The world is changing, and so is education programs. Nowadays, you don't have to be physically present in a classroom to learn. With some online resources or e-learning platforms, you can get quality education at international schools, graduate and even earn a certificate all from the comfort of your home.
You could also learn digital skills online, such as coding, UI\UX design, digital marketing, etc. and still work at a job like other Nigerian university or college graduates.
Education is not an easy investment, and neither is it cheap. For example, in the United States, the best universities or colleges in the country have an average cost of $99,417 for a full degree programme. This is, indeed, one of the things that lead students to indebtedness. In Nigeria, the cost of going to a private is very high, while state or federal school is fairly high but comes with a lot of drawbacks such as strikes.
Few billionaires are like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg, whose academic biography is not extensive. They dropped out of college and engaged in other tasks and activities that earned them high popularity and dollars in their bank account. This begs the question: Is it still worth going to study in the university?
This question tends to raise an interesting discussion on the subject.
Looking at the three examples above, it is very easy to ask the question. More so, when it is revealed on Forbes magazine's list of American billionaires that just over half of them have a higher education degree. But does Nigeria follow the same trend, or does professional growth here follow a different rhythm and orientation from experience abroad?
To learn more about it, read on in this article, where we shall evaluate some of the pros and cons of going to university.
The Benefits Of Going To University
Going to a university surely does have its advantages in Nigeria and abroad. It doesn't matter whether you attend a federal, state or private university; what matters is graduating from a university. It is no longer news that you can also run degree programs by reputable schools online. Scholarships are also available for some of these online courses.
Below, we've put together some advantages of going to a university to study a course.
High Competitiveness For The Best Jobs
The main point here is how recruiters (especially in private companies), in general, assess job applications. They seek the qualification of higher education and the universities or colleges in which the degree was acquired. This is not a rule or law but has been the trend for years in Nigeria, configured to open the best employment opportunities for Nigerian students with the top degrees.
However, it is worth noting that hiring managers pay attention to differences among degree holders during recruitment and selection. It is not enough to have a degree; a student may also need to acquire other relevant hard skills or extra certifications or courses to help you stand out among your contemporaries.
Knowledge must be constantly developed in any way possible.
Improves Professional Income
In Nigeria, employees with university course degrees earn twice as much as people with secondary school education. Something that brings up what we said in the previous topic is that most coveted professional opportunities demand a university degree from their employees. For example, doctors, lawyers, pharmacist, etc.
The result of this is that, over time, this increase in income pays off the investments made during their undergraduate and postgraduate study and that it generates possibilities for more economic growth for these individuals. Therefore, a lack of a university degree may mar your chances of getting a high-paying job.
Ease of Career Advancement
Another point that weighs in favour of anyone who asks whether it is still worthwhile to go to university is that graduates enter companies with a profile associated with what organisations seek for their leadership. And, as time goes by, the prominence of these people may become more significant since they can carry a bag of experiences in the field, which stand out before other persons who did not take specific courses in that area.
Also, if you are interested in getting a job abroad, you may need a degree related to that field. Most international companies may not hire someone who doesn't have a university or college degree. Certain knowledge and experience are only obtained within the four walls of a classroom. Therefore, studying or learning a course at a good government or private school in Nigeria to obtain a degree may turn out to be a great path towards advancing your career.
Public Service Admission
A lot of federal government or public service opportunities include the requirement of a university degree to apply for the vacancy. And this translates, also, into positions of greater hierarchical relevance and with the highest salaries.
Specialisation in a Knowledge Area
Besides becoming a qualified professional, higher education helps a student build his analytical and critical thinking skills through specialisation in their area of knowledge. As a result, the chances of entering the job market are better. It also helps create unique people with their own thoughts acquired by quality experience and search for new ways of doing what they already know the theory.
Network of Relationships
In general, graduating from university leaves a trail of memories, experiences and established contacts. This means that attending a university offers the opportunity to meet people from different works of life. Many beneficial relationships may spring up over the years while studying a course.
It is undeniable that, based on the points discussed above, people who go to university have better means to some opportunities with some ease - compared to people without the same qualification - and this also increases the chances of financial stability for degree holders.
Studying for a university degree, by itself, does not guarantee financial freedom. However, it does allow people to organise, plan and compose a structure that will bring about this long-term goal of financial stability.
The Disadvantages of Going To University
Even though the points above highlight the importance of going to school, many arguments in the country and the world weigh in the opposite direction. It is essential to note some of the disadvantages of going to university to maintain balance and ensure that you decide based on what you want or like!
Commitment Very Often Wins Over Education
University is no guarantee for success. Schools are often saturated with illusions, which lead young people to consider the degree as a guaranteed ticket to a satisfying life, for which it is enough "to study to get a job". Do not misunderstand this message: the importance of study in the formation of an individual is undoubted, but it is equally true that success has very little to do with education. Success is about personal development, self-control, integrity, communication skills and a great deal of passion, which always beats talent. You don't necessarily need to go to school to be successful in life.
Debts Can Stifle Your Dreams
Studying at public or private universities and colleges can be very expensive and may lead students to debts. Debts have tremendous power to sink people. The first years of an individual's adult stage should be understood as good years to build the foundations for a bright future, not dig a grave.
From many recent studies, the sad fact has been said that "young adults" of 20 and 30 years no longer buy their own homes, as they wait to pay off the debts accrued from when they were students. A lot of people fall into a very devastating state. This is one of the biggest cons or disadvantages of going to school.
Most Entrepreneurs Are Hiring The Following Three Variables
For example, two candidates pass the test during the interview for a job role in your office. The only difference between the two is that one has four years of experience in the position he is applying for, while the other is a graduate and has only academic years. Which of the two will you hire? The chances are high that you will decide to hire the first candidate.
Managers know that the learning curve of the next generation is so steep that it is almost impossible for a university to understand what the trends are, build a curriculum around them, and provide training before the curve changes again. Keep up to date with fast changes and consider that hiring criteria increasingly follow the following three variables:
1. Experience - How long have candidates been in the industry? What do they know about it? Which companies have they worked for? And most importantly, what has been their degree of success in this sector?
2. Portfolio - What results can they demonstrate they have achieved? Do they have specializations or references? What were their past projects? Who did they work for, and how did the collaboration evolve?
3. Personal characteristics - Are candidates able to adapt to the company? Are they reliable, responsible and of great moral integrity? Do they know how to communicate? Can the way the candidates appear to fit in with the company environment?
While a part-time job can help with the criteria mentioned above, a college degree can not. This is because schools don't really help you achieve these variables. A student can only gain these if he is involved in self-development activities outside the school system.
Entrepreneurship Could Be A Game-changer
Being an entrepreneur in Nigeria is not a sign of a promising career. There is always the fear of failure and finding oneself overwhelmed by debts and broken dreams. However, there was an increase in independent professionals and the business network, who are treading in the wake of new technologies.
A turning point could be precisely constituted by entrepreneurial training to be enhanced right from the school system. The current education system "breeds" us to become employees and not entrepreneurs. This is why people doubt they can do it independently and find themselves having to close the business they had bravely started within a few years.
In conclusion, whether you are based at home or abroad, these pros and cons apply almost everywhere in the world. If you are asking yourself, 'Should I go to college?', Remember that it is your decision to make, no one else, and your decision should reflect your career and life goals, as well as your personal circumstances. Because whatever decision you take may either make or mar your career or goal.