Before we go into why Nepalese choose Blue-Collar Jobs over White Collar Jobs, we first have to know what they are first. So let’s start with a short and easy to understand Definition before we begin
They are basically the jobs that are the working-class jobs that pay on an hourly basis. These jobs do not require technical and professional skills and are based on the general skills and the job specific skill of average level. The payment here is done on the hourly basis. Now why these jobs are called blue collar-jobs is another story.
This term was started in 1920. Back then the people who worked these types of jobs usually wore denim jeans and other dark colored outfits. The reason behind this is because most of the jobs which pay on an hourly basis are manual labor and other physical jobs. Having the need to use your body to do the work mostly, it is natural that there will be stains and what hides stains better than dark colored clothes but too dark and it will show clearly. Blue having a good look in both dark and light tones became the norm eventually.
These jobs are basically the ones which are the opposite of Blue-Collar Jobs. The reason is that while Blue-Collar Jobs mostly require physical labor, the jobs under this category need mental strength and labor. The jobs are technical and need a good amount of professional skills to perform. Along with that the payment is done monthly as well in the form of salary and one needs to have a good amount of job specific skills.
These jobs are more commonly known as Desk-Jobs in today’s term. As to why these jobs are called White-Collar jobs, it again has to do with the color scheme of uniform that the people wear. Back when the term Blue-Collar job was being termed the only people who did desk-jobs were the ones in the administrative posts and they had a uniform that was compulsory. Those uniforms were usually white suits with a suit and pants and a tie. Due to this the desk jobs were termed as a White-Collar jobs. No racism here but just the use of the shirt.
Now that we are done with the definition, let’s go into the main theme of today’s topic.
So there are a few specific reasons why most Nepalese have Blue-Collar jobs. As you may have noticed by now, this topic will mostly be focused on the advantages that these jobs have for general and overall Nepalese people over the white-collar jobs.
Reason 1- Literacy rate.
As mentioned above for one to get a white-collar job one needs a good amount of professional skills. The profession in the white-collar jobs are those which require a lot of knowledge and some form a higher degree educational qualification. Now with that being said the literacy rate of Nepal as per the last census taken in 2018 is 67.91%.
This is good and all but you have to consider that this census is based on the fact that people have passed grade 8. Anyone who has passed grade 8 is considered literate. Most of Nepal is in the rural area which doesn’t even have a high-school. Considering this it is not wrong to assume that a lot of the people who are at this literate rate have not entered high school. Furthermore what is sad is that there are a lot of people who dropout of high-school. Add the fact that around 25% of the high-school graduates don’t pursue further education and the total people who have the qualifications looks small.
This is why most Nepalese prefer Blue-Collar Jobs. They don’t have the budget to study more so they’d rather work in labor. For them this will seem better than to take a loan to study and risk failure.
Sourced from: macrotrends
Reason 2: Poverty
Given the census from 2018, it is seen that 40% of the people earn less than Rs. 125 per day. What is shocking is the fact that 60% of the Nepalese people earn less than Rs.200 per day. This just shows how most of the people of Nepal are under the poverty line. The base income of the poverty line is 1.25$ per day. With this many people under the poverty line, it is clear that most people cannot afford education. They still have to make a living despite the lack of money and education so what do they do in these situations? They work as labor.
The good thing about being a laborer is that you virtually do not need any skill. As long as you have good physical strength you can do it. There is also the fact that you can upgrade as you work in the same factory or workplace overtime.
On average a seasoned worker can earn up to Rs1500 per day. Of Course the amount you earn depends on the job you are working. The fact that you can earn more than a thousand rupees does attract those who do not have education quite. If they cannot read and learn well, they might as well use their body and work hard to earn a living. This is one of the main reasons why Nepalese have Blue-Collar jobs.
Sourced from: Visionlaunch Media
Reason 3: lack of opportunities
What do both the reasons mentioned above have in common? It is the lack of opportunities. Those who do not have an opportunity to learn well, can’t get a white-collar job. People who do not have enough income to join a high-school cannot get a white-collar job. Those who live extremely far away from a high-school cannot get a blue collar job because they cannot join high-school. Even if you have completed your education, the competition is too tough that the chances are low. To get a white-collar job, you not only have to have education but good skills as well. This is something most Nepalese do not have time to develop.
High-school is mostly filled with Kanda’s and fun, so they do not think about skills. The naturally talented and the silently working ones develop these skills, but a lot of High-schoolers ignore them. After high-school they either realize or are forced into getting a skill. Then they are beaten by the talented and the hard working ones when they do compete. The job’s opportunities are less and the competition is high. This is also one of the main reasons why most Nepalese have Blue-collar jobs.
Reason 4: Wages
Let’s define what a wage is first before we go any deeper. Wages are the money that is paid on an hourly, weekly or a monthly basis. This basically means that as soon as the job is done, you will be paid instantly. Wage is the means of payment in blue-collar jobs. Now lets see why wages impact the Nepalese people in getting the Blue-collar jobs.
As we have mentioned before, most of the people in Nepal are below the poverty line. This means that they cannot afford to wait a month to get the money. Along with that we have also established that most of the Nepalese people are not qualified.
Main factor is that due to the payment being hourly or weekly at most, they can work overtime as much as they can and their overtime will be paid reasonably. This is attractive for those who are working under the poverty line. Due to these benefits of the wage system most people do blue-collar jobs in Nepal.
Reason 5: Job change
Now let’s talk about people who have all the qualifications but still choose blue-collar jobs. The thing about white-collar jobs is that most of these require some form of contract to be made for a specific time period. Within that time period you cannot quit. If you quit then you will have to pay some form of fine. Given that most people do not work their dream jobs and sooner or later become tired of their job or the payment is not enough, once you sign the contract you cannot quit regardless of the situation.
The country requires semi-skilled laborers. As long as there are some forms of jobs, you can get in rather easily. It is a given that most of these jobs do not have much payment but if you have the skills you can be the best among the workers and earn a lot. Along with that if you are doing a semi-white-collar job you can earn even more. These-semi-white collar jobs are the ones which require technical skills but not a need for office like technical repair jobs or freelancing jobs.
What most qualified blue-collar job holders do is choose a labor based job as their main job and a technical job as their side job. Combining this they will earn more than enough to save enough to even invest and get the benefit of changing their job as they see fit.
This is one of the major reasons why a lot of people choose blue-collar jobs as well.
If you have read this far why don’t you check out our article on the “highest paying home based jobs for 2020“.
You can also check out our “tips on finding a job during Covid-19 pandemic” as well.