A relatively unstructured qualification and accreditation system for institutions of higher education in Cambodia has created a sizeable number of businesses with dubious “university” status that in reality are “diploma mills”
While the quality of undergraduate degrees available at some Cambodian universities is excellent, the majority of students graduating from the country’s educational institutions are completely unprepared to enter the workforce. The need for basic training and development is then passed on to the employer.
For undergraduate students uncertain of what they want to do for a career, one of the better options is to enroll in programmes that will help develop English-language skills. Fresh graduates with excellent English make it easier for international employers to effectively impart knowledge and training.
A degree in English is far more valuable to potential employers than the popular Cambodian “Bachelor of Management” degree which often leaves students completely unqualified for the workplace. Another excellent option for those seeking to get a head start is to enter an engineering programme that will provide some level of technical skills, such as civil or electrical engineering. A high demand for qualified engineers across multiple sectors and a lack of students enrolling in these programmes makes the skill sets valuable.
Curran Hendry, director of human resource services at American Academic Associates (AAA), writes our monthly column on the employment market in Cambodia