by Seun Hunge
The Nigerian environment has made things pretty difficult for the youth. First, you are equipped with zero entrepreneurial skill/training in the course of your education, yet the government expects you to start up a SME, if you can’t get employment.
For some people, the title of this article will elicit a sigh, some will be confused, some will be angry; it all depends on which angle you re looking at it from and how it affects you. Please allow me take some of your time as I attempt to make you see why a degree isn’t worth much these days.
We all know the world is recovering from a recession; people have lost their jobs, young people are having a hard time getting into the workforce. My primary concern though, is Nigeria; like they say “Charity begins at home”.
As a fresh graduate, post-NYSC, you are burning with desire, ideas and brimming with strategies on how to join the working class and land a blue collar job. Right from NYSC Camp, you’ve bought books on Aptitude Tests and have familiarized yourself with it all. You eat, breathe and sleep GMAT: your CV and Resume, well written in line with global standards. Then, the search begins, you spend time online, visiting various job sites, you even submit hard copies of your CV to various organizations; waiting and expecting a call, email or text message. If you are lucky, you get called up for a test and you land a job in no time. If not, you wait. This wait is filled with frustration, bouts of depression and various emotional downs. Then you think ‘let me go and get a second degree, maybe by then I will be better qualified’.
The aforementioned scenario plays out for those who can afford it. For those who can’t, the cycle/struggle/hustle continues.
The Nigerian environment has made things pretty difficult for the youth. First, you are equipped with zero entrepreneurial skill/training in the course of your education, yet the government expects you to start up a SME, if you can’t get employment. No start-up fund anywhere, no venture capitalist that is ready to invest in a young untested turk; name whatever basic thing you need to start a business, it’s either abysmally low or non-existent.
Then you are forced to take up jobs that pay you just enough to feed and go to work, jobs that may not add value to you, clear departure from your dream or projected career path; all in a bid to survive. Youth who are fit for blue collar positions are now being found in white collar places and you begin to wonder if this is the life.
ASUU is currently on strike, fighting for more funding in the education sector. This writer believes it’s a just fight, though they are trying to correct an anomaly that started way down the line. As an undergraduate who is caught up in the industrial action, what are you doing with your time? It won’t kill you if you start acquiring that entrepreneurial skill or training and plan for “if I don’t get the kind of job I want” because I assure you, the street is military and your degree might not be worth much by the time it’s all over.
If you are a job seeker, it’s never too late to learn new things and achieve greatness. Do find a way to make legitimate income despite the harsh conditions we find ourselves in. Now is the time to bring to fore, the totality of all you have learnt in school and in life: start up something, no matter how small the returns are, it’s better than being idle. I am not asking you to quit looking for a job, it’s a plus if you have a business while doing that. The job comes, good–double income, if it doesn’t, your business is growing.
Seun Hunge describes himself as a polyglot, savvy, cosmopolitan, and eccentric. He blogs atwww.hounge.wordpress.com
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.