Labor Market: Companies vs. Government

The greater interest in studying social sciences and the lesser inclination for training in technical or scientific areas may be partly because of the preference of professionals for employment in a government institution rather than in the private sector.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

According to data from the National Council of Rectors (Conare), between 2006 and 2016, in Costa Rica the careers in the area of Social Sciences registered the highest growth according to the proportion of graduates, going from 36.2% to 45.5% of the total number of students.

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The situation of engineering careers contrasts with the reported increase in the proportion of graduates in the professions of Social Sciences, since in the period concerned, there was no reported increase in the proportion of new engineers, keeping figures ranging between 6% and 7% of total graduates.

Regarding the reasons for this behavior, Elfinancierocr.com reports that "... The attractions of the public sector as an employer could also affect the predilection for the study of careers related to social sciences, according to the Costa Rican Union of Chambers of Commerce (Uccaep). Costa Ricans still think that placing themselves in a position within the government is the best labor option that can be achieved in the country."

Also see "Dual Education to Reduce Unemployment"

Regarding the reasons for the preference to be employed in a public institution rather than in a company, a study made in 2015 by Universum highlights that 63% of students in the country wanted to work for the government, because they argued that working for the public guaranteed them stability.

The article adds that "... it is a logic that must be changed, according to the Uccaep. The fact is that the cost of these benefits generates a tax disaster already proven. That is why the recently approved Law for the Strengthening of Public Finances includes a chapter that seeks to regulate public employment to a certain extent. In addition, the Government is working on a new project that aims to change the current standard."

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In the Central American region, the average unemployment rate for those aged between 15 and 24 is estimated to be around 11%, with lack of work experience being the main barrier to accessing the first job.

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Too Few Engineers and too many Sociologists

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This shift in the educational system which it is hoped will happen in universities would need to be a public-private joint effort, since, according to presidential advisor Bayardo Arce, "...

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