There are about 160.41 million people in Bangladesh. The median age of Bangladeshi population is 26. That means it is dominating by the young force. It is high time to take the advantage of this population dividend. But the matter of fact is that, there are about 3 million working age people unemployed; they are neither in education nor in job. Additional 2.2 million educated young forces are entering into job market every year. Another 10.6 million people are day labourer/doing odd jobs without any job security. It is not like that uneducated or lower educated people are unemployed. But we are getting many higher educated graduates are unemployed and fighting to manage a career opportunity. One hundred plus universities are producing millions of business graduates in Bangladesh every year. But how many of them are getting suitable placement in job market?
Business studies is one of the oldest, richest and contributory faculties in academic arena. It incorporates practical, market oriented as well as result worthy topics in its syllabus comparably than that of the literature, history, philosophy and other religious subjects. Faculty of business studies starts with accounting, management and marketing etc. basic subjects. But in the process of evolution it enlarged it’s horizon through incorporating more specialised subjects like financial management, human resource management, marketing management, operations management, business communications, sales management, consumer behaviour, customer relationship management, cost accounting, banking, business policy, marketing research and business research etc. Business studies department is also received assistance from other faculties like economics, business law, corporate philosophy, business ethics, industrial psychology, statistics, mathematics and English language etc. to make it effective and maximise its result worthiness.In the second phase of its evolution business studies faculty produces more professionals in the area of chartered accountancy, chartered secretaries, financial analysts, international trade management, trade negotiation, economic integration, insurance management, bank management, freight forwarding, indenting, procurement management, logistics management, inventory management etc. With the passage of time business faculty will be enriching further by adopting newer subject as demanded by the concurrent business world. Business education got newer momentum in Bangladesh with the establishment of private universities in late 90s. Private universities played a major role popularizing BBA, MBA etc. in Bangladesh. At the very beginning these degrees were very popular too. But with the changing scenario of business dynamics now BBA & MBA professional are also fighting to manage a suitable career opportunity. This is not because of access of business graduates produced by Bangladeshi business schools, it is somehow because of changing business dynamics and evolution of newer dynamics of international business arena.
Least developed countries or countries in transition like Bangladesh have limited resources to ensure employment for the job seekers. As a result private sector development is the prerequisite for employment generation. If government thinks that Bangladesh has produced more business graduates than it needs, then they should make it convenient to create employment opportunities for these graduates in international market under bilateral agreement with the demanding countries. But till question remains if Bangladesh already produced accessed number of graduates than its requirement why it is paying more than USD 10 billion by employing foreign mid-level managers here. It is very unfortunate that local business graduates are fighting to get employment on the other hand local corporate houses are recruiting Indian, Sri Lankan, Korean nationals in various mid and senior level management positions. Bangladesh is earning USD 15 billion remittance per year by sending about 10 million unskilled and semi-skilled workers abroad, but paying more than USD 10 billion per year by recruiting less than half a million foreign professionals. The earning and expenditure ratio is very illogical here in this case. This is time to rethink why we are unable to fill-up these positions with local professionals. Why we are not training up local professionals with foreign resource person to facilitate knowledge transfer from one foreign professional to hundreds of local graduates?
In such a situation academicians have to rethink to revise course curriculum of Bangladeshi Business Schools to produce industry oriented professionals with up-to-date factory operational knowledges. To facilitate acceptability of local university degrees in aboard government have to take initiative of mutual recognition of degrees between Bangladesh and targeted partner countries. University Grants Commission (UGC) and Ministry of Education can play vital role here in this regard. Local universities could be inspired to adopt and offer multinational degrees (with recognition of international communities or global platforms) here in Bangladesh to increase acceptability of Bangladeshi university degrees in aboard and facilitate export of higher educated Bangladeshi professionals abroad. Thus Bangladesh could earn more remittance as well.
At the same time newer practical courses has to be introduced by the local business schools. For example, DCCI Business Institute (DBI) is offering International Certificates, Advanced Certificate and Diploma Courses in Supply Chain Management (SCM) under the Modular Learning System (MLS) of International Trade Center (ITC), UNCTAD/WTO, Geneva, Switzerland. This courses are being offered by DBI under an agreement between Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) and International Trade Center (ITC), Geneva. DBI is conducting the classes with ITC Trained up Resource Persons mainly from corporate arena with practical knowledge on the issues. Examinations are conducted online by ITC, Scripts were evaluated by third party international experts and finally results are being declared by the ITC from Geneva. Finally certificates are issued from ITC Head Quarter in Geneva with Tripartite Signatures of the Executive Director (ITC), Chairman (International SCM Professional Board) and President, DCCI.
Course curriculum of MLS SCM Courses includes Understanding the Corporate Environment, Specifying Requirements and Planning Supply, Analysing Supply Markets, Developing Supply Strategies, Appraising and Short-listing Suppliers, Obtaining and Selecting Offers, Negotiating, Preparing the Contract, Managing the Contract and Supplier Relationships, Managing Logistics in the Supply Chain, Managing Inventory, Measuring and Evaluating Performance, Environmental Procurement, Group Purchasing, E-procurement, Customer Relationship Management, Operations Management, Managing Finance along the Supply Chain and Packaging in the Supply Chain etc. issues. DBI produced about one thousand professionals here in Bangladesh certified by ITC. All of them are employed in the leading corporates in home and abroad. Main advantages of these courses are truly global recognised by Governments and leading enterprises in 69 countries, 120 Institutions. Methods used here in these courses are proven to reduce 16 % total savings on supply expenditure in Bangladesh & Thailand & 75 % supply lead time in Indonesia. DBI enrolls students / professionals to these courses twice (December & June) in a year. As MLS SCM courses are equally recognised by the governments of 69 countries, many DBI graduates are serving in many developed countries with these certificates.
Finally, we can say that, Bangladesh government, academicians and policy makers have to think actively with its 3 million plus unemployed higher educated youth to ensure placement here or in abroad. Effective mechanism have to be adopted to facilitate export of higher educated professionals to earn more remittances, course curriculum have to be revised to replace foreign professionals working here in Bangladesh with local graduates and finally globally recognised courses have to be offered here in local institutes for increasing acceptability of Bangladeshi certificates around the world. Thus a comprehensive programme could be implemented to fight unemployment and wastage of valuable foreign currency, making Bangladeshi professionals competitive around the globe.
The writer is an Acting Secretary, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) [DCCI or DBI is not responsible for the author’s opinion here in this article]