The labor market in Kazakhstan, like anywhere in the world, suffers from the evergreen
issue of mismatch between the supply, quality of skills and de-facto demands of the workplace.
Apart from objective, systemic reasons, like the quality of education and its alignment to the
expectations of employers, one subjective factor is particularly critical. It is about the ill-informed
or wrongly motivated choice of future profession by high-school students and their parents that
ultimately bring them into the tricky situation to get trained for over-supplied and lowdemanded professions in the local labor market and puts them at a higher threat of
unemployment or underemployment. This happens because parents often believe in the illusory
prestige of certain occupations, like lawyers, economists, the “niche” that is already heavily
overpopulated in the local labor market
To depict this situation with the daily life story, imagine a family dinner with dad, mom
and their son or daughter in the high school, who want to decide together on the future
profession of their offspring.
Dad: Son, we need to talk to you seriously.
Son: Yes, daddy.
Dad: The university entrance exams are just around the corner. We had a discussion with your
Mom, and we are sure that you have to study for a lawyer, like your father.
Son: Lawyer? Daddy, but I was thinking of becoming a computer game designer.
Dad: Computer game… what? I appreciate your sense of humor, dear, but don’t you understand
yourself, that it will not get you far?
Mom: On top of that, your eyesight can become worse, and staring into a laptop screen for hours
will definitely not make it better.
Dad: I have many friends in the court, and lawyers are required in every single organization. So,
your job will be guaranteed.
Mom: Where are you going? You have not finished your meal… Come back!
This story shows how the future profession is usually chosen by lots of young people and,
mostly, under the influence of their parents and relatives. According to the news portal in
Kazakhstan, 60% of university graduates do not work according to the profession or specialtytrained for at the university .
Therefore, the problem exists, at least, at two levels.
• Firstly, at the individual level, a person does what he was not professionally trained for,
meaning that in fact, their work performance is not professional.
• Secondly, at the state level, people do not work according to the specialization in which
they were trained in the university or a college. This means a mere waste of public or parental
funds used to support their studies, leaving alone the labor productivity and other
On top of that, against the backdrop of a rapid pace of technological development under
the industry 4.0 umbrella, the life cycle of professions becomes much shorter, whereas the speed
of change in skill “appetites” of the labor market grows exponentially.
Thus, the traditional problem moves into a brand-new economic reality, requiring a
corresponding response and approach. In other words, a new, simple, user-friendly, and massive
vocational guidance tool.