MUSCAT:The Ministry of Higher Education’s (MoHE) Graduate Survey 2015 on employment status and the link between graduates’ skills and the job market shows that less than half were employed after passing out. The survey, through an online questionnaire included responses from graduates from the 2009-10 and 2012-13 batches. Of the around 18,000 graduates who participated, 12,551 completed the questionnaires. Findings show that only 47.7 per cent of the participating graduates were employed. Nearly half of these landed their first job opportunity in the first six months. The average duration taken to get the first job was reported to be four to six months. 

The duration in which graduates get their first job opportunity is an important indication of the extent to which the labour market needs graduates with specific specialisations. As many as 32.1 per cent of the employed indicated that they were hired in the first three months of graduation, and about 18.9 per cent reported being hired between four to six months. A high percentage - 26.1 per cent - indicated that it took them over a year to get a job. An interesting finding is that graduates from the 2012-13 batch were employed faster than those from the 2009-10. The percentage of 2012-13 graduates getting a job in six months from passing out stood at 54.2 per cent; 19.6 per cent took over 12 months to get employed. As many as 47.2 per cent from the 2009-10 batch got a job in six months of graduating while 33.8 per cent got their first job opportunity in more than 12 months. The results also indicated a significant difference in the duration to get first job amongst employed graduates by their field of study.

By comparing the mean of the duration to get a first job by graduates’ specialisation, the results showed that most graduates of health studies got jobs in the shortest period (one to three months), following by those with specialisations in Education and Engineering. Graduates in creative arts and religion and philosophy take the longest time to get employed – about ten to 12 months.