WASHINGTON DC —
Phnom Penh will host a major career fair this weekend, providing information to students entering university to help them declare a major and ultimately find work.
Cambodia is lagging behind its Southeast Asian neighbors, as the region prepares for economic integration and the free flow of goods and services.
Education and career experts say Cambodian students often lack the skills or experience employers are looking for, even as more and more young people enter a limited job market.
The career fair will held May 3, in collaboration with the US Embassy and members of the of Fulbright and Undergraduate State Alumni Association of Cambodia. It is the sixth year in a row the career fair has been held.
Hout Siekhuoy, a coordinator for the alumni association, said the fair helps high school students choose a major and learn how to apply for scholarships abroad.
“We hope the event is going to be successful,” she said. “We have helped provide key information regarding majors at university and the job market in Cambodia to high school students so that they can make the best decisions.”
Around 2,000 students are expected to attend the career fair, which will be presided over by Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron. Around 60 other speakers and presenters will be at the fair, describing university majors, the job market and tips for getting jobs and scholarships.
Cambodia has a young population: about 60 percent are under the age of 30. Each year, an estimated 250,000 people are in need of a job.
That’s a lot of competition, which requires a lot of effort from students, to engage in society and educational volunteering, Hout Siekhuoy said.
“Even though volunteerism does not provide profit, it can bring you to an unexpected outcome,” she said. “Not only does it provide practical working experiences, but also opportunities to meet successful people and learn from their experiences. It also helps you to get scholarships abroad.”
But she notes that students volunteering should not have expectations. The work should primarily be dedicated to self and social development, she said.