Over 65 percent of graduates end up changing career paths within the first three years after graduating due to indecisiveness, says a study by Brigham Young University (BYU).
The findings intensify the need for career guidance and mentorship programmes, said Seth Ogoe Ayim, Africa Regional Director at Brigham Young University Management Society, and founder of Bountiful Technologies Limited.
According to him, the study established factors such as dissatisfaction with the chosen field, desire for better job opportunities, new industries, discovering new interests, among others, to be responsible for this phenomenon.
He mentioned that even though changing careers is not necessarily a bad thing, the trend among young graduates is mostly due to uninformed decisions.
The most unfortunate thing about this situation is that time and scarce resources are wasted, making it difficult to garner enough resources for the newly discovered interest, he added.
Mr. Ogoe suggested that career guidance and mentorship initiatives should be intensified at both the tertiary and pre-tertiary levels to aid students make well-informed decisions.
Using himself as an example, he noted that he wasted three years of his life studying and practising Civil Engineering before diverting to IT. “Most students go into a career without a mentoring or guidance.”
He revealed that the BYU Management Society is fostering partnerships with some public and private universities in Ghana to implement proactive mentorship programmes through impact resource centres.
He made these remarks on the sideline of the ‘African Professional Development Conference’ organised by the BYU Management Society, themed ‘Lift and Lead’.
Executive Director – BYU Management Society, Jason Brown, on his part, emphasised that as the theme stipulates, the conference is aimed at lifting young professionals on the African continent.
“We are trying to help people to acquire the right skills they need to advance their career, earn a wage that will help them to take care of their families and give back to the community. We have been mentoring around the world trying to help people to become leaders in their societies.
“Our vision is to also grow morally uprightness and strong integrity among the new generation world leaders. We provide these mentorships to both young graduates, professionals and leaders who want to advance their skills,” he said.
Executive President – BYU Alumni Association, Michael Johanson, stressed how the over 450,000 members of the association consistently contribute their quota to the development of skills and talents across the world, holding on to the institution’s motto – ‘Enter to learn, go to serve’.
The second edition of the career development conference, held in Accra, brought together over 600 participants physically, with about 1,400 others joining virtually from nine different African countries and other parts of the world.
The society is a global network for professionals with about 10 chapters in different African countries.