Graduates face uncertainty in job market amidst pandemic

By Hidayah Sahrunizam and Aini Nabilah Sharipuddin

GOMBAK, 15 March 2022: After being postponed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-awaited IIUM 36th Convocation Ceremony for graduates finally took place.

It is believed that in the midst of any difficulty, a happy moment will rise at the right time without us realising it despite the fact we recently went through the painful period.

Hence, graduates who had earned a degree and left the university during the COVID-19 pandemic had experienced it for themselves.

IIUMToday interviewed several alumni from Kulliyyah of Engineering during the sixth session of the ceremony on Monday (14 March) to find out the challenges they faced after leaving the university in seeking for jobs.

Difficulty in seeking suitable employment that relates to one’s field of study

It is normal for one to look for a career that is related to his or her field of study. Unfortunately, the pandemic that befell our country has affected several sectors of the economy which led to the disruption in employment rates.

As a result, job opportunities are becoming increasingly scarce and limited.

Abdul Somad Bin Abdul Latiff, a graduate majoring in Materials Engineering, disclosed that he needs to apply for two courses outside of his field of study to gain work placement.

After successfully completing the courses during the pandemic, he ended up getting a job related to the field in that course as automation programmer in Kedah.

“Despite the fact that the job had little to do with the bachelor’s degree that I had received, I am still grateful,” he told IIUMToday.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Ameer Wafiq Bin Nordin, a 26-year-old graduate majoring in Mechatronics Engineering also faced a similar situation as he started out to do business due to the impact of the pandemic.

“I decided to work on my own, related to business. I am not into the field of my study yet, and for now there is no plan to work in the related because we don’t have many options left, so we have to do what we can do,” shared Ameer Wafiq.

Ameer Wafiq, who is also an ex-president of Student Facilitating Front (Stuff) believed that graduates should stop being choosy and only wait for jobs that are directly related to their fields of study, but should go out of their comfort zone to try new things.

Episodes of application and rejection

It is well known that the search for a permanent job often involved a period of frustration and disappointment.

Nur Aaina Nazihah Binti Nazmi Asna who is majoring in Communication Engineering, has now successfully worked at USCI Hospital in Negeri Sembilan.

Before securing a job in her current workplace, Aaina had received many rejections from the companies that she applied.

When asked how she felt when her application was turned down, the disappointment could be felt from the tone of her voice.

She explained that the new norms practiced during the pandemic bring a significant impact on job application preparation. Previously, much of the interviewing was done in person; however, the virtual interview method has changed everything.

Aaina told IIUMToday that it is indeed a challenge when everything has to switch online. Due to that, she was unable to say things that she wanted during the interview as online interviews have limited one’s interaction, compared with face-to-face interviews.

Asked on how she overcame the situation, Aaina said: “Keep on applying, and don’t limit yourself. Even though we studied Communication Engineering, it does not mean we have to go into a network related field. We can also apply for admin engineering.”

Aaina also wished for IIUM graduates to always try their best in every situation, as life has its ups and downs.

Indeed, finding a job during this uncertain time is extremely difficult, but what we have learned and been inspired by these graduates is their attitude of never giving up in seeking for jobs.

Aaina pictured with IIUMToday reporters


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