Paving the Path from Graduation to Employment

Many fresh graduates have spent countless hours and expended much effort to earn their degree each year, but only a minority get to be employed. Does this seem fair? It’s a valid argument because the skills possessed by graduates construct the bridge for them to cross into the labor market. The reality is a university degree alone is no longer adequate for the job necessities. Those necessities have diversified and emerged into a more demanding economy to the point that graduates need to acquire fundamental expertise and knowledge that will materialize in a fruitful possibility of getting them hired. For this reason, the need arises for numerous specialized courses that can pave the educational path, covering the gap between academic education and practical competencies. Such courses are not optional for achieving success, they’re necessary! While young men and women put high expectations in their CVs, these courses prevent them from being overlooked among the stockpiles on employers’ desks. 

So how are we contributing? 

For every specialization, a particular skill set and knowledge of certain computer programs have recently become primary requirements at its fundamental level. In this sense, the students’ and graduates’ needs have been thoroughly observed and identified, and appropriate courses were scheduled accordingly to be the driving force that will help grant them access to the labor market.  

What’s a better way to support aspiring engineering students than to collaborate with the Syndicate of Engineers in Lebanon? We signed a memorandum of understanding with them to host several specialized training programs to develop the student's skills. In addition, we have also coordinated with the International Arab Academy in Tripoli and Sidon to prepare similar courses to train students on computer software used in the engineering field like REVIT and HVAC. 

So why these programs in particular? 

“Training on REVIT for engineers is like learning the alphabet in our professional career,” says Mohammad Ayoub, a mechanical engineer. “What we take today in the courses is divided into three stages and is enough to create preliminary knowledge that will allow us to use this software at work. As a mechanical engineer, my need and use of this software is different from how a civil engineer would use it, and this reflects the complexity of such software and its importance in the engineering realm today” he adds. 

Along the axis of the engineering spectrum, this training is essential to entering the labor market inside and outside Lebanon for Issa Al Diraoui, who is preparing to graduate in civil engineering. “Although the overall work in various engineering fields is currently being carried out through REVIT, however, it’s not included in the university curriculum. Therefore, as students, we seek these courses that increase our chances of getting a job” he says.

Furthermore, we also keep up with accounting students by helping them get the IFRS certificate. This certificate opens the door of opportunity for Hussein Abdo to work inside Lebanon and abroad, and to advance the corporate ladder. “I hold a degree in business administration, and I work in the field of financial auditing, yet the addition that this certificate provides at work is critical and vital,” he says.

Moreover, this project offers workshops that aid students with impactful personal development aspects such as leadership, time management, entrepreneurship, resume writing, and job interview training. Gaining these skills goes hand in hand with what the university degree brings to the table so that young people can lead their way with confidence in the labor market. Therefore, a specialized course has been organized with AMIDEAST, as well as workshops with LOYAC and DROPS, to focus on these skills, and to enhance the ability of students to articulate their ideas and communicate positively with their surroundings.

Balsam Wehbe, a journalism student at the American University in Beirut summarizes the following points by saying “Acquiring practical skills is the most important value add of AMIDEAST’S workshop, especially in terms of writing a resume, preparing for a job interview and being aware of the body language and voice tonality. We do not study such things in the university, yet they prepare us in the right way to enter the labor market. The result was instant for me when I got a job interview after modifying my resume and using the skills, I learned to get the first job ever in my life. I feel more confident, without a doubt.”

Fadia Qamhiyeh, a psychology student at Beirut Arab University finds what’s evident in the soft skills workshop is the boosting of self-confidence and the endorsement of personal development. “For the first time, I made direct connections with people in a such workspace, developed plans, went through the outcomes, and expressed my ideas on stage,” she says.

Lastly, this project was a success! It has affected 503 young men and women and facilitated their path to employment. Now they are competent and confident enough to take on career challenges after graduation, starting with their first job interview. It’s their hopeful beginning. 


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