Is Bcom Degree enough to secure employment?

2015-10-17 11:31

B Com graduates need not only to master the book to complete the degree - as small accounting firms we are trying to help them gain experience by placing graduates on articles but we can not be teaching Accounting 1 instead of real practical skills.

Is it time we introduce practical learning as a compulsory requirement for a Degree.

I do not have problems with professors in our universities as long as they teach practical skills and not just academic mastering skills. My world of education is that of 20 years experienced CEO teaching Accounting at level 3 at University, not necessary with PHD.

Most B Com graduates are not employable and most of them who get opportunity to be interviewed - they can not even record one transaction up to the last step of the Accounting cycle. Worse when you add the VAT on a transaction - it's a really struggle.

This is a concern as many of them are not even willing to gain practical experience while studying. When given an opportunity, the first thing they are concern about is "how much will I get?"

Doing voluntary work at the local municipality while I was busy with my B Com and knocking door to door in a small town and finally finding an Accounting firm do to voluntary work did not only help me understand the reality but also help me deal with the big gap between university degree and the real practical environment. This also helped me to secure a space on a highly contested graduate programme where out of +-70k applicants from SA and neighboring countries I was selected and was part of the top 7 graduates that were placed on the on a multi national petroleum company.

It does not make sense that you spend 3 years at University, get a degree with distinctions but no one want to employ you. There must be something wrong. Is it the education system or graduates?

B Com graduates on completing their degree they do not even know what SARS tax clearance certificate, no they can process a simple journal. Asset register, simple income tax filing and Payroll accounting are completely Elian to them - what do we learn in universities and for what? We producing graduates for which employers?

Can we blame private and public sector for the high unemployment in South Africa or must we blame our higher education system? Do our educators know the market they are producing for?

How can you expect to produce employable graduates if you yourself as a educator have no practical experience and all you ever mastered in a book? Yes you do not need to be a drunker to run a bottle store but in practice those who are drunkers sell more than those who are not, check with one of our biggest breweries in South Africa, who do they employ in their sales and marketing teams. You have to be a CEO to produce a CEO.

At the end you as a graduate you have a responsibility to do whatever you can to ensure that you get employment. Applying for a job and seat at home wait for ever is not all you can do. Take up volunteering opportunities with NPOs, other companies that will be able to create a space for you to learn. When you get that important interview stop worrying about money but gaining practical experience - you are just a graduate who has been able to master the book remember. Start a business even if it's for a time being until you get employment.

The point is do not ever stay at home doing nothing. What ever you learn will be washed away if not applied so it is likely that if you stay home longer it will become more and more difficult for you to be employed and that is why employers always want to know what have you been doing since you completed your degree.

Not only some institutions like FET colleges, Medicaid schools, etc but all our education institutions must teach practical skills. Accounting, Marketing etc. must also be exposed to work environment during their studies

At the end of it all a degree even with distinctions is not a guarantee for employment. Competition is big outside there. Employers want graduates who can immediately contribute to the organization goals, they are not centres of education.

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