Master degree unfavourable to find work in Indonesia

This should come as an alarm for those of you undergraduate students in Indonesia...

We live in such an ironic country indeed. It is tough for non-degree holders to find a decently paid white-collar job, yet those who have two degrees at their shoulders have to go to such a length as to hide their second one.

Graduates hide degrees to get jobs



The Jakarta Post , Depok | Sat, 11/08/2008 11:51 AM | City


Maulana Indra, 26, sat on the floor, filling out a job application before putting it into a brown envelope along with his photograph, his undergraduate diploma and other documents. He did not include his master's degree.


"I am applying as an undergraduate because it is difficult to find a job if I apply as a master's graduate," said Maulana to The Jakarta Post during a job expo event at the University of Indonesia (UI) in Depok recently.


Many postgraduates in Indonesia apparently find it hard to get a suitable job based on their qualifications, so they don't include their master's degrees in job applications.

Maulana said he believed he had a better chance of getting the job he was applying for if he excluded his master's degree. He said his decision was based on past experience; he had applied to many companies using his master's degree, but had not even received an interview.

"I do not know why, perhaps they do not want to pay a big salary because of my higher education," Maulana said.

There are more opportunities for undergraduates because only a few companies need starters with master's degrees.

"After graduation, I continued my study to master's level. I never imagined I would have a problem finding a job," said Maulana, a graduate of the management business faculty of Bogor Agriculture Institute (IPB).

Maulana is not alone. Yudi, another job seeker also hides his master's degree.

"I have been looking for a position in business companies for a year. I cannot find one because I am a master's graduate," he said.

He said he originally thought it would be easier to find a job with a master's degree compared to just a bachelor's degree.

"I was wrong. I have to change my strategy. If not, I will never find a job for the rest of my life," said Yudi, a graduate of a well-known private university in Jakarta.

To find a job, Yudi and Maulana attended the job expo at UI several days ago. The university organizes the event regularly for job seekers throughout Jakarta, Depok, Tangerang, Bogor and Bekasi.

"I brought 20 copies of my documents and 20 envelopes. I hope I get a job today," Maulana said.

The UI Career Development Center (CDC), which organizes the expo, charged an entrance fee of Rp 20,000 (US$1.81) per visitor, while the catalogue of job vacancies costs Rp 25,000.

UI deputy director Devie Rahmawati said the university organized the event to accommodate students who needed jobs and companies which needed new employees.

"This is the university's responsibility. After graduation, we help students find jobs," Devie said.

She said she was aware that many master's graduates found it harder to get a job compared to their undergraduate fellows.

"To deal with the lack of job opportunities, the university tries to foster entrepreneurial skills. These skills are important for students to avoid becoming jobless after graduating from college." (naf)


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Jade  – (17 November 2008 at 22:42)  

I guess there is just little need for employees with a Master's degree in Indonesia. In business and commerce years of experience and the number of connections you have is viewed to be the best qualification. In science and technology, a post-grad degree holder is usually employed as a researcher, lecturer, or scientist while there is not many such jobs in Indonesia with the low investment in R&D and technology. Compare to Singapore or other developed countries, where universities are built on a base of solid research activities and technology-driven companies grow while incubating the best scientists in town.

On the other hand, there may also be a factor "gengsi" for Master's degree holders i.e. they are reluctant to apply for jobs that only require a bachelor's. I guess "gengsi" or "face" plays a big role in an Indonesian workplace.

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