MANILA, Philippines - Graduates of the top 3 educational institutions in the Philippines are hired faster and paid more by employers, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB).
The NSCB, in a new report citing a Graduate Tracer Study made by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), said graduates of the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, and De La Salle University have a significant head start in their careers compared to graduates of other colleges and universities nationwide.
Of the "Big 3," UP graduates were the fastest to find work but were paid a smaller starting salary compared to Ateneo or La Salle graduates.
UP graduates only waited an average of 1.8 month to find work and had a mean income per month of a little over P9,700.
De La Salle graduates actively looked for a job for an average of 2.4 months but got a mean income per month of almost P11,900.
Ateneo graduates, meanwhile, spend an average of 2.9 months looking for work and had a mean income per month of around P 10,100.
In comparison, graduates of other private sectarian universities spent almost 4 months looking for work and got a mean oncome of P8,388.
Graduates of private non-sectarian schools, meanwhile, spent 4.4 months looking for work and had a mean income of just 8,202.
Meanwhile, graduates of local colleges and universities, other state unuversities, and non-profit educational institutions spent as much as an average of 6 months looking for work and were paid far less than graduates of the "Big 3" schools.
NSCB Secretary General Jose Ramon Albert cited the 1999 CHED data in his report released Friday on whether education is in sync with the country's labor conditions and needs.
"The 1999 GTS suggests that graduates from the three premier HEIs in the country, namely, the University of the Philippines, De La Salle University, and Ateneo de Manila University, have triple plus points: lower waiting time to join the job market from the time of graduation; higher employment rates; and higher income," he said.
"About half of the respondents to the study land jobs within 6 months after graduation, and about one percent of them do not have jobs even 2 years after their graduation," he added.
"Chief among the reported reasons why the college graduates surveyed for the 1999 GTS find difficulty getting jobs are lack of job opportunities, and unsatisfactory salaries or opportunities for advancement in jobs," Albert said.
He raised the need to conduct a new GTS to determine if supply from higher education meets the demands of the labor market.
Citing a 2006-2011 set of data from the Labor Force Survey (LFS) conducted by the National Statistics Office, Albert said college graduates account for at least 18 percent of the total unemployed in the country.
Most of the college graduates who are not working earned degrees on medical courses, trade, craft and industrial programs, engineering and architectural programs, he said.
In comparision, Bureau of Labor Employment Statistics (BLES) data indicate that the top 3 "hard-to-fill" job vacancies from January 2009 to June 2010 include accountants and auditors, electronics and communications engineers, and systems analysts and designers.
"The top 3 reasons why vacancies are hard to fill were: 1) applicants lack needed competency/skill; 2) applicants expect a high salary; and 3) applicants lack years of experience," he explained.
He said this jibes with the CHED's 1999 GTS that shows jobless college graduates seem to be "choosy" in seeking jobs.
Albert said 2 in 5 unemployed graduate say they are jobless because of the following reasons: there is no job opening in field of specialization; no interest in getting a job; starting pay is low; and, no job opening within the vicinity of residence.
"The GTS clearly has a wealth of information that are useful in designing policies that put education in sync with employment," he said.
Albert told ABS-CBNNews.com they are still waiting for the results of a new 2012 GTS that was commissioned to DLSU.
"The CHED appears to have conducted the GTS last year, and I look forward to examining the results," he said.