Monday 25 September 2023

Costa Rica: two-thirds of the unemployed don’t have the necessary abilities that employers need

Companies should work to reinforce the knowledge taught in academia

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23 September 2023 - At The Banks - Source: BCCR

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Q COSTA RICA – Heading into the job market can be pretty intimidating, most people face a discouraging panorama: they do not get a job in the career they studied or they arrive at job interviews convinced that they have the knowledge, only to leave feeling like something’s missing.

A recent study from the College of Economic Sciences of Costa Rica revealed that 66% of job applicants don’t have the right skills.

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Laura Suaza, Manager of Learning and Development at PGD, said that a lot of people get excited about their first job but find themselves unable to get it, which makes them doubt their career choice.

César Morales, Delivery Director Media at Publicis Global Delivery (PGD), says universities give us the basics to get started, but we need to strengthen our knowledge of the methods used by employers and hone our communication, problem solving, and teamwork skills.

This is partly due to the fact that universities and their limited time can’t keep up with the rapidly changing areas of marketing, technology, and creativity. Latin America also tends to lag behind when it comes to innovation and tech adaptation, giving way to a gaping hole between what universities offer and what the job market needs.

Faced with this gap, some professionals have chosen to work in different areas for which they were prepared. This is the case of Ana Olaya, a Business Administrator and used to work in the financial sector before taking on her current role in social media and advertising. She says “the change was not easy, however, if you have the purpose of learning and growing, great things are achieved at a professional level.”

Experts say that just because someone isn’t actively pursuing a career in their field of study doesn’t mean they’re not making use of the knowledge they gained in school. In fact, they have it as an extra asset.

Experts recommend that businesses keep up a steady flow of training and development programs to bridge the divide. “We have a responsibility to make sure we’re doing our part in closing the educational gap to open up more job opportunities for the younger generations,” added the expert.

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Recommendations for people to get ahead in their career:

  • Experts suggest getting regular training and staying up-to-date on career programs, looking at what is being done in other countries and learning from it.
  • Participate in the talent hotbeds promoted by organizations.
  • Learn from your weaknesses, develop critical thinking
  • Learn a second language
  • And look for free training courses or certificates online.
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