The problem with the Nigerian graduate


Often times, I get requests from friends and sometimes strangers randomly to help with their job search. Fair enough as it’s important to leverage on one’s network for a thing like getting a job. The disturbing part and why I’m often unable to help is that about 80% of the CVs I get belong to graduates (some master’s degree holders) who want to do anything. As in any kind of job.

While there are many factors responsible for this trend, I might have stumbled on one of the key reasons I believe this is becoming more common.

In October 2014, I got into the education (logistics) business by launching 1Plify. We pride ourselves in connecting Nigerian students with top Universities across the world (shameless plug 🙂 ). In less than 3 months, we started getting inquiries from young students who want to study anything. We often replied such messages by asking the students which area they are interested in and the typical response would be “any social science course you have” or “any course in science”. Right there lies the issue.

At the more than four educational tours we have attended this year, I meet these young and seemingly intelligent students who want to study anything.

My concern is that with an increasingly rising number of students who want to study anything, it’s hard to imagine a time when we will stop producing graduates who want to get any kind of job. Needless to say, these students get admitted to study “anything” since they are good at cracking entrance exams. They spend 4 years studying “any course” that doesn’t connect to their soul and at the end, they realize they have no flare for it. What then follows is an option to either start from scratch or get any kind of job they can get.

At the root of this menace is the lack of counsellors in our secondary schools. Parents don’t help much. Teachers sometimes contribute poorly. At the end of the JSS, students deserve multiple sessions with an exposed educational counsellor. Emphasis on exposed. These young students need to be presented with virtually all the options available, the benefits etc. The same process should be repeated during the final term of the SSS.

If we don’t take this seriously, our bright and intelligent generation next may end up making the wrong career choices which we all will inevitably pay for. We’re already paying for it, with the 20% or so that re-enrol for a new course at age 27, or the millions of graduates who are in search of any kind of job.

 Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Comments (5)

  1. Then if u know what u want, and u are not getting it try another means of getting it. May be u have been using the wrong means. As for me I can do any thing to get what I need and not what the school or life drop for me.

  2. Sometimes its frustration can lead u to study anything

  3. Mainasara hit the point. In a situation where you got the requirement of a certain school severally and they deny you the school, at the end of the day you will be frustrated and ready to study anything.

  4. not every nigerian student wants to study ‘anything’, there are many ambitious students who want to study ‘something’, but admission into universities or colleges to study those courses is most times hard to come by, and if that ‘one thing’ that a student wants to study is not forth coming they will go for anything.

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