Young people need to be helped to make informed and optimal career choices as they transition from one stage of life to the next.

The original title I had given this article is Too Many Jobless Graduates, Too Many Undone Jobs: The Idle Opportunities. It best brings out the core message I want to communicate but it was too long.

Fresh graduates in Kampala demonstrating for joblessness

Rampant youth unemployment is one of the biggest contradictions confronting humanity today. It is a contradiction because everywhere in the world, especially in Africa, there are still too many important and urgent jobs waiting to be done. There are too many problems all around us waiting to be solved; too many services yet to be provided; too many products yet to be made; too many discoveries, inventions and innovations impatiently waiting to be made. All these translate into billions of potential jobs waiting to be actualized. So, why should we be stuck with millions of jobless educated youth?

We need to understand the forces behind the youth unemployment crisis and how the new era (Fourth Industrial Revolution) presents enormous opportunities for youth to build impactful and prosperous careers, particularly in Africa.

The trouble is, people are studying like drunken men and women walking in the dark, with no clue where they are headed. Instead of the courses beginning by exploring the opportunities in the market place and their trends, they begin from the unknown and make their consumers get lost in the mysterious. It would make a huge difference if every university course began with this unit before going into the subject-specific content. Only then will each step of the subject content make sense. This unit helps each student to figure out their own “why” of the course they choose to study. Ideally, students should spend the first semester understanding the opportunities in the entire economy, regionally and globally – sector by sector.

All along, we have been going to school to study certain professions hoping that with that qualification we will find a relevant job. But in the new disposition, they should be going to school to learn how to create solutions. Any education that does not teach you that is inappropriate. By the end of the first semester, a student should be able to precisely answer the question, what solutions do you want to create? If one can identify the solution they want to create, then they have already identified their opportunity. So they will not be studying to look for anonymous jobs; they will be studying to learn how to seize that opportunity). Strategic career positioning. Not studying in the dark; but being guided by a clear sense of trends and emerging opportunities (problems to be fixed).

There are too many opportunities. One can build prosperous and impactful career in any field they strategically choose to focus on. What will the lifestyles look like like 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 50 years from now? What is there today but will be obsolete and extinct by then? Moving forward, successful careers will be built on detailed and precise projections derived from good understanding of trends.

Soon I will be launching a serialized online courses Becoming a Productive Graduate® is a hands-on Career Strategy and Advisory course is intricately designed to empower the youth so they can make informed and optimal career choices as they transition from one stage of life to the next. It prepares young people to live optimally productive lives both as career professionals and astute entrepreneurs in the 21st century work environment. It is particularly beneficial to those transitioning from secondary school into higher education, finalists and continuing students in institutions of higher education, as well as recent graduates and mid-career professionals.


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