14 Reasons Why Many Cameroonian Graduates are unemployed

14 Reasons Why Many Cameroonian Graduates are unemployed

14 Reasons Why Many Cameroonian Graduates are unemployed

The graduate unemployment rate in Cameroon is still on the high rise. This graduate unemployment can be attributed to many factors.

But what is graduate unemployment? In simple terms, it’s when a university or college graduate is unable to find a job even after attaining a high level of education.

If you happen to fall into the above definition, then this blog article is for you.

In Cameroon, the unemployment rate has been on a gradual rise from 2015 to 2022. This graduate’s unemployment can be explained by several factors contributing factors below.

1). Graduates Lack the Required Knowledge of Seeking Jobs

The first major reason why a handful of graduates in Cameroon remain unemployed is not because of the absence of job opportunities but because of a lack of knowledge about seeking a job.

So many graduates often do not even border to go for the job hunt, most just seat at home and wait for newspapers or TV news to announce the presence of a particular job vacancy.

Others, who make efforts to search for a job, often, give up after being rejected 1 or 2 times by employers.

There are certain steps you must take to search for a job; this involves preparing yourself for the job market. You can read more about this on 10 Ways how to Get a Job in Cameroon.

2). Entrepreneurship Is Out Of the School Curriculum

Entrepreneurship is not embedded in most school curricula. Most schools only focus on how to educate students to have good GPAs to view as top-performing schools to attract more students.

When students enroll to study in a particular field, all they are told are the type of companies they can work for. For example, a student studying Journalism in the university would be told they can work in a news media house to become a journalist.

This only program the minds of students that they can only become a journalist (employees) for a media house after graduation. Instead, they are many entrepreneurial openings for Journalism students such as blogging, web designing, content writing, copywriting, video blogging, skit making, etc. that are often not taught in schools. This often results in the students remaining unemployed after graduation.

3). Lack Of Employability Skills

Several graduates in Cameroon remain unemployed because of the lack of employment skills. Employment skills are skills that employers or companies are looking for in a job applicant. Most employers do not care about your certificates; all they want is for you to get the job well done.

Common employment skills every graduate should acquire to be able to arm themselves for the job market include; communication, ICT, writing, creativity, problem-solving, teamwork, leadership, customer service skills, marketing skills, data analysis, etc.

The good news is that the above-listed skills can be acquired online for free through major social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, etc.

4). Quality of Training Not In Line With Society’s Needs

Another major reason why most graduates remain unemployed is that, the qualities of training or education offered are not in line with society’s needs.

Outdated curriculum, poor teaching methods, lack of internship experiences opportunities, and lack of practical real-life experiences are major reasons accounting for the poor quality of training.

Most employers are looking for youths with equipt in skills such as civil engineering, computer engineering, blockchain technology, Artificial intelligence, data science, data analysis, cyber security, software development, digital marketing, sales, project management, etc.

Most youths remain unemployed because they lack any of the required skills that are needed to drive an economy; instead, they know areas such as the scramble for Africa, the scramble for Cameroon, the causes of the First and Second war wars, etc.

Note that, one is not saying this knowledge is not important but note that no employer wants to employ you to come to tell them how the scramble for Africans began.

5). Lack of vocational and technical skills

The main aim of vocational training schools is to equip youths with skills that prepare them to start a business or pick up jobs easily after graduation.

However, very little emphasis has been laid on the marketing and promotion of vocational and technical programs in Cameroon.

Many youths and parents often see vocational and technical education as schools meant for children who are not smart intellectually. This thinking pattern has a long way to be erased in the minds of most Cameroonians.

As an unemployed graduate, take a look around you, and you will notice that not a single graduate from a vocational or technical school is unemployed. They are rather the ones providing jobs in the economy.

Read: How to Start a Successful Small Business in Cameroon?

6). Voluntary unemployment

Some graduates in Cameroon continue to remain unemployed because they choose to further more education.

Pursuing further education is a good thing; however, note that if you were unemployed with a master’s degree due to a lack of skills or any working experience, choosing to go for a Ph.D. degree would still not change anything. You will still finish your Ph.D. and still lack the skills and working experiences employers are looking for.

7). Gender discrimination

Even though there has been a decline in gender discrimination in Africa and Cameroon as a large, however, gender issues still exist in some communities or areas. Female graduates often find it hard to get a job in some rural areas where women are not allowed to participate in the decision-making process.

8). Religion is a factor

Some youths remain unemployed after leaving the university because they regarded prayers alone will give them jobs.

You need God to guide you and bless the works of your doings, prayers without work result in nothing.

Going to church 7 days a week, praying 4 hours a day, and doing no effort to have skills, get a job, or start a business would result in you being unemployed.

9). Overdependence on Government jobs/ Concour

Overdependence on government jobs or government Concours can also be a major factor in massive youth unemployment among graduates.

Many youths both from rich and poor backgrounds often at times denied themselves the ability to start their own business or work a part-time job because they have God’s Father that can assist them get a government job. Others with the desire for job security often at times depend on passing a government concurs.

Read: How to Start a Fast Food Business in Cameroon

10). High Competition in the Job Market

There is high competition in the job market in Cameroon. As there are many unemployed graduates and fewer carrier openings in the country, this has resulted in high competition in the job market.

The downside of this high competition is that employers would often want to take qualified persons who are willing to work with the minimum paycheck.

The high competition can only be reduced when youths begin to embrace entrepreneurship and see themself as business and job creators and not job seekers.

11). Disability barrier

Finding employment presents difficulties for recent graduates with disabilities. This is because there isn’t enough infrastructure that is accessible and there isn’t enough knowledge about handicap difficulties.

12). Language barrier

Language barriers have been a major obstacle to unemployment among many graduates.

Cameroon is indeed a bilingual country with English and French as major languages, however, the reality is that not all youths can speak or communicate in both languages. This often results in unemployment in that a youth might qualify for a particular job but won’t be able to get employment because of the language barrier.

13). Tribalism, Nepotism, and Corruption

Graduates occasionally struggle to get employment due to corruption and nepotism. This is especially true in the public sector, where positions are frequently given to cronies and kin of the ruling class.

Graduates may be required to pay bribes or have connections to secure employment, which can be a barrier for many.

In the private sector, the challenge is even more on female graduates, as many are required to offer their bodies in exchange for a job offer.

In some cases, employers may prioritize candidates from their tribe or family members over more qualified candidates.

14). Uncompetitive salaries / Low salary

The reason some graduates remain unemployed is due to the low salary wages paid by most employers. For example, in the health sector, there are so many unemployed nursing graduates, this can be linked to the low wages often pay in this sector. Some nurses if lucky can start a job with a salary as low as 25,000 FRS.

With the high cost of living, especially on transportation, feeding, rent, etc. This often discourages many graduates from taking such job openings. Many will prefer to stay at home and help their parents.


These are just a few of the causes behind the unemployment rate among Cameroonian graduates. To overcome these issues and expand graduate employment possibilities, the public and private sectors must collaborate.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *