Every year, millions of Nigerians go through the hassle of writing a series of exams in order to gain admission into a tertiary institution, but only a very small percentage ever get through.
With an educational sector that can only absorb about 35% of Nigerian seeking admission, luck and connection become the two biggest variables for success, as merit get thrown off the chart.
Higher education is not just unaffordable to the majority in Nigeria, it is also very much inaccessible.
I’ve known people who waste as much as 7 years of their lives looking for admission in vain, And they keep waiting and rewriting exams.
What this goes to show is that Nigerians and in fact the larger proportion of the African populace haven’t caught on in the global E-learning revolution taking place.
A small proportion of visionaries are making education easy and accessible to everyone in the world with an Internet connection.
Because of their effort, we can now stay in the comfort of our homes and take lectures from the best professors in the world, for free through an online university.
While our higher institutions are still lagging behind in courses and curriculums, the online universities I’m talking about offer a range of top notch courses with a focus on making you useful, competitive and employable.
With courses such as psychology, artificial intelligence, robotics, web development, Python, Programming, App development and much more, you’ll be learning practical skills that employers of this generation are in dire need of, and will be in need of for a long time to come.
There are two ways students waiting for admission can take advantage of this:
- Go for the certificate, which attracts a fee.
- Go for the knowledge alone, which is free.
Most of the courses are free to take even though they constitute almost all the component of a standard learning process. You still get to take your lectures and your test and get to be a part of a learning community. But you cannot get your certificate without a fee.
Now, this is alright for many of us. If you’re a knowledge junky like me, you can take all the courses you want and gain experience on your own.
It’s true that many employers will not have you without a degree certificate, but it’s also true that there are so many others that will focus on the value you stand to bring to their organization, and if you can somehow convince them of it, then you’re sure to be employed.
Gradually, the model is changing from Go to school — get certified — get employed to something much simpler; learn — create — get employed.
What this means is that, if you can learn and then use what you learn to create something that will serve as a proof of what you know, you stand a much greater chance of being employed.
I’m an economist, now employed as a writer and translator. I know another economist who is employed as a graphic designer, a biologist who is employed as a data analyst and an accountant who is now a project manager. All these are skills they learned outside of their specializations.
Understands that there is no shortage of jobs, there’s only a shortage of skills to take up the jobs.
The Go to school — get certified — get employed model has been failing Nigerian for decades. For the fact that so many Nigerian graduates cannot secure a job is a testament to this.
Rather than just wait for another year or years to get admission to study an outdated course with an outdated curriculum that is not guaranteed to get you a job, why not use that time to learn a skill that is guaranteed to give you an edge with employers; a skill that’s hot on demand, while you still go ahead and do the waiting?
There are so many places you can begin with. Start by taking a look at these sites:
4. Khan Academy