Yannis Behrakis / Reuters
Manolis Ouranos, a 30-year-old cook, works for the Mavros Gatos (Black Cat) tavern in Psiri neighboorhood in central Athens. Manolis studied at Athens Technology University (TEI) for four years where he received a degree in civil engineering. He hoped to find a permanent job in public sector infrastructure but has been working as a cook for four months instead. He now takes cooking lessons which he funds with his salary as a cook.
Nearly 75 million people ages 15 to 24 are unemployed worldwide and the U.N. labor office predicts “the same high level” for at least the next four years.
For eager university graduates in the crisis-hit European Union where one in five people under the age of 24 are out of work, finding a job is almost impossible. However, the problem isn’t confined to the EU. It’s a global problem and the U.N. expects 12.7 percent of youth globally to be unemployed in 2012. The International Labour Organisation also warns that many are trapped in low paid and low skilled jobs and others have simply given up looking.
In order to illustrate the problem, Reuters photographed portraits of graduates from around the world who have been unable to find work in their degrees and have ended up in service industry jobs.
Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters
Francesca Baldi, 32, takes care of a seven-month-old baby in a private household in Rome on May 11. Baldi studied for five years at university in Pisa where she received a degree and a doctorate in literature and philosophy. She hoped to find a job as a teacher but has been working as a childminder for five months.
Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
Jessica Mazza, a 28 year-old waitress, serves a customer at Novel cafe in Santa Monica, Calif. Mazza studied for five years at Ball State University where she received a degree in painting and business management. She hoped to find a job as an artist but has been working in the cafe for just under a year. Picture taken, April 24.
Noor Khamis / Reuters
Denis Onyango Olang (right), a 26 year-old assistant cook, prepares food in a dimly lit kitchen at a hotel in Nairobi's Kibera slum in the Kenyan capital. Onyango Olang studied statistics and chemistry at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology where he received a degree in science. He has been searching for permanent employment for two years but has decided to make a living working in the slums for the last eight months.
Miguel Vidal / Reuters
Tania Leon, a 29 year-old stewardess, poses for a picture inside a bus in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Leon studied psychology at the University of Santiago de Compostela and received a degree in 2006. She was hoping to find a job as a psychologist but has been working as a stewardess for the last two years.
Dado Ruvic / Reuters
Almin Dzafic, a 30 year-old waiter, serves customers in the Galerija Boris Smoje cafe in Sarajevo. Dzafic studied for four years at Sarajevo University where he received a degree in civil engineering. For the last four years he has tried to find a job in art restoration but has been working as a waiter for two years. He sees his future outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina because he can not find a job.
Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters
Wael Abo El Saoud, a 25 year-old farmer, harvests wheat on Miet Radie farm about 37 miles northeast of Cairo. Wael studied for four years at Benha University where he received a degree in commerce. He hoped to find a job as a bank accountant but has been working as a farmer for the last five years. He earns between 30 to 60 Egypt pounds a day but does not work all year round.
Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters
Francesco Foglia, 37, poses for a picture as he works as a street sweeper in downtown Rome. Foggia studied for six years at university in Rome where he received a degree and a doctorate in industrial chemistry. He hoped to find a job as a researcher but has been working as a street sweeper for Rome's municipality for two years. Picture taken on April 29.
Peter Andrews / Reuters
Marcin Lubowicki, a 28 year-old deputy manager of a McDonald's restaurant, shows his university diploma in front of the fast food chain in the Arkadia shopping mall, in Warsaw. Lubowicki, who has degree in Russian language from Warsaw University, has been working for McDonald's since 2007. He is planning to stay in his job.