In our contemporary society, there is a recurrent process that suggests a linear lifestyle. We all were born into an orientation which instills the believe that the primary goal of education and degree is to get a job. That would have been the case in a perfect world where employment is guaranteed after graduation. Unfortunately our current economic situation is far from perfect.
The story of graduates sitting idle at home searching for job years after graduation no longer sound strange, it is now a cliché that nobody wants to talk about. In spite of the reality on ground, there seems to be no plans for a paradigm shift, a shift from the old orientation.
Graduates still spend more time writing job applications for a job that doesn’t exist. The current unemployment situation is alarming. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, about one million eight hundred thousand students’ graduates from tertiary institutions annually.
The National Bureau of Statistics said over 50% of youths in Nigeria are jobless, while the World Bank puts the figure at 56%. Considering the country’s estimated population of about 170 million and 60 million jobless, these are grim figures portending danger to economic growth and development of a nation with the largest concentration of black people on earth.
The above scenario sound horrible enough for graduates, but what about people with no academic qualifications? It is not every youth out there that had the opportunity of getting a degree. The dispensation blaming societal problems on illiteracy is long gone, todays societal problems is not illiteracy, it is unemployment.
In the face of the current trend, not just here in Nigeria, it is also true globally; this has necessitated the need for a paradigm shift, a shift from the old education curriculum to a more practical life based curriculum. Emphasis should be placed on practical education, where real life problems will be taught and a solution provided which will focus on job creation and employment.
While the change is still under way in the education system, graduates should adapt to the current situation. There is a saying that goes thus: “only a mad man does things same way and expect a different result”. Emphasis should be shifted from writing great CVs and job applications to writing business proposals and creativity.
Writers and online coaching masters should bring more solutions on job creation rather than giving more attention to job hunt, interviews, and job applications. This does not mean that people are not getting employed on daily basis, but we all know that if you don’t have anyone at the top to shortlist your name, you will be left at the mercy of grace and luck.
The government can no longer provide all the jobs that will give all graduates the opportunity to work, even the private sector and multi-national corporations cannot either. It is now left for young graduates to device another means through job creation.
I have seen a lot of graduates spending more time writing great CVs, application letters, and practicing for interview sessions. There should be a balance in the struggle for survival. While it is noble to try to beat the competition on the job hunt, it is also noteworthy to think outside the box. While we are writing the CVs, let us also write business proposals, looking deep inside of us to see the unused potentials that can be converted into something great.
We cannot continue to blame the government for all our problems. If the government cannot create the jobs, there is something that can be done to alleviate the situation. It is rather unfortunate that an average Nigerian graduate sees entrepreneurship as over hyped, as it stands now, that is a sure way out.
Sure it is not always easy to start up, there may be a time of hungry in the process of self-actualization, it is part of the process. Some successful entrepreneurs in the western countries have criticized Africans for being lazy, not being able to stay hungry for a while, the truth is most people that run away from self-employment are too scared to be hungry. They believe that working for someone and earning salary guarantees their daily bread, and that is all that matters.
Well, depending on your goals and objective, the road is cleared to make a sound decision as we head into the next financial year. With steadfastness and a little resilience, we shall all get to our various destinations.