A young man named Vincent Adeoba, has advised Nigerian students not to opt for a Second-class lower honours due to the very competitive nature of the labour market in Nigeria.
I have been encouraging undergraduates in my engagements especially on campuses not to consider second class lower (2:2) any longer as a grade to graduate with. The Nigeria labour market is competitive more than ever before and to think you will get your dream job with second class lower grade may be impossible.
The least you should graduate with is second class upper (2:1). Many of the big firms and multinationals rarely give any candidate with 2:2 grade opportunity to write their tests not to talk of getting to the interview room to show what you are made of. You need to give your academic all your efforts while on campus to make sure you don’t go below 2:1 even if it means graduating with 3.50 CGPA on dot.
I know a lot of smart people who are still at home looking for a job just because they graduated with 2:2. Some of them wrote professional exams thinking it will quickly increase their chances of getting a good job but still they are missing a lot of opportunities for not doing enough to get into the 2:1 circle.
What an employer of labour will first request for in Nigeria is not the number of qualifications you have but what you graduated with from the university especially if you are trying to get in through the graduate trainee recruitment.
In recent time, employers of labour in attempt to save energy from having to remove 2:2 CVS from their job entries always make sure they include minimum of 2:1 in their requirements and some already set up their system in a way that it automatically remove the CV of any graduate with 2:2. The only job that banks are magnanimous enough to allow 2:2 to apply for is cashier job.
If you are still on campus, you need to be more serious with your study and if you are a graduate with 2:2, here are my advice for you:
1. Put in for a skill acquisition program with a vision to build a business around the skill later.
2. Start a business with little capital and be resolute.
3. Get into the tech space to see if you can come up with a disruptive idea.
4. Go for masters abroad if your parents can afford it or look for scholarship opportunity.
5. Pick up any job opportunity that relates with what you studied even if the pay is poor and make sure you learn as much as you can on the job.
6. Develop relationship with people in your dream companies as that may help you get in through their experience hire recruitment (This is key).
7. Start your professional exams
The worst thing that can happen to you is to sit at home wasting your life because you are yet to get a job. If the paid jobs are not forthcoming. Look for a pro-bono service and be committed to it. Volunteer for programs and make sure you network with people.
No matter what, don’t give up on yourself and never believe that you can’t succeed because you finished with 2:2. We have a lot of people who finished with 2:2 and are successful. Your life is up to you, don’t loan it to your certificate.