Syndicate content

Wanted: Jobs –and your questions about how to find them

Anne Elicaño-Shields's picture
Lars Sondergaard will answer 5 of your questions in a video

Use social media to ask the World Bank about the type of skills and education that are needed in today’s global economy.

The global economic recession has made the search for a good, stable job even more significant.  In Asia, where I’m from, jobs have always been foremost in young people’s minds because of the harsh conditions brought about by social and economic inequality or, if you’re not from a developing country, the previous generations’ memory of it. We don’t have an equivalent to a “gap year” to take time out between the life stages of high school and university to travel.

What can make a person more employable? Policymakers say that having the right skills and good education largely have something to do with that. It’s not just about being able to go to school. In Thailand and some other countries, schools are linking with companies so that students can enhance the skills their future employers needs. A World Bank report, Putting Higher Education to Work: Skills and Research for Growth, also recommends investing more in research and scholarships, prioritizing underfunded but important subjects like engineering and sciences, and improving the management of public universities.

Have your say

Do you have a question about the effect of the recession on joblessness in your region? Or the type of skills most needed by the market?

We’re asking an expert on education, Lars Sondergaard, to take questions in a video interview that we’ll post at the end of this week. 

Here’s how to get involved:

Send your question using the comment function below to ask our expert. You can do it right now. You can also join the conversation on Twitter (send your questions to @worldbankasia) or on Facebook.

So what are you waiting for? Ask now and share with your friends!


Submitted by Anonymous on
Hi, I was wondering about job outlook for chemical and mechanical engineers in the future. Thanks

Submitted by Nazmul Islam Chowdhury on
Whats are the WB initiatives to address extreme poverty and hunger for resource poor, communities living in fragile environment, minimal access to income and employment etc? What do you think asset transfer or capacity building for poverty eradication is important? What are the proven approach to address food insecurity needs, basic services and facilities?

Hello Mr. Lars, Nowadays we know that studing is essencial to seek for a good position on the market, and we know also that other qualities like iniciative, creativeness and information can make a difference in order to get a job or even a promotion. How could you consider a good way to develop these qualities while graduate student and which skills and expiriences you could list as a well recognized quality to the market? Thank you Gustavo Oliveira Forest Engineering student University of Brasilia, Brazil

Hello Mr. Lars, I am a current graduate student in Washington DC, I have some experience (3yrs) in digital media and PR from abroad since I am not US citizen yet. I am present on FB, Twitter, LinkedIn. I use all these tools to promote myself, I even pay for my own website in order to get my name on the top of the first page on Google. I have a unique certificate in digital media management from Georgetown University, proceeding my Masters in Communication. I really understand social media field and digital media generally together with SEO, webdesign, databases etc. I sent out about 80 answers for entry-level jobs in digital/social media and I got no response, not even one! What else I could do to get a job? I am thinking that my biggest disadvantage is that I am not US citizen, but I am eligible to work here. I just don't know what else to do in order to get a job. I would appreciate any advice you would give me. With the best wishes, Denisa Karfikova

Submitted by Alain on
Hello, What are the trends in job vacancies around the world, i.e. where are the jobs, in which sectors we observed hikes, and what are the challenges in filling in these jobs? Are there any quantitative studies on this? Thank you, Alain- Dubai

Submitted by Eric Dang on
How to find a patent related jobs in China? I am looking for a unitynew opportunity in patent related fields in China, so, Can you give me some suggestion about this? I have ten years experiences in patent fields.

Submitted by Poltak Simbolon on
Hello Mr. Lars, In developing nations, often the barrier that's preventing the poor from rising above the poverty line is low-skilled unemployment, many a times due to lack of education because they can't afford it. What kind of jobs could be provided to help these people? What would you suggest to be the effective short-term and long-term relief for the poor facing low-skilled unemployment? Looking forward to your opinion. Poltak Simbolon Development Economics student Universitas Sumatera Utara, Indonesia

Submitted by kirsten on
In Singapore, we pride ourselves on our education system which has been admired by other countries (especially those in our region). The system is very academic-centric; students are made to focus on tests and exams and score well. But young Singaporeans are starting to find that having the best grades and paper qualifications aren't everything, and find themselves on the back foot when it comes to competing with others around the world who may not be as strong academically, but have other skills to make them stand out. What can young Singaporeans do to counter this?

Submitted by Kasumba on
The key to job creation is markets for the products, so how do we as a people of the world increase that market? Related to that, how do we get those people (traditional rudimentary farmers, for instance) one would consider as out of the main stream, into the global economy? In other words is it right to believe that the mordernisation of economies and societies is key to the expansion of markets in the case of Africa, Uganda in particular? Markets are vital to the solution, because a job is for producing what my neighbor doesn't have but want and him/her also has a job because am also in need of what he produces but don't have.

Submitted by Kasumba on
To create more jobs we need expanded markets, because a job is there to service the needs of my neighbor that he/she can't produce while in the process of producing what I also want but can't produce...the whole concept of Adam Smith as taught by Museveni of Uganda. So What WB initiatives are there to bring the economically invisible (like the traditional rudimentary farmers in Uganda) to the global market? That way we could increase the number of jobs relative to population growth. The WB loves to only prioritize "free markets", does that have to mean that in Africa, co-operative societies linked to statutory organs of government is wrong? This I ask because that would have been a way to bring my farmers into the global economy. And why does the WB vigorously go after the farm subsidies in Europe and the US, it’s not proper that the governments there should create inefficiencies in the food market, thus rendering the people with a comparative advantage unemployed. I mean the economies of the west should be producing something else and let us in Africa do the agriculture since we have the comparative advantage.

Submitted by Saurabh on
Hello, By way of introduction my name is saurabh Yadav.I am currently a student and researcher at EDHEC Risk Institute,Singapore. For past 9 months I have been researching on equity portfolio construction that can track Asian internal demand and Asian export success. I have worked on various macro indicators of different asian countries and build a aggregate indicator that can track the Asian macro economy. This indicator is the benchmark we use to construct our portfolios and test whether the performance of the portfolio is in line with this indicator. The question I want to ask is whether WB is looking for people that have good exposure to macro economic indicators and quantitative portfolio construction. Also what kinds of positions I can apply for in World Bank. As a note I want to add that I am looking to pursue a career with WB before I go for a Phd which I will not begin before 2-3 years. Thanks, Regards, Saurabh

Submitted by Ralph on
Hello Lars, I would like to hear your thoughts about the role that education reform (primary, secondary and higher education) can play in shaping the job market in the future. As the WB's and other institutions research have shown, countries need to completely tranform the whole education system to better respond to the current and future needs in the job market. The curricula and the teaching methodology being used in developed and developing countries has pretty much remained largely unchanged for many decades. It is a universal reality that most of the skills needed to perform most professional jobs today are learned during the first six months on the job. The world has changed profoundly and so have businesses and markets, so why do institutions, public and private, keep teaching the same and in the same way, including Harvard, Oxford and many other expensive schools? Why is it that most successful companies (i.e. Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, etc.) in the world have been created by people who have decided to leave the school system? Imagine what they could have done had they learned more useful skills? What do you think can be done to fully transform education worldwide in order to maximize the use of the time spent by students and therefore to perform better in the job market? Thank you, Ralph

Submitted by DY on
Dear Mister Sondergaard, Given the many needs surrounding the youth agenda, what is the best way for highly skilled professionals* to be part of the solutions and land full-time jobs and/or consultancies that deal with global youth empowerment issues? *Here, I refer to people with Masters Degrees in IR/ International Studies & 10+ years Professional Expertise in Global Youth Programming. Thanks, DY

Submitted by Helen Chen on
Hi Lars, I am a Chinese, and also an Acoustic Engineer in China, I have some experience (about 4yrs) in Headphone sound tuning. As I know that the Acoustics is not very common in China, since just about 10 Schools in China have the Acoustics Major. So now is hard for some company to find a person with the Acoustic background. But Acoustic Engineer is popular in Chinese Job market.That is because there are many OEM factory in China now are not content to just make the OEM products, they would like to make something their own design, but most of which is based on the products that was popular in the market. So many of these company are looking for Acoustic Engineers. But most these company cannot satisfy most of Acoustic engineer, since they cannot provide a good salary and working platform and most of the factories do not have their own brand, they are alway make some copy products. Most of Acoustic Engineer including mewho graduated from Acoustic major in college and already have some experience in product development would like to work in a big company or a foreign famous company who have their own brand and RD department, like Harman, some kind of these. So now it is a little embarrassed in the Electric-Acoustic job market, many persons are looking for job, and also many companys are looking for engineer, but few of them can find one.

Submitted by Anonymous on
Dear Mr. Sondergaard, I wonder if you could talk a bit about what smaller organizations can do to attract applicants. I recently reviewed numerous CVs for a UN internship position to update our website, and found many were over-qualified as they held masters degrees and had several years of experience. At the same time, I frequently hear of organizations doing similar work, but struggling to find employees who meet minimum qualifications. Thank you, Kathy

Thank you all for your many and interesting questions about jobs and skills. At this point we're not adding more questions,: Lars has addressed some of them in a video that we'll share with you soon --keep an eye on this blog, on our Facebook page ( or on our Twitter account @worldbankasia. In fact, we received so many interesting questions through all these channels, that those that didn't make it into the video will be summarized and addressed in an upcoming blog post. We hope to get this way to tackle most of your queries. Thanks again! Cheers, -- Claudia Blog admin

Hello again all, in case you haven't seen it, Lars addressed some your questions (and those we got through Twitter and Chinese microblogs) in video form here: So many questions didn't make it, that he'll tackle those in a new blog post later this week. Thanks everyone!

As mentioned a few days ago, in addition to the video, Lars has tackled a few more questions in this new blog post:

Add new comment