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Oman’s number of job seekers soars, majority are graduates

A view of the coast at Muscat, Oman (Shutterstock)
DUBAI: The number of job seekers in Oman rose by 11 percent by the end of July, and most of those are university graduates, national daily Times of Oman has reported.
Current figures suggest there are 50,000 Omanis seeking work, according to the National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the report added.
The country’s population currently stands at approximately 4.7 million people.
And experts say graduates need to lower their wage expectations if they hope to find employment in their chosen field.
Meanwhile, in a bid to generate some income, many Omani graduates are taking whatever work they can find, including waiting and driving.
But they are prepared to take lower wages, if the right job is made available and matches their qualifications.
One such example is Saleh Al-Saidi, who has a diploma in applied chemistry, but has worked as a bus driver for the last two years.
“If I find a job relating to my specialty, I will accept it even if the pay is low,” Al-Saidi told the newspaper.
And English graduate, Abdulnasser Abdullah said: “For the past two years, I have worked in many part-time jobs, such as driver, water tank driver and car rental clerk, in a tourism company.”
According to information released by the NCSI this year, the majority of people looking for work are in the 25 to 29 age bracket – with most being college graduates, the report added.
Jasim Al-Baluchi, deputy head of Education and Professional Development said the increase in the number of graduates was a likely reason behind the increase in job seekers.
“A number of graduates are specific with the type of jobs they want, and so there aren’t enough job opportunities to facilitate the specific jobs required… They have to be more willing to work in any job at any level. There are many economic projects in Oman that job seekers could become a part of if they are willing,” Al-Baluchi explained.
Meanwhile some graduate job seekers are returning to education to try and increase their chances of finding employment, in fields such as teaching.
IT graduate Manal Al-Alawi was looking for a job for five years, before deciding to return to education.
“I decided to pursue a new degree with my own money, in the College of Education at Nizwa University, to help me become a math teacher… I think teachers have a better chance of being employed. In the last five years, I tried to apply to many jobs in my field, but I never got a reply.” Al-Alawi told the newspaper.
Of course returning to education carries its own obstacles and post graduates are facing high educational costs and as many as four years back in university.
The situation has become so significant that the hashtag “Omanis without jobs” was created on Twitter a few weeks ago and already seen 28,500 accounts vent their frustration with 600,000 tweets.

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