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Graduates, undergraduates appraise value of certificates


University education in the past was the most revered among all levels of learning in Nigeria. Despite the daunting challenges confronting the contemporary graduates it still is, but to what extent?

The narratives surrounding unemployment and underemployment among the youth as well as the jaw-dropping statistics, is indeed frightening.

The society having lost its virtue to the contagion of depravity, have also left university graduates at the mercies of fraudulent individuals and organisations, who exploit the diligence and intelligence of these graduates in exchange for a meager sum.

These ills however, have forced many to ponder on the value of university certificates, going by the harsh realities confronting graduates in the country.


Today, the pursuit of knowledge has been outrun by the acquisition of vocational and entrepreneurial skills. Young university graduates and undergraduates have started a train of sole-proprietorship owing to the unavailability of jobs in the country and to also erase the perception of laziness from the society.

Amidst all these, some students are of strong opinion that university certificates are priceless and will for no reason loose its credibility.

Osuntayo Odunayo from the University of Benin, (UNIBEN), who expressed worry over the situation, asserted that university education has lost its bearing in the minds of students, who after going through school have no jobs to identify with what they have studied.

According to her, “A lot of students have opted to learning skills to fall back on, since the story of unavailability of jobs. We also heard that connection is now prerequisite for employment and this have dissuaded many graduates from the corporate world.”

A student of University of Ilorin, Femi Abioye, who described university certificate as a signature, said that whatever it contains should align with its components, which in many cases are not the same.

He said: “I have seen many cases where persons with lower grades gets the better jobs, while the ones with the best grades are forsaken.”

But Peace Oyovbi, a student of the department of mass communication, UNIBEN, said, “The relevance of degree honours will not be replaced by skills and businesses. Being educated will help a business-oriented mind. To a large extent, making high grades is not enough to obtain a well-deserving employment, thus, nursing the idea of becoming an average student may come to play.”

For a graduate of banking and finance from the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), Uli, Anambra, Onyekachi Ezeigwe, who had begun trading in Mushin, Lagos, few months after his graduation in July 2019, the job market is truly overcrowded by unemployed youths.

Ezeigwe told The Guardian that he had always been passionate about commerce, thus, he decided to venture into it after schooling given that the society care less about how much effort have been invested to get a university degree.

“The kind of business I have ventured into will fetch me more money in a matter of weeks. Nonetheless, I will go job-hunting but not very soon,” he added.

Okafor Kenechukwu an alumnus from Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Owerri, described the economic situation as a mishap and everyone is at work to breakout of the web of poverty.

He said: “if no one secures a slot for you in a company, you may be waiting your whole life. Right now, everyone is highly dependent on business.”

For Aruna Azeez, a student from Kwara State Polytechnic (KSP), “The craze for certificate is not worth it, because we struggle to attain good grades, in the end we do not get a deserving pay.”

To some others, the prestige earned from becoming a graduate is worth the struggle for a certificate; hence the university is not a waste of time after all.

Ajadi Yusuf, also from KSP, emphasized, “The university certificate is invaluable, and it does not only raise the chances of securing a job. It is a great achievement.”

For me, “it is a ticket to survival in the contest for success and a distinguishing label,” Adeyeye Joshua also from KSP stated.


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