Q. I graduated from a prominent university with honours but unfortunately I am now an unemployed tertiary-level educated graduate. My parents sacrificed a lot for me, their second child, to go to school with loans and working more over-time than they wanted and more than I thought was healthy. I have applied to many companies and most have not even replied, acknowledging my application. I am aware of some low paying jobs where I would be earning enough just to survive. I do not want this for myself and I would want to also take some burden off my parents as a reward for their lifetime of hard work and to show them how much I love them.
I would need to further my education to demand a substantial salary to help make my parents' life a bit easier. And in doing so, I would be asking them to sacrifice more for another two years. I do not want to ask them for more but scholarships are not a realistic option for me.
What should I do?
A. It is unfortunate that you are among the many tertiary educated graduates who cannot find suitable jobs because the economy is not growing fast enough to absorb graduates. Your problem is compounded by insensitive employers who will not even acknowledge applications.
No job guaranteed
There is no guarantee that acquiring a post-graduate degree will assure you a job, much less a good paying job unless you are acquiring a skill that is rare and in demand.
It is sometimes good after graduating with a first degree to gain some work experience. In your case it will fill a financial gap and also have the potential to make you a better student. Furthermore, you might be able to save a little towards further education.
It is good that you understand and appreciate the sacrifice your parents made, and your willingness not to forget it and to make a significant contribution to their economic welfare is commendable. You need to discuss your future plans with your parents and ask them what they think. If they cannot sacrifice any more to send you to graduate school then you should try and find a job or create one. Can your older sibling help with your educational needs? Will you be able to get a student loan and be able to service it when you graduate? Do you have loans outstanding?
Sometimes starting at a low paying job can work out. For one you are employed. Additionally, you will develop the discipline of going to work and engaging in gainful employment. Furthermore, you might do an excellent job and get promoted or someone else might want to engage your services because word got out that you are good.
Having a good degree does not mean that you should turn your nose up on a low paying job. Start working and then other opportunities might come your way. As the saying goes if you want good you nose have to run.