Editorial, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Why PUP grads are employers’ top pick?

Cheap labor? No, call it “competence and more”

Why PUP grads are employers’ top pick?

Jumbled reactions arise after Jobstreet.com release the results of their Fresh Graduates Survey saying the state-run university raised five notches to top this year’s survey.

Looking at the comment sections of social media, students and alumni from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) stood proud of their school’s achievement.

While others reacted with ‘bitterness’ protesting their thoughts that in a capitalist perspective, PUP graduates are preferred because most of the employers deal with ‘cheap labor’.

Indeed, a hazy generalization. The spicy opinions coming from different people crafted searing argumentations, and the ‘capitalist view comments’ may or may not have a point at all.

To settle things and enlighten the people, this is what Jobstreet.com Philippines country manager Philip Gioca has to say: “Why have employers warmed up to PUP graduates? They have the drive to succeed and are very hard working. They have reasonable demands and they don’t usually display an attitude of self-entitlement. They also tend to stay longer in a company and they don’t leave at the slightest difficulty.”

Conducted among 550 companies in various industries, survey results showed that employers look at competence, communication skills, initiative, trainability, willingness to learn, honesty and integrity among fresh graduates.

Inday Espina-Varona, contributing editor/writer at ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs, shared on her facebook account, “I absolutely agree with this. While collegiate ties are with UP (Diliman dropout haha), years dealing with journ [journalism] interns have made me appreciate two things about PUP students – their willingness to hustle (in a good way) and exercise initiative to get the job well done. And also, their more grounded outlook on life and the absence of self-entitlement, something that has always set my teeth on edge. Not to say I haven’t had great interns from UP or Ateneo or other schools. Just that most of the best ones came from PUP.”

For employers, the so-called “deal breakers” included poor communication skills, being overly conscious of the salary, lack of initiative, inflexible or inability to adapt, and overconfidence, Gioca added.

The same survey showed the University of Santo Tomas was the second most preferred school, followed by Ateneo de Manila University which tied with UP (last year’s top one) for the third spot.

Also in the top 10 are Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Far Eastern University, De La Salle University, Technological Institute of the Philippines, Mapua Institute of Technology, University of the East, and Adamson University.

Survey also found out that six out of 10 companies consider the school where applicants have graduated from before hiring.

On the other hand, 9 out of 10 employers claim to still consider hiring a fresh graduate who is not from their preferred schools, provided that the candidate has the skills they are looking for.

Gioca says, “More than preference for particular colleges and universities, employers prioritize applicants who show willingness to be trained and to learn. Companies need new employees who can easily adapt to their processes and systems, learn their products and services, the dynamics of the industry that they are a part of, and what drives their success. Most importantly, they want candidates who have the right attitude on being trained. Primadonnas and newbies who think they don’t need training won’t get hired. Where a fresh graduate got his or her diploma won’t matter as much as his or her eagerness to learn and showing the ability to absorb concepts and apply them in the office setting.”

The country’s first Polytechnic University, known for its cheap tuition fee (P12 pesos per unit) has proven something better other than claiming the top spot in this year’s survey; that more than cheap labor, is ‘competence and more.’

“Salat man sa pasilidad, mayaman naman sa kapasidad” (Deprived of facilities, but still rich in capabilities).





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