Winter 2003 (11.4)
and Trained, But Still no Jobs
of the greatest concerns of youth these days is to find a good
job. Since the collapse of the USSR, the process of guaranteeing
university graduates jobs has lost its prestige. In the past,
universities used to almost guarantee their graduates jobs in
the public sectors. Nowadays, a similar system may still exist,
but the question is: how attractive and well-paying are those
In the early 1990s, when foreign companies first started to appear
in Azerbaijan, students and graduates who spoke English were
in great demand and found jobs that paid much more than what
their parents earned. It didn't matter much whether a graduate
possessed professional knowledge or not, the ability to converse
in English was the main qualification for landing these jobs.
Many graduates from the State Foreign Languages University were
the first to be employed. Graduates from other universities (such
as Law, Economics and Medicine) who spoke English were also employed,
but rarely in roles related to their academic background.
During the same period, various educational exchange programs
were put in place by foreign governments, offering students at
various education levels (high school to graduate master's levels)
the opportunity to spend a year or more abroad in academic study.
As time passed, more and more students returned home, speaking
English. Knowledge of English still remains the key success factor,
but there are now many more youth who can demonstrate a desirable
level of language fluency and basic computer literacy. Consequently,
the competition for jobs has increased, but the market has neither
developed nor expanded to offer more jobs.
Perhaps, this is a natural process, and we'll have to wait until
the market picks up and we develop a more diversified economy
with multiple industries. Until that time arrives, I foresee
many Azerbaijani youth earning advanced degrees abroad but remaining
outside of Azerbaijan to pursue what they perceive to be as greater
opportunities for career development in foreign markets.
With the oil revenues that are predicted to come soon to Azerbaijan,
it's critically important that the government does its best is
to create opportunities to attract some of the most qualified
members of the younger generation to return back home.
There are many well-known systemic problems that have contributed
to the worsening of our national education system. My main concern
is that we build a more merit-based system, especially in the
public sector, to attract highly qualified youth. It is evident
that many of us shy away from government jobs due to the lack
of adequate pay and limited opportunities for career development.
Nepotism should definitely be routed out as we move into a new
Alumnus of Khazar University (Baku)
and Yale University (USA)
Back to Index AI 11.4 (Winter
| Search | Magazine
| AI Store | Contact us
Other Web sites
created by Azerbaijan International
AZgallery.org | AZERI.org | HAJIBEYOV.com