Young well-educated people who enter the labour market during an economic depression have to face difficulties whose effects may linger for years. It takes longer before a job is found; wages are lower than in better times. The most popular employers seem to prefer experienced employees so that people without experience will be dependent on less popular employers. This means that young graduates have to be very critical when deciding on accepting a job, even when jobs are scarce.
Here, business students might benefit from their knowledge of superior business behaviour. Modules such as strategic management and strategic marketing not only tell students what effective companies do, they also inform students of the fact that many companies fail to take the taught ‘best-practices’ on board. This can be seen by observing shortcomings such as: insufficient awareness of what the present network economy requires, no adequate information systems, no longer term strategies, no integrated policies etc.
Not being initially employed by the perfect company is no problem as such. This may imply that there is room for improvement to which the young graduate is challenged to contribute. However, this asks for employers who wants that improvement. The well-trained business student should be motivated by his/her superiors by being given work that preludes a brighter future. The question remains whether indeed the business student is capable of benefiting from his/her insights when searching for his/her first job.
Dr Teun Wolters