PhD graduates are ‘over-qualified’

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

Concern about the future growth of the country has been raised and the relevance of higher education as a tool for employment has been questioned, following a report showing postgraduate students were struggling to find fair employment.

Research into postgraduates permanently employed by the country’s top 350 companies has revealed what Dr Amaleya Goneos-Malka, a postgraduate fellow at the University of Pretoria, has deemed “shocking”.

The results showed that only 0.07% of the 1 408 173 people permanently employed in SA’s leading companies hold a PhD qualification.

The research included the top 200 Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed companies and 150 other leading international and local corporations, such as Microsoft, BP, Coca-Cola and Toyota.

“The list is long and they all [show] the same equally poor results,” said Malka.

An online report has shown that these companies, among others, employed more than 1.5 million permanent and temporary employees.

The country’s leading 14 universities – including the University of Cape Town, University of Stellenbosch, University of Witwatersrand and the University of Pretoria – were also included.

Malka said there were two exceptions: Absa had 30 190 employees, with 120 PhDs while Sasol, with 30 500 employees, employed 283 PhDs.

“There is no excuse for other companies not to follow suit,” she said. “[PhDs] are being discriminated against and penalised because of their academic degree.”

The study had been presented to several ministers and had been “endorsed” by the office of the presidency.

“Unfortunately, where the private sector is concerned, government’s interest or our country’s future growth is not always at the top of their agenda,” she said.

Read below:

Shoprite: 104 000 employees, three PhDs;

Steinhoff International: 55 000 employees, no PhDs;

Harmony: 30 000 employees, with two PhDs;

Woolworths: 25 752 employees, with no PhDs;

Netcare: 21 149 employees, with two PhDs;

Pick n Pay: 17 688 employees, no PhDs;

Lonmin: 28 485 employees, one PhD;

Mr Price: 13 583 employees, no PhDs;

MMI Holdings Limited: 15 336 employees, one PhD;

Massmart: 21 549 employees, two PhDs;

Group Five Limited: 13 022 employees, two PhDs,

Anglo Gold Ashanti: 31 499 employees, three PhDs,

McDonald’s: 10 000 employees; no PhDs.


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