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Highly educated people - the new wealth of Greece

27 January 2014 / 22:01:25  GRReporter
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Over the past five years the national agency for diploma recognition in Greece alone has recognized a total of 15,902 MBAs and PhDs (2,439 PhDs and 13,463 MBAs). The data of the national research centre reveal the impressive picture of the Greek labour reality, namely that, from 2009 to today, 8,045 PhDs were submitted to its services, 833 of them being filed in 2013. First in the ranking were physicians since the majority of doctorates (2,336) were the work of students in medicine, followed by engineering and technological sciences, the number of doctorates in these fields over the past 5 years being 1,329.

The parallel picture of Greek really shows a society of over-qualified scientists who are sought and often employed by multinational companies based in Greece. For example, a large international audit company recently told To Vima newspaper that, during the crisis, it had almost doubled its staff.

But what about the others, namely those who want to stay and work in Greece? And how can the state use them?

As is clear from the current data, up to 2012, the total number of persons enrolled in MBA programmes in Greece was 35,570, 23,853 of them being students involved in PhD programmes. If we add to these the number of those enrolled in MBA or PhD programmes abroad, the total number will exceed 50,000. 1,687 students enrolled in various PhD programmes in the Law School of Athens University alone as well as 1,947 in MBA programmes. Moreover, each year about 15 people acquire a PhD.

About 800 people have acquired their PhDs from the National Technical University of Athens (Metsovio) over the past 5 years and are now looking for job.

As for the MBA programmes abroad, it is estimated that about 1,500 scholarship students attend such courses abroad.

Physicians and lawyers

According to a piece of research carried out by banks and educational institutions, in Greece there is a real gap between the qualities and skills sought by businesses and offered by universities. Universities in the country, however, offer a high level of basic knowledge.

Head of the Medical School of Athens University Thanos Dimopoulos says that every year dozens of capable professionals study in the country but a large percentage of them, about 20%, prefer to acquire a degree abroad. According to him, their first preference is Germany, where the conservative policy regarding the appointment of physicians in previous years has led to a deficit of personnel in the health care system today.

"Around 300-350 students graduate from the Medical School of Athens University each year," says Thanos Dimopoulos. "Last year, around 80% of the graduates from our department applied for an academic record valid aboard and obtained one. We do not know how many of them have eventually left for a foreign country to continue their studies. In any case, we believe that every one in three of our students goes abroad when he or she obtains his or her diploma." Incidentally, the Medical School of Athens University offers 33 postgraduate programmes.
In turn, head of the Law School of Athens University Theodoros Fortsakis indicates that more than 250 young lawyers holding an MBA are on the labour market each year, the majority of whom however decide to seek a job abroad.

As Theodoros Fortsakis explains, the university must be connected to the labour market. "Today our students cannot meet the requirements of the market", he says, giving the example of tax law (which does not exist as a separate specialty but only as a course in one of the sectors of the school) or financial law (for which there is not even a teacher) and maritime law which, in recent years, no one has considered as necessary.

Economics ranks first

It seems the only winners are the graduates from the famous MBA from the University of Economics in Athens, the students of which almost immediately find a job as stated by professor George Doukidis.

A study carried out by the University shows that the highest rate of career development of the graduates is in the accounting and finance sector (80%) and the lowest in the sector of company organization and management (57%).

However, according to the national statistical service, the highest unemployment rate is recorded among young people aged between 15 and 24 years (57.2%), holders of MBAs and PhDs (15.7%) and university graduates (18.8%).

According to the Eurobarometer data, 85% of the graduates from the National Technical University of Athens (Metsovio) continue their studies in MBA programmes whereas 54% of them state that they are interested in the opportunity of completing their education and finding a job outside Greece.

"Greece’s emergence from the crisis and the reconstruction of Greek society need the contribution of our students. This upward trend of leaving the country, however, seems already clear as the rate of those seeking a job abroad increased from 42% in 2011 to 54.8% in 2013", states University Vice-Rector Tonia Moropoulou.

Moreover, as shown by the data of different educational federations, 73% of young professionals who try their luck abroad, hold an MBA, 51.2% hold a PhD and 41% have graduated from the 100 best universities in world.

At the same time, the multinational companies in Greece are receiving more resumes for each job opening. There are companies receiving 2,000 resumes for an open position (construction, tourism, commercial companies).

Tags: EducationLabour marketMBA holdersPhD holdersOutsourcing
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