Are university graduates in Nigeria adequately educated?
Or are the jobs not enough for the teaming graduates?
These are pertinent questions that require holistic answers. Else the graduate says the jobs are not enough whereas the employers think education is just not adequate.
The question of the employability of the Nigerian youth has been in the public domain for decades; and has been debated by the public, press and stakeholders in different sectors of the economy.
The question of employability is of particular concern to graduates who are seeking employment and to employers who consider hiring them.
While graduates complain of the rising unemployment, the employers complain of dearth of employability skills.
For decades now, graduates have relied on the government to provide employment. And as such, it is not uncommon to see demonstrations demanding the government provide jobs.
The bulk still stops with the employers. Employers complain that graduates are poorly prepared for work. They believe that academic standards have fallen considerably over the past decade and that a university degree is no longer a guarantee of competence. As a result, university graduates are commonly viewed as “half baked.”
What about the increasing level of underemployment, graduates will ask. The underemployment rate for those aged 15 – 34 years rose to 28.2% from 25.7% in Q3, 2018.
Employers believe graduates shortcomings are particularly severe in oral and written communication, and in applied and technological skills.
Data available shows that the Nigerian economy added 187,226 new jobs in the third quarter of 2016 after adding 475,180 a year earlier. The informal sector created 144,651 jobs, down 66.3% from last year but still accounting for 77.3% share. While the public sector lost 7,012 jobs, the formal sector added 49,587 jobs; 19% more than a year earlier and representing 26.5% of total new jobs.
Build yourself in mind, in capability and competence.
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