BBA graduates: SZABIST conducts survey to gauge trends in job market

By Kazim Alam, The Express Tribune

KARACHI: Graduates of the latest batch of the four-year BBA programme of the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) received on average a monthly salary of Rs35,448, according to the institute’s recent employment survey.

While most business schools all over the world conduct such exercises regularly to gauge the acceptance level of their fresh graduates in the job market along with average starting salaries, it is the first-ever employment survey that the institute has carried out specifically for its BBA programme graduates, according to SZABIST President Dr Saqib Rizavi.

“We carried out the survey to formulate policies in line with job market expectations based on empirical evidence,” Rizavi told The Express Tribune in an interview.

A total of 758 students graduated from SZABIST in December 2012. About 21%, or 159 students, belonged to the BBA programme. However, results of the employment survey are based on a response rate of about 60.3%, or 96 graduates, as many recent BBA degree-holders chose not to participate in the survey.

“I believe that a response rate of over 50% is reflective of actual trends in the job market. I think 60% is a healthy response rate,” Rizavi said.

While the average monthly salary across all sectors of the economy was Rs35,448, the highest average salary that recent SZABIST BBA graduates received was in the category of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies, which was Rs72,333 per month.

Even though no credible data in the form of employment surveys is available for graduates of past years, Rizavi believes that the job market within the FMCG sector has gradually become less attractive for SZABIST graduates of late. With only six students out of the 96 respondents joining this sector, he said the share of BBA graduates joining FMCG companies seems to have declined in the recent past.

Logistics and distribution companies paid on average a monthly salary of Rs49,667, which made the sector the second most attractive employer for SZABIST’s BBA graduates of 2012. Although only six graduates joined logistics and distribution companies, the SZABIST president believes it to be a growing sector, which will likely absorb more graduates in coming years.

The largest number of SZABIST BBA graduates went into the media, communications and advertising field. Interestingly, the average monthly salary these 40 graduates received was Rs34,075, which was lower than the average monthly salary across all sectors of the economy.

The second largest number of those surveyed, 23 graduates, joined banking and financial services in spite of the fact that the average monthly salary for the sector remained Rs31,391, which is lower than the overall average.

According to Rizavi, lower salaries in the banking and financial sector is a temporary phenomenon, which will be over soon. “Despite consolidation of many banks, I believe there is still room in the financial sector to absorb our future graduates,” he noted.

The lowest average salaries per month were offered in technology (Rs26,250) and education and consultancy (Rs25,750), which brought the overall average salary down considerably.

Although the names of many multinational companies appear on the list of employers, a majority of them are of Pakistan origin. Some of the big names include Unilever, Philip Morris, Nokia, Toyota, National Foods, Nielsen, KPMG, EFU and several private medium-sized banks.

The highest remuneration that a SZABIST BBA graduate is getting is currently working at Toyota at a monthly salary of Rs150,000.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 11, 2013.

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