If you are not among the millions of graduates in Nigeria who currently have nothing going for them then this post title may sound crazy to you, but before you arrive at quick conclusions that this writer is insane, hear me out first!
We are in a country where many people think formal education is important because according to what they have heard you need to get the certificate then land a good job… and become rich. Or at least being a graduate means you’ll have a successful future. What fantasy!
Anything for the marks
Because of this ridiculous misconception about formal education, you see many students doing everything possible (good and bad) to get the certificates.
It is so serious in Nigeria that even parents go as far as sponsoring their wards to indulge in exam malpractice during JAMB!
Then in higher institutions, we hear stories of female undergraduates who sleep with lecturers for marks, or students who have to sort (pay) their lecturers to pass their courses.
But the saddest part of it is students who commit suicide in their quest for these certificates, and the rate of suicide among the Nigerian students seems to have increased!
All these are for an ordinary paper where they will write your name, course of study and what (by CGPA) you graduated with, nothing more.
Why academic qualification might be useless
The answer to this question is simple: because it is just an ordinary paper! Or how useful can a piece of paper be? Not much.
However, the only thing that can be useful is you, and not your certificate, not the school you graduated from and definitely not your CGPA!
This is one thing most students fail to understand while they spend their years in school chasing certificates.
But in the real world (after graduation) many have come to realize that the most important qualification you can have is knowledge and skills.
For example, if you want to go out there to look for a job it is the knowledge and skill you have that employers are interested in, not your certificate.
And this is why you have to…
Pursue what matters
What are those things that matter more than academic qualifications?
- your dream career
- your plan for tomorrow
- and other things that matter…
The right skills, knowledge, and opportunities, are what will to get you to your career destination in life.
This is something you have to put at the back (and front) of your head. No company will pay you a dime if you can’t bring them more value than they invest in you.
If by now you haven’t started to develop yourself for the real world there, this is the moment you get started.
Don’t wait until you graduate. Don’t wait until after NYSC and you starting submitting your CV that has nothing recruiters have not seen before there.
Start now to work on your dreams. The earlier the better.
But don’t throw away that paper
Yeah, you might need it.
So far I have tried to tell you how worthless certificates can be upon graduation, but there is one thing I need to point out here:
Certificate can qualify you for opportunities, although they won’t seize the opportunities for you.
Take for example most job advertisement, they usually want graduates, which means without that academic qualification you are not even eligible to apply for the job let alone going for an interview.
So we can’t take away that fact that your academic qualification is important in such situations, but what I want you to remember is this:
Your certificate might get you to the door but can’t walk you in. Only the values you have to offer can get you to your destination.