During a press conference held on March 14, Philosopher and Associate Professor Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, and Doctor of Science in Philosophy Hasmik Hovhannisyan presented information on the current situation in the labor market, employment and unemployment rates of ASPU graduates, the main causes of unemployment, indicators and statistics, etc.
The aim of the survey conducted by an ASPU working group with the financial assistance of the State Committee of Science was to study the integration of young specialists in the Armenian labor market by the example of the 2014 graduates.
The survey was conducted in May-June 2018 among the graduates of three faculties - Faculty of Primary Education, Faculty of Philology, Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics. It was conducted by telephone using standardized interviewing principles.
It is due to mention that 66.5% of the graduates of 2018 are employed. The results show that the percentage of male graduates signing job contracts is 100% as opposed to the female's figure of 64.4 %. Graduates of the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics are in high demand in the labour market (72.7%).
The reporters cited different reasons for not working, including personal, family-related (24%) resons, inability to find a corresponding job, low salaries, the desire to continue studies and take a Master’s degree course, etc. During the survey, the specialists also studied the correspondence of job descriptions with the knowledge and skills acquired during the years of study.
Many of the respondents are currently working in a variety of industries, including trade, finance, culture, education, science and services. 40.3% of the surveyed said they visited their future workplace on their personal initiative. Many followed the advice of their friends, relatives and acquaintances, others used the connections they formed while doing an internship in the given company. Only 1.6 % of the respondents said they were offered jobs by employers.
Srbuhi Gevorgyan, ASPU Vice-Rector for Educational and Scientific Affairs, emphasized the importance of the survey and said it will enable them to find ways to solve a number of issues in the field of education.
“The University is concerned about issues in education; therefore it is important for us to know the weight and role of ASPU graduates in the labour market, to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the University and the possibilities that will help us achieve positive results,” the vice-rector said. She added that this is also good chance to reveal public perceptions and expectations of the quality of teaching and the demands of the labor market.
Hasmik Hovhannisyan also stressed the importance of the survey and the work of volunteers in this context. She said the results of the study were published in a booklet and subjected to model analysis.
Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, in turn, said preparation of sought-after professionals who will meet labour market demands is a priority for countries seeking to have a free market economy. The issue is significantly easier in countries with command economy. He also underlined the importance of conducting such surveys and added that the first such study in Armenia was carried out in 2005 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Hovhannes Hovhannisyan also referred to the findings of the survey and said that the labour force participation rate is increasingly determined by the knowledge level of young professionals, which decreases the role of nepotism and favoritism in the workplace. The working group says it is important to ensure the presence of employers in the management of HEIs and faculties, which will significantly improve the organization of internships, enhance their role and ensure some employment guarantees. The initiators of the survey think that it is necessary to expand the functions of career centres operating in HEIs, improve the coordination of training and professional development courses of the teaching staff, etc.