In the past, formal education guaranteed instant employment, in fact there are jobs for as low as First leaving School Certificate back then. Now, in the ever evolving world where change is inevitable, there seem to be more Certificates chasing few jobs. With abysmal payments, Employers of labour now demand categories and classes of degrees preferably First Class and Second Class Upper and sometimes professional qualifications just to reduce numbers of applicants. It was such that fostered the back then that to succeed one needed a certificate.
With the rise in population and several other factors and most importantly, studies have shown that skill set is fast becoming relevance than certificates.
Reports have shown that skill sets have produced more employed and self employed persons than degree holders. A case study is Nigeria’s population which is largely comprised of the informal sector armed with one skill or the other.
Our society of today has proven that certificates are just pieces of paper which may not likely get one a job as at when needed because others are equally equipped with same certificate, but a skill could at least get one a job or enable to be self-employed.
Certificate may not necessarily show one’s level of competence especially in Nigeria where most practicals are theorised, but skill sets helps one to identify one’s level of competence and help to build and consolidate on it.
It is often said in NYSC orientation camp that corp member should endeavour to acquire skill set in addition to their degree, as degree is fast losing its relevance in an ever evolving world. It is therefore essential to have skills related or unrelated to an acquired degree, to survive in the society of today.
Although certificates are a way of showing that one has acquired certain knowledge, it is indeed a proof and its importance cannot be overemphasised. A certificate enables an individual express his worth, eventhough such opportunity are limited in the formal sector, however skill sets enables one to still access the informal sector by making one self employed.
The educational System has largely been flawed due to emphasis on imparting theoretical knowledge. The theoretical knowledge shapes one’s cognizance but will never be enough. Students are judged on the basis of marks they secure in exams. Students learn loads of subjects in their life but they don’t know a thing. They cram the books and vomit them in the paper.
Schooling shapes individual’s behaviour in society and that explains why a graduate needs to be found worthy in learning and in character, if not he or she may not be worthy of such degree even if he or she is excellently found in learning. Education helps to communicate with people, walk in line, learn behavioral skills, understand the importance of friends, these skills are actually pretty much important and may not necessarily be available to skill set category of people and this constitute a basic categorisation.
Large percentage of engineering graduates are unemployable because they do not know things they ordinarily need to practically need to know as engineers and have to venture into different endeavors for survival. Tech and Engineering ventures keep evolving with time but the educational system in Nigeria refused, and that forms some of the basis for Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU)’s demand from Government. Completing a particular course and getting and certificated doesn’t make one skilled, the practical knowledge is what is most essential.
A mass communication degree should be accompanied by sound writing skills, or broadcasting skills or copy writing skills.
There are other skills that are unrelated to one’s course of study, a graduate of philosophy can pursue a skill in web development.
In the absence of certificates, a skill can still guarantees one a job, provided one is competent at it. It is important to acquire a skill and pursue a profitable career with it. Most skills are not certificate based so it is either you have learnt them or not. With skilled jobs taking over the employment sector, a skill can land one a job or make get one self employed.
It is thus important to choose from either getting a certificate and garnishing it with the right skill set, or getting a skill as a stand alone career in an ever changing world.
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