Iran’s Minister of Science and Technology says the unemployment rate among university graduates is higher than the general unemployment average, and that is why the country’s academic elite go abroad for work.


Mohammad Farhadi said on Friday February 27 that one million students graduate from universities across the country each year but they find little opportunity to join the workforce.

Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia has said that with the addition of university graduates to the pool of job applicants, the number of unemployed will climb to eight million.

According to last year’s census reports, more than 1.1 million job applicants in that year had higher education, including Masters and PhD degrees. Most of these graduates do not find a job because the Iranian economy is mostly service based with a very small manufacturing sector. For that reason, many university graduates end up employed in positions for which they are overqualified.

Census reports also indicate that 63 percent of Iran’s female university graduates are unemployed.