This article is directed to all undergraduates currently studying in any of the Nigerian universities, with an exception to some private universities undergraduate but not all so as not to commit a fallacy of hasty generalization, You can get your dream job without excuse. You may ask me why I made an exception to those private university students.
In recent times I have been an ardent follower of career trends on LinkedIn, and I see how those private universities are making giant strides and quantum leaps in diversifying from the theoretical template lifestyle to challenging the major cause of unemployment among fresh graduates. They teach skills which help their students to do their job without excuse
They are staging and organizing programs to educate their soon-to-be graduates of the prospects and what to face and expect in the emerging labor market.
Those universities are going out of their way in bringing top-notch human resources managers and experienced career mogul in enlightening and educating their students on their need to “double their hustle” or up the ante. And I have facts to back up my statement.
As a student currently in my junior year, I have been on the other side of the pack always complaining of my lecturers not teaching me what I need to scale through the hurdles of searching for a dream job to passing a job interviews. I have wailed enough, apologies to Femi Adesina, but the fact is, nothing has changed, and in actual fact, nothing will change.
As a Computer Science undergraduate, it’s not an understatement to say, the only thing I have been learning in school all this while are pure mathematics, theoretical coding, and irrelevant courses just to make up the total number of units I need in order to graduate.
I have experienced in my brief sojourn of searching for placement worthwhile and invaluable lessons, and it has broadened my perspective of what is required of me as a graduate. The industries are not even looking for those to train, they are looking for those who will impact their world, and they are looking for fully baked and already grown graduates. Those that can take decisions on their own initiative, those who can do the job without excuse and perhaps supervision.
You might ask, Samson, how do you know this? Let me make a brief digression to share an experience I had with an HR of a leading integrated payment solution provider in Nigeria whose name I will keep unknown for reasons best known to me.
I had an opportunity to get connected to a Software developer in the company, I told him about my search for a place where I can undergo my internship, and he said I should send in my CV, which I quickly sent to his mail. Three days later, I got a reply from him — the software developer — that the HR said: “I can’t be taken due to my lack of “technical experience” [technical experience in terms of projects that I have done.]”. Then, it dawned on me that, this is now tougher than I think, the goalpost has really shifted in terms of employability factors.
You can imagine, me as just an undergraduate applying for the role of an intern, let alone applying for a full time job. Just think of the yardstick that will be used to assess me. And so it holds for other courses, not only the computer sciences field, it holds for other fields also.
What recruiters are looking for in fresh graduates are far from what we are being taught in school. What we are taught in school is nothing more than how to read and pass a particular course [Don’t just have a carry-over!] and you and the course will never meet again. The university has failed in its responsibility of producing employable graduates.
Nowadays, you see graduates that can’t write a well-composed cover letter, and you wonder whether they truly passed through the system. They passed through the system but the system didn’t teach them and even they didn’t take it upon themselves to develop themselves.
After much complaining and problem identification, how can this menace be tackled? The only solution I see to this plaguing issue is for all undergraduates to start investing in themselves. If we keep complaining about the lecturers, they have fulfilled in their careers already. Your many complaints can’t drag them down from a Ph.D. holder to a B.sc holder.
As an undergraduate in the Faculty of Management and Administration science, by now, you should be able to craft a winning and a poaching business plan. Things like that are not taught in the universities. The onus lies on you to take the bull by the horn and improve yourself. Learn at your own pace.
As a Law student, try attending moot and mock sessions if you come across one. Also during holidays, try attending court sessions, you will have the opportunity of seeing how civil proceedings go. All these self-development techniques will give you a top-notch competitive edge your Law lecturers will never teach you. There is no excuse for not improving yourself.
Thanks to the era of digital age which has brought the emergence of MOOC ( Massive Online Open Course). Examples of MOOCs platforms are many but to mention a few are Udemy, Codeacademy, edX, Coursera freecodecamp, W3schools.com, Udacity, khanAcademy.org, newthinktank.com etc. These sites will teach you skills that will help you do your job without excuse.
These online open source platforms will teach you all you need to know to develop yourself. If due to a paucity of fund you can’t afford huge data to stream videos online, you can download PDFs online to help you out. If we will not deceive ourselves, there are many helpful resources on the World Wide Web to help our lives.
Just before I round off this piece, I would like to also recommend “internship” as another form of self-development technique. Get internship during the course of your undergraduate study. Try to get an internship in line with your course. It’ll help you get a job without excuse of “No experience”.
It’s very important because it gives you a competitive edge over your peers. It makes you have work experience before you graduate from school. Also, attend workshop sessions on leadership and career development.
Finally, there are no more excuses, the blames are enough to go around, but the buck finally stops on your table. For you to be gainfully employed in this present struggling economy of ours, you need to distinguish yourself by taking giant strides in investing in yourself.
PS: This is not to say coming out with a first class is not good but a first-class graduate without a first class thinking is a first class failure. Excellence in the classroom is essential but without necessary self-development, it will lead to employability, you can get your dream job without excuse.
To your very success!!!