possession of these skills by job-seekers. There is considerable wisdom and advice, ‘of successful professionals available for the benefit of all students or job seekers.

We live in a knowledge society. There is tremendous diversity in the matter of careers covering conventional as well as emerging fields.

The Goals of Education

There are several distinct Goals or Aims of Education:

  • Individual Goal: to contribute to the development of the Individual, to make him/her self¬≠-reliant.
  • Social Goals:to provide education for: Citizenship, Social Efficiency and Social Service.
  • Knowledge Goal: is related to acquisition of relevant knowledge.
  • Moral Goal : is related to character formation.
  • Vocational Goal:deals with the preparation of individuals for contributing to economic development and national wealth through productive employment.

A reciprocal relationship exists between education and employment – between educational planning and manpower planning.
There ought to be a match between the knowledge and skills required by the different employment sectors; and the structure, content and Teaching-Learning processes provided by the education sectors.

Any mismatch results in under-or unemployment, and frustrations and social unrest. It is necessary to provide feedback loops, and bridge the gap between education and employment through occupational training.

In the classical tradition, Education was not only for preparation for employment. In the post ­industrial era; formal education is a pre-requisite for employment.

Educated and trained manpower is one of the major inputs for economic and social development. The employment sector is where an individual spends most of his adult life.

The employment sector consists of different sub-sectors: Agrarian, Manufacturing, Business, Financial, Social and Public Services, etc.

An efficient labour market must meet the requirements of both employers and employees. The employment sector must pride both opportunities and incentives to encourage the adaptability of the work force.

The Future of Work

The idea of restricting the concept of work to paid employment started about 200 years ago, and actually took off only after the industrial revolution. All other forms of work, especially housework and family work were looked down upon, and are not covered by statistics as indicators of prosperity and growth.

In the long run, it is believed that the foundations of a society will emerge in which people’s work is divided in three ways: paid work, self-work and civic work.

Social scientist Imhoff predicts that in future, paid employment will only take up about 6% of people’s lives; they will be spending more time in education; paid working hours will shorten; and life expectancy will be longer.

A 100 years ago, people spent 35% of their lives in gainful employment.

Today, this figure has fallen to just under 13% – and is expected to drop to only 6% in future. It is asserted that Education should be regarded as an activity and as educational work.

In summary, society will recognize 5 types of work: paid employment; self-work; citizen to citizen work; community work; and educational work. This “work portfolio” could be linked to an equivalent “income portfolio”, with money-earning and money-saving component.

The number of self-employed people continues to grow; middle management is disappearing; many businesses are folding due to out-sourcing or down-sizing to core activities; opportunities for arbitrage are on the rise; and the international movement of labor and business continues to pick up speed.

A consequence of all these will be the unassailability of full employment in the major old industrial countries”.

Job watch for the future

The following advice is given to prospective employees and job seekers, in a recent news report:

Hiring: Potential employers may reject you if you show any of the following qualities:

  • You want very clear job descriptions and very clear lines of authority.
  • You have experience in only one single function.
  • Your work experience has all been in a single industry sector.
  • You have worked in big firms; you haven’t experienced turbulent situations.
  • You want permanent employment and not a contract.

Compensation: Your employer will be averse your asking for the following:

  • A salary where the fixed component is high, the performance-linked part low.
  • A package which has the firm taking care of issues like housing.
  • The taxable component is low and the tax-free component is high.
  • A salary structure with a minimum fixed increment every year.

Redundancy: You could end up losing your job even if you are doing well because:

  • Your company is merging with another company.
  • Your firm is moving into a new business, and your department doesn’t fit in.
  • Your firm has dropped its plans for a new business and doesn’t need you.
  • The work your department does can be outsourced.
  • Internal restructuring to reduce the duplication in your company.

The right choice: In this report in Mid Day-September 6, 2001, four factors affecting Career Choice have been identified:
Talent: Two questions need to be asked:

  • What are my strengths and weaknesses
  • How can I focus on my strengths and manage my weaknesses

Most people don’t choose their career, their career chose them. They got into a line of work, because they had to certain job, or somebody told them they’d be good at a certain job.

For a fulfilling career, one must make sure that he/she is doing what he/she is good at. That way, one will enjoy doing it.

Purpose: Talents develop best in the context of interest. Choosing one’s work is the chance to do something meaningful and relevant.

Environment: It is necessary to figure out what work environment best suit one’s style, temperament and values.

Vision: Talent, purpose and environment are all about work style and work choice. Vision describes how work fits into the rest of life.

Emerging career options

Options on completion of UG degree: The following options present themselves to a Graduate:

  • Job: In private sector, public sector, government (central/state), teaching, R&D.
  • Self-employment; as an entrepreneurs.
  • Training (Apprentice).
  • Further Studies: In India or abroad (external brain drain); In Technology or Management or Business (internal brain drain). For most post-graduate admissions, an entrance examination has to be cleared (GATE, CAT, GRE, GMAT.).

The major measures of success are related to job satisfaction; money, prestige; reputation; image (as perceived by peers, society); leisure activities; ambition and its fulfillment; travel (particularly foreign travel); independence; (success of children).