10 September 2012

Underemployment - A Rising Global Concern

Every year, thousands of Indian students go abroad to pursue higher studies. Many of these students borrow lakhs of rupees to fund their career dreams. Unfortunately, given the worsening job market scenarios in much of the developed world, such dreams are fast turning into nightmares. Underemployment and unemployment are increasingly becoming harsh realities.

The situation gets worse when Indian students, upon not finding any lucrative work abroad, return home. In most cases, such students take up whatever work comes their way, i.e., a case of underemployment. I think there are a few reasons behind this: payment of installments toward loan, social and peer pressure, and fear of joblessness.

Underemployment leads to an inconvenient and low profile job and hence, low pay. Such pay is barely sufficient to cover loan installments (as the study loan EMIs run into thousands of rupees); payment of such large installments not only piles huge burden on the financial front but also saps morale. 

In fact, underemployment is a major issue not just in India but also around the world. Says Reuters: “Around the globe, young college graduates are unable to find job in the fields they studied. Instead, many are eking out a living in the service industry. Reuters photographers captured images of this “jobless generation.” 

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