Apart from the joy and social applauses of having a university graduate in the family, one of the things that unconsciously spurred parents who saw their children through the university walls, is the hope of reaping enormous benefits off the children when they eventually get good jobs after graduation. That’s basically the ideal expectations from every well-meaning parent. But in real case scenarios, it is observed that getting a job or being engaged through entrepreneurship is not as easy as anticipated. The bitter truth is that, most graduates remain unemployed and unemployable years after graduating from the university. Below are eleven reasons why Nigerian graduates remain unemployable:
1. Poor Educational Curriculum
It’s no longer headline that the Nigeria education curriculum is a pig in a “pool”. It tends to further pollute not just the messed up educational system, but also pollutes the hope of achieving an academically and technologically advanced society. My heart was broken beyond repair in 2014 when my lecturer had the guts to lecture us on a three credit unit course using the same lecture note I believe he used as far back as the year 2001. The topic was “How To Dial A Telephone.” It got me thinking. Why should we be coerced unto learning how to dial a telephone, whereas, Nigeria as a nation has gone far beyond the usage of the kinds of Nokia 3310 and BlackBerry QWERTY phones. Even the Android touchscreen phones that are in vogue are at the verge of extinction due to the gradual introduction of Hologram technology. But our sweet Nigerian education curriculum and bunch of professors are still teaching her potential engineers on how to “dial” a telephone. Is there any job that such a knowledge can afford us?
2. Waste of Industrial Training (I.T.)days
The only green leaf most of us ever had in school was our 6 months compulsory I.T program. It afforded us the opportunity of learning things that our lecturers never taught us. It is a rare chance for the categorized students to apply the little truth they gathered in the classroom and also realise how much years they’ve wasted in the classroom using outdated curriculum. For those that are wise, they go back to campus with transformed minds towards their academic pursuit. They learn real life applications of their courses and thereafter continue their personal trainings in those areas. But on the average, most students waste this opportunity. They see it as an avenue to gather enough money in order to live large in the next session as final year students. With that mentality, they end up not benefiting academically and practically from their only chance of reality escapade in school. Such students may struggle to fit into the labour force after graduation.
3. One Year NYSC Program Without Plans
The woes continue in the one year mandatory NYSC program. I’ll forgive Nigerian for sending us into primary schools to teach for a year, but I won’t forgive the graduates who do so without a proper plan for their lives. That one year service is an avenue for self discovery for those who still don’t have headways. It is also a portal through which people can attain levels of personal developments, cook up strange business ideas and life hacks while they patiently await their full absorption into the labour market. Against the ideal, studies have shown that a majority of corps members see it as a mere postgraduate extracurricular activity.
4. No Special Skill Set Or Certification Beyond Degree Certificate
From experience, firms are not interested only in the HND, B.Sc, B.A, B.Tech or B.Eng graduates obtained from the university. As a matter of fact, they believe that any smart guy who has the right cash to pay his way through, can also bag a degree without studying. As such, to ascertain the technical worth of graduates, they demand for those with the career-relevant skill set and certifications such as ICAN for accountants, and Comptia N+, CCNA, CCNP, MCSE etc for computer engineers. Once more, most graduates have not so much as heard of certifications as much as they’ve not seen the need for personal developments.
5. Wrong Use Of Laptops And Phone
When the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable. This saying holds true for electronic gadgets too. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a disciplined die hard lover of movies and video games for relaxation. But how do you expect a job seeker to be gainfully employed when he spends all his time downloading and watching purnography and all the latest episodes of foreign TV Series. The most annoying ones are the “slay queens” among us whose only tangible progress in life is the daily increasing number of likes on their Instagram photos as well as the list of male admirers they’ve accrued. It’s pitiable that there is no increase in sense of purpose. For the diligent ones, laptops and phones with adequate internet are the best pieces of equipment to source for mentorship series and free tutorials on any career path.
6. No Sense Of Purpose
When we perceive life as something bigger than jobs and money, we’d eventually have clearer views of the role of purpose in our lives. People tend to remain retarded because they’ve failed to discover the reason why they exist in the first instance. Most youths including graduates have not come to the point of this realisation. They still view their lives from the shores of “just making a living”. A man of purpose will not just make a living and impacts, but he will also be a creator of jobs. A man of purpose will also remain passionately consistent in his endeavours, even in the thick and thin until he breaks into glory.
7. The Grow Rich Quick Syndrome
Because of the lack of purpose, the “hammer quick quick” mentality has sunk deep into the ideology of many. They are no longer interested in seeing ideas grow from scratch unto reality. They are only focused on getting already made jobs that will make them billionaires in a week, which is highly absurd. This mentality has prevented many graduates from nurturing startups unto giant conglomerates, and has rather given rise to high rates of cyber crimes and other allied vices.
8. Fear Of Failure
Most often than not, success doesn’t come on a platter of gold. In fact, the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. Hollywood even taught us that before the protagonists in movies finally become victorious, they must have stomached dozens and dozens of punches. People don’t try because of uncertainties. They are more concerned about “What Ifs”. The strange truth is that you don’t know what lies ahead of you until you try. Most people didn’t apply for that multinational job because they feel their chances were slim, and others didn’t harness those multimillion dollars ideas because they were not sure they would succeed. Any success without a tint of experiential failure is perhaps a potential shipwreck in disguise.
9. Ego And Pride
This is the most annoying of them all. On campus, I met a host of people who carried themselves higher than they were. Due to the perception people had (and have) of them, they can never for anything in this entire world try a job of 20K per month. 20K might seem meager, but it is far better than receiving “mama thank you” everyday at home, while you strategize for something better. It is high time graduates dusted off the dirts of pride and ego, before the terrible legs of time outrun them.
10. Lack Of Mentors
Mentorship is a term that can never be overemphasized. One of the reasons of failures and unemployment among graduates is their lack of seasoned mentors in desired career paths. Mentors are people who’ve been down the same road you’re threading. They are like external forces who are heart bent at seeing you succeed. They’ve gone through the same ills you’ll face in years to come. So drawing from their wells of experience and wisdom will salvage you from years of potential mistakes.
11. No Uncles Or Relatives In High Places
Funny enough, this last reason made my list. Though humorous, but we know that some achievements in Nigeria are about 80% “connection oriented”, while the meritorious ones are roughly about 20%. It’s also factual that many people will never get tangible jobs because their entire lives have always been dependent on others. Their admissions into the universities were through uncles and village chiefs. Everything they’ve ever achieved were behind the shadows of others. Such a person will still have his arms at akimbo waiting for the day his traditional herbalist, in-law or great grand uncle will become the managing director at Chevron. Well, success in your patience.
Above all these, I believe strongly in the place of God’s grace in our pursuits. Nonetheless, the grace of God is not a licence for laziness. The youths need to arise from lukewarmness and embrace the shoulders of creative smart works. I still long for the days when Nigeria will become an exporter of seasoned human resources. I still long for such days