Are graduates underpaid in Mauritius?

April 13, 2017
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I attended a workshop on IoT last week at the University of Mauritius. After the tea break S. Moonesamy (SM) and I continued having this discussion about the Developers Conference 2017. It appears that some people were furious over my Facebook comment about the panel discussion on ‘Web Development in Mauritius’.

Before I write further I admit that the comment that appeared on Facebook was not fully within the context. There was in fact a sketch earlier in which Shruti and Humeira performed as interviewee and interviewer.

In the interview the candidate performed poorly (which was staged of course). Based on that performance the three panelists were asked about their opinion and the salary they would offer the candidate. That is when the panelists said that a salary of Rs 20,000 would be too high for the candidate. Upon a question one panelist said that the lowest salary that could be offered to the candidate was Rs 12,000. The highest salary that a fresh graduate could be offered upon good performance in an interview was said to be around Rs 22,000.

Coming back to the discussion with SM, since we were sitting next to some students of the University of Mauritius, SM asked them from which faculty there are and which year. The students replied they are from the faculty of Law & Management and that they are in the final year. SM then asked them what salary they are expecting once they graduate. To my surprise, all of them replied that they are expecting something between Rs 12,000 and Rs 15,000.

SM looked at me, smiled and said, « see, that’s what the students are saying ».

A similar situation happens in Web Development in Mauritius. Junior developers usually complain about the low salary. Students often do not take into account that academic qualification is not a replacement for work experience. A candidate without any work experience would not be able to perform on par with a developer who has a few years of work experience.

A candidate should realize what added value he/she brings to the company. Is the candidate bringing immediate value to the company or is more training necessary before the candidate is able to have an impact? Second year university students should have undergone an internship to gain work experience or at least build something in their own time.

- Yusuf Satar

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