Costa Rica News – For both locals and expats with college degrees, Costa Rica is becoming a location where trying to make a living with or without a college education is becoming more and more difficult. It does not matter if you graduated from The University of Costa Rica, Houston Community College, or Stanford. High paying jobs are few and far between in Costa Rica.
Having been in Costa Rica for over 6 years now and knowing a little bit about the employment opportunities in the country. Most jobs pay between about $700 and $1200 a month starting off, this is with a college degree. There are exceptions to the rule but realize these are exceptions.
Experience and longevity at your employment can mean possible increases in pay, but they are normally capped at a certain amount. Do not expect these pay raises to be very big or very frequent. Speaking to an acquaintance of mine his son with a degree from a university in the USA had been working at Intel for about 10 years and had an opportunity to get an advancement to a position that paid $3,000 a month. However, this was the max he could ever get. What then would motivate someone to work harder? Not much in any position in Costa Rica.
With the cost of living increasing almost every day in Costa Rica and the salaries remaining low, the intelligent Costa Ricans and expats that have brain power and worth ethic are packing their bags for greener pastures. The financial security of jobs in Costa Rica is not much. They basically get you from pay check to paycheck unless you are your own boss or able to work remotely for your US based firm.
The number of highly qualified employees fell by 11.23% during the last quarter of last year compared to the same period in 2011. Almost 60,000 jobs have disappeared during the last quarter of 2012. Highly qualified employees are those who have at least bachelor’s degree or advanced technical certificate.
Currently the country has 1,980,190 employed workers, between employees and independent contractors of which 16.5% have at least a university degree.
More and more people are looking outside the country to reach their financial goals. Fluent English speakers are heading north where their qualifications and college degree are rewarded with a bigger salary. The cream of the crop in Costa Rica are leaving and unless the salaries increase in Costa Rica then this will continue.
The dream of many people is to have financial security and be able to raise a family comfortably, unfortunately that is becoming very difficult with the current employment environment in Costa Rica. It is no wonder many beautiful women see prostitution or marrying an old rich gringo as better options than working.
One of the biggest motivators in a capitalistic society is the opportunity for advancement based on hard work and reliability. This does not really exist in Costa Rica. Because of the low salaries Costa Rica has become a society built on debt and credit cards, a house of cards.
What happens when this house of cards is knocked down?