In Oaxaca, one of the poorest States in Mexico, only 12 out of 100 students get a university degree and most of these degrees are not related to the job demands.
Why is that? On the one hand, only few young people in the State manage to finish high school. In fact, only 18% of Oaxacan youth are in higher education. That is almost half the national rate.
On the other hand, it is also true that there are not many universities in Oaxaca: in 2011, the State had one of the lowest numbers of higher education institutions in the country compared to its population, according to the recently published report “Higher Education and Development in Oaxaca”.
However, the low number of students in university in Oaxaca is not linked to low financial resources: in fact, Oacaca receives the same amount of money per student as the rest of the country.
Qualified professionals: crucial for innovation
What young people study also matters. According to this new report, many of the students in Oaxaca choose very few university programs .
About 70% of all students are concentrated in only 7 seven professional areas . The most popular is primary school teaching – chosen by 20% of students.
The teaching career is growing: the number of new students has increased by 75% in only five years. However, there are only few qualified professionals that are able to use and adapt technology – crucial for the labor market and ultimately for Oaxaca´s economy.
“The availability of highly qualified resources is crucial for developing innovation and increasing productivity, and also for internationalizing the technological progress developed in other regions and countries,” according to the report.