Monday, April 20, 2009

The 'cost' of graduate labour...

Reading the Sunday papers has always been a favorite habit of mine when living in Jamaica. It was one of the things I missed when we moved to Ghana – popping out on a Sunday morning, picking up a promisingly heavy paper, brewing a cup of coffee, settling down in my favorite chair and losing myself in the newsprint for the next hour or two. Did continue the ritual when we moved to Holland, but yes, in Ghana few opportunities to do this luxury are present – though Sunday World seems to be moving in the right direction.

This Sunday’s newspaper was just as rewarding. Read one article that I thought I would summarize and share, as I am curious what obtains in Ghana on this particular topic.

A recent University of the West Indies (UWI) report headlined the front page: ‘Low-paying jobs for grads: UWI study shows modest earning by degree holders’. The report from a tracer study the University conducted showed that most recent graduates are employed, the majority of those are still under employed, earning wages or occupying positions lower than their qualifications. The civil service still absorbed most of the graduates – approximately 60% , while the private sector accounted for 23% and a remaining 7% 'were engaged in other entities'. Interestingly too, 65% of the graduates were employed in three primary sectors: education, health and finance/banking.

The report mentions that a recent graduate ideally should be earning at least JD$1.5 million per annum (though this is still considered low by some). It also gives the mean monthly salary (in Jamaican dollars) of graduates by faculty:
  • Humanities and Education JD$98, 181 (app. USD 1109)
  • Pure and Applied Sciences JD$ 90,700 (app. USD 1024)
  • Social Sciences JD$ 87,951 (app. USD 993)
  • Medical Sciences JD$ 79,480 (app. USD 898)

Note to self and others: will check to see what the annual tuition costs are for the faculties mentioned above.

Male students, which accounted for only 21% of the graduates, also tended to earn a higher mean salary of JD$98,194 when compared to females who were earning JD$89,758.Will do a search when I get back to Accra to see if any of the Universities there have done any similar studies – granted here are so many differences between both countries that we would also have to be looking at a number of other factors. Have also given my daughter a bit of an ‘assignment' that I will share on my blog – looking at a number of selected indicators (including some fun ones!) that can give both my Ghanaian and Jamaican readers an overview of the differences between both countries.

* exchange rate of USD 1 to JD$ 88.50


Anonymous said...

It's not very often that you see people in Humanities and Education earning more than those in the Medical Sciences...just something i noticed.

Denise said...

Hi Anon, was surprised about that too. Am trying to get a copy of the full report as I an sure some of those details will be reported/reflected on in more detail.