Maltese graduates have one of the highest chances of being employed within a short period of time following their graduation when compared to other graduates across European Union member states. However, although the number of local graduates is increasing every year, the figure is still below the EU average.

The first edition of Malta’s Employability Index, published towards the end of 2015, states that 93 out of every 100 graduates in Malta are employed, most within two to three months – one of the highest transition rates across the EU. Such high rates of employment were also registered in Austria, Netherlands and Switzerland.

But are they taking on graduate jobs in Malta directly related to their studies? Qualifications mismatch – in which an individual is employed in a job that does not match their level of education or area of study – is a growing phenomenon in Europe. The report shows that in Malta, this issue is more common among students graduating from MCAST, rather than from the University of Malta (UoM). Among students who graduated in 2013, 71.1% of UoM students endeavored jobs related to their studies, in comparison to 58.1% of MCAST graduates. The highest success however was recorded among Institute of Tourism (ITS) students, in which 86.6% of 2013 graduates were employed in jobs related to their studies.

It is not just the educational institution that seems to make a difference as to whether students are exposed to a qualification mismatch. The field of study also comes into play. The report shows that UoM students who read a degree in dental surgery, medicine, health sciences and architecture are the most likely to find a job which is complementary to their area of studies while those studying media, tourism and arts are the least likely. Similarly, MCAST students who studied applied sciences were the most inclined to be employed in a job related to their studies, while Creative Arts graduates were the least likely.

Research has shown that in countries with a low employability rate, graduates are more likely to take on jobs for which they are overqualified. This is mainly because weak employment demand leads to fierce competition for job posts. It was established that women, young workers and migrants are more prone to this phenomenon than other working groups.

It is important to note that employability mismatch is the cause of individual psychological stress; however it is not only harmful to the employee but also to the economy, because it ultimately leads to less productivity and unhappiness in the work environment

The Employability Index is part of the Europe 2020 strategy which aims at having 62.9% of all 20 to 64 year-olds in employment and serves as a guideline for students and a tool for authorities working on employment measures.

Are you a recent graduate looking to get started? Take a look at a number of graduate jobs in Malta we have to offer.

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