Focus Area


Group of people waiting in line for job interview or office workers waiting for boss's invitation

Jobs are at the center of our education strategy. Quality jobs are drivers of economic growth, as they boost productivity, reduce poverty, drive inclusion, and support innovation and the development of private enterprises. IFC helps institutions better match the skills they teach to the demands of the labor market, while preparing students for tomorrow’s global workforce.

IFC’s investments in private sector higher education institutions help expand access to the learning young people need to gain the skills necessary to find jobs and succeed. 

According to IFC’s employability research, 57% of graduates fail to find a full-time job in their specialty. At the same time, 75% of employers say they can’t find candidates with the right skills. Addressing this gap is vital, especially with the expected surge in higher education demand, which is projected to double to over 470 million students by 2035, predominantly in emerging markets.

IFC’s impact

  • By 2023, Vitae had reached 1.5 million students through 123 institutions worldwide.
  • In Colombia, Javeriana leveraged IFC’s Vitae tool to significantly boost the employability of its graduates, with about 85 percent of its students securing a job in less than a year after graduation.
  • Through IFC’s training and support, Accra Technical University in Ghana has set up its industry-led advisory committees, and has witnessed a growth in internship placements, new workplace-based learning opportunities, and revised curriculums based on employer representative inputs. Within four months of setting up its Program Advisory Committee, 50% of mechanical engineering students secured internships in leading automobile companies. 

Stories of Impact

MAS Holdings




IFC’s Vitae program is designed to enhance graduate employability in higher education institutions across the globe. Vitae provides tailor-made advisory services and implementation support, guiding institutions to align more closely with labor market dynamics and elevate employability standards. It has supported 123 institutions in their approaches to strengthening students’ employability, making it possible for young people to graduate ready to work.

Insights from the global education industry.

In-depth interviews with education professionals from around the globe.

Young black African college girl studying online on her laptop. Close-up portrait happy woman.

Ensuring equitable opportunities for young women and men is central to our mission, and education can be a powerful tool to advance inclusion. We prioritize programs that promote gender equity, spanning from trade schools to universities. These programs give women a head start in developing the capacity to build meaningful careers and lead more successful lives. 

In emerging markets, closing the gender gaps in learning could result in business and development gains, and could further boost the growth of the online learning market by an additional $14 billion by 2026, according to a report by IFC.

IFC’s Impact:

  • 315,759 female students have been reached through IFC’s education programs.

Insights from the global education industry.

In-depth interviews with education professionals from around the globe.

Stories of Impact

Financing higher education is vital in expanding access to educational opportunities, enhancing the quality and diversity of learning programs, and accelerating the development of a skilled workforce essential to drive growth.

IFC’s investment supports educational institutions in expanding the frontiers of innovation, strengthening inclusion, and promoting shared prosperity for individuals and economies of nations.

Recent analysis underscores the value of tertiary education in enhancing individual earnings —significantly higher than the 10% for primary and 7% for secondary education. This impact is even more pronounced in Sub-Saharan Africa, where higher education graduates experience a 21% increase in earnings. These findings underscore the pivotal role of higher education in fostering economic advancement and personal success.

IFC plays a pivotal role in assisting public tertiary institutions’ growth. We leverage the expertise and efficiency of the private sector to aid governments in raising capital and fostering development. This approach helps public institutions enhance their offerings and expand their impact.

Our investments are particularly focused on private sector higher education institutions in low- and middle-income countries. The goal is to broaden access to quality education, equipping young people with essential skills for employability and success in the job market.

Insights from the global education industry.

In-depth interviews with education professionals from around the globe.


Aliza Marcus
Senior Communications Officer