In Armenian reality students transition from the university to the labor market is complex and full of obstacles. Having education, but without relevant experience, they face a number of difficulties while looking for jobs.
What hinders the effective relationship between the university and the labor market? What are the main problems of the sector and how is it possible to improve the current situation?
The managing partner of BSC Business Support Center shared his insight on the topic during his conversation with the Banks.am.
The connection between the university and the labor market is interrupted
The connection between the university and the labor market in Armenia is far from being effective. Teaching programs, methods and tools are behind the market requirements and the studies are carried out in a timely program. In the constantly developing world where the information volume is massive and the market structure and employer demands are being changed day by day the knowledge given by universities is becoming not competitive. Therefore, before finding a job the students have to invest additional resources and time to comply with these requirements.
Students who lack practical knowledge have difficulties to find a job or cannot find it at all. On the other hand, the knowledge given by the university is mainly theoretical and the internship is often the formality.
However, some universities are trying to combine theoretical knowledge with the practical. The lack of practical knowledge continues to be one of the main reasons for having a disconnection between the university and the labor market.
The Sector Needs to be Improved
There are a number of issues in relations between university and labor market and the situation can be improved by bringing reforms in the education system as well as labor market.
As the education is under the State care, the change can start in the private sector. By carrying out activities in the fields of professional development and business consulting for over 22 years, BSC has its investment in the support of graduates’ career.
The company has started to engage interns since 2001 having dozens of students doing internship in the past years. Moreover, the company continues to expand its policy by engaging students from abroad.
From this perspective BSC collaborates with the Armenian Universities (American University in Armenia, French University in Armenia) as well as the Birth Right Armenia organization that brings young Armenians from Diaspora to their mother land to pass the internship at the Armenian organizations: currently BSC has one student within this program framework.
The internship is organized free of charge. The company engages 4-5 students annually. The BSC’s approach in this case is clear: to transfer the gained experience to the graduates by engaging them directly in working processes.
In the near future the company is planning to introduce short-term courses that will let to complete the gap of the university and the labor market not only from the professional side but also for the CV development, interview preparation and other practical advice.
The internship is a mutually beneficial “deal”
The internship process is useful both for students and organizations. First of all, by engaging interns, the company partially solves the problem of recruitment. There are many cases when a student is offered a permanent job in the company at the end of the internship: Currently BSC has 2 such cases.
Moreover, this is also a good marketing tool for the company. The students form a positive opinion about the company that later is spread out at his/her new workplace and when having a chance he/she seeks cooperation opportunity.
What do the students think?
In order to complete the research concerning the university - labor market, Banks.am had interviews with students that currently pass their internships at BSC.
Vardan studies business administration at American University in Armenia, he also works for establishing his own start-up company. He mentioned that for the realization of that idea he needs to study the local and foreign markets what he actually does at BSC.
Hayko arrived Armenia from Germany specifically to pass the internship. He mentions that even if the main reason for passing the internship in Armenia was visiting the homeland, however, he can apply the gained experience at BSC in international companies when he wants to work after finishing his studies in Frankfurt. By comparing labor markets of the countries, he mentions that in Armenia the working process is more relaxed; people are more flexible in the implementation of the plans. In Germany everything must be done by the plan.
According to Hayko in Germany the work efficiency is much higher than here, at the same time the working relations are more intimate and warm. He thinks that in case of desire it is possible to find an interesting job. The student thinks that the number of such opportunities is increasing. Monica and Arsen are students from the French University in Armenia. Monica has huge expectations from her internship. She expects to get practical knowledge at the internship place and to use it in her work in the future.
Arsen believes that the internship passed at BSC will be useful both for himself and for the company; - “I think the work done by me will be important and useful for the company. Market research is the continuous work that is being updated all the time and the well developed data base is a solid base for making the company activity more efficient”.
Author: Siranush Simonyan