Why the Uganda job market is tough despite a college degree

The youth unemployment crisis

With time, it has become harder and harder for people with college degrees to land jobs in the companies and workplaces of their dreams. This has proved to be really disappointing to the majority of young  people in school, leading to the popular notion that education is no longer a guarantee of success.

However, there are lots of people that still get jobs regardless of how tough the situation is. How do they do it and how others fail, is discussed below;

1. Skilled workers with no college degree

With the harsh investment climate, investors and business owners need to hire workers that will boost the production and efficiency rate of the company. Here are a few qualities that the non-graduate workers have;

  • Degree holders are more expensive to hire.
  • They usually have more work experience and a wider portfolio than degree holders
  •  Non-graduates usually get things done better and faster than college graduates

With such stiff competition, many young graduates find themselves missing out on employment opportunities. This is common in the ICT sector.

2. Low job creation rate

Uganda’s education system is standardized and structured in a way that mass produces job seekers, and not creators.

As such the number of businesses and employment opportunities is outweighed by the number of job seekers.

Therefore, this poses a huge threat of unemployment to the graduates.

3. Discrimination

Uganda has a wide range of ethnic groups and tribes. This poses a huge threat of discrimination in the following ways;

  • Tribalism, where the employers or HR managers are fond of hiring their tribe-mates only
  • Nepotism, where the employers give jobs to their relatives, friends, friends of relatives and friends of friends.

In a discriminatory workplace, it is really hard to get a job if you have no connection of any sort. This is because they just can’t hire someone they know.

4. Unhealthy competition

These days, workplaces have been plagued with unhealthy competition. Of course, workers compete in every workplace, and that’s a part of human nature.

However, some employees and job seekers do  it the wrong way. Here are a few examples;

  • Slander/ character assassination among employees and interns
  • Physical and verbal attacks on fellow employees
  • Witchcraft/ sorcery targeting rival employees
  • Deliberate disruption of counterparts’ work

In such situations, the easiest and usually most relevant option is backing out and trying your luck somewhere else. For those who decide to retaliate, the end consequences are usually dire.

5. Irrelevant courses


As the job market advances at rapid pace, some courses are not relevant in the current situation, meaning it’s hard for one to get a job if they pursue those courses. Some of them include;

  • Political science
  • Philosophy
  • Social works and social administration
  • Mass communication
  • Psychology

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with these courses, and if you’re in a place with opportunities, you can get a decent pay at your job. However, there are way too many unemployed people in these fields.

6. Tech advancement

With the advancement of technology, lots of people are being phased out unless they can cope with the current trends and adjust accordingly.

Examples include;

  • Computer languages are advancing at a high rate and becoming easier with the addition of new features all the time.
  • Companies use social media and computers almost everywhere, therefore requiring employees with primary computer skills.

Also, the implementation of machines is growing at a rapid pace, and now, a computer performs more tasks than ten accountants combined.

7. Under-development of some sectors

The perfect example here is law. Law is a very prestigious course, and everyone knows it.

However, lots of lawyers are unemployed and they have resorted to doing small businesses to make money and sustain themselves.

Psychologists too, are available, but a few people go to seek psychological assistance, even if the situation requires it.

It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the course, but perhaps lawyers will be more employed when Uganda develops a little more and every family starts to have a family lawyer.

8. Sexism

Women have tasted the worst of sexism, as many male employers ask for sex in exchange for a job.

Many women have complied and got what they wanted, while others declined and missed out on what would potentially be their job

9. Corruption

This usually happens in government institutions where you have to give a bribe in order to have your application considered.

Surprisingly, this has become a norm, and people know that if you pay a bribe, it’s highly likely that you’ll get what you want.


No matter what you hear on the street or on local television, education is extremely Important, because you acquire a skillset, which enables you to survive even if you have absolutely nothing left. Also, there are many people that were unemployed for a long time, but later got the jobs of their dreams. It’s all about not giving up.

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