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Many graduates work in fields unrelated to their university major: survey

More than 21 percent of university graduates are working in fields unrelated to their major.

The figure is over 60 percent in some majors, according to a survey conducted by a group of researchers, including Dr Tran Quang Tuyen, Dr Vu Van Huong and postgraduate Vu Bich Ngoc.

The report was released at a recent seminar on jobs for bachelor degree holders of business and administration in fields in which they have not received training, held at the International University under Hanoi National University.

The researchers found that 31.6 percent of graduates in polytechnic, technology, architecture and construction have jobs in other fields. 

The figure in majors related to humanities and arts is 63 percent. As for graduates in natural sciences, mathematics and information technology (IT), the proportion is 60.6 percent. The highest figure, 67 percent, was for agriculture, forestry, fishery and veterinary fields.

Meanwhile, the lowest proportion of graduates who take jobs in fields in which they are not trained is in to business and administration, just 13.26 percent. Graduates in these majors can choose from a wide variety of jobs.

The survey used data from the 2018, 2019 and 2020 labor and employment surveys, focusing on workers with a bachelor's degree and salaried workers. The age limit was 60.

The education-job mismatches occur when qualifications required for specific jobs do not correspond with the educational qualifications of the labor force.

To learn more about the differences, the group of researchers focused on majors related to business and administration, because the number of workers finishing university in this field accounts for a large proportion (28.6 percent in 2018 and 29.5 percent in 2020).

The researchers found that the education-job mismatch proportion of majors related to business and administration increased steadily by age, from 11.64 percent for new graduates to 21.88 percent at age 50 until retirement. 

In general, workers in fields in which they received no training have an average income lower than those who work in their trained fields.

The average income of bachelor degree holders in business and administration who worked in their own fields was VND9.4 million in 2020, while those who worked in fields in which they were not trained earned VND8.01 million. 

The figures were VND9.1 million and 7.6 million, respectively, in 2019 and VND8.2 million and VND6.9 million in 2018.

The education-job mismatch proportion is higher in rural areas, as well as for male workers and business households, and in the foreign-invested and state sectors.

Thanh Hung

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