Friday, July 22, 2011


I know worldwide, education is not essential. It is a plus but it is not the be all and end all. Richard Branson isn't college educated. Sir Allen Sugar doesn't have a degree. Bill Gates and the facebook guy dropped out of Harvard. Book smarts is not everything. Having a fantastic idea and being goal oriented enough to bring that idea to a global audience sure does kick book smart's ass. In some cases. In jand work expereience is prided over all else. A friend's boyfriend was trained at Merrill Lynch by a guy who never darkened the doors of a university but got a job at Merrill from when he was 18 or so and had racked up over 10 years experience. So world over, education is not everything

Personally, I place an extremely high value on education. I'm Nigerian. Nigerians value education very highly. That is why almost everyone walking the street is a graduate. I'm a product of my environment. You are seen as a wastrel if your parents can afford an education and you didn't get one and even if you can't afford an education, graft in Nigeria is striving to educate yourself above all else.
I personally cannot date an uneducated person. I would make him feel inadequate. It is the one snobbery I inherited from my parents. My father is an Insurance Broker. He got an Msc in Banking and Finance when I was about 5. He got a Law degree and was called to the Nigerian Bar when he was almost 50 and now he's a Reverend and in theological school. My mother owns a series of wholesale businesses and when she was about 45, she got a Masters Degree in Management. I asked her what she wanted to do with it, she said she wanted to put it under her pillow and sleep on it. My younger sister and I both have Masters degrees.It is just an extension of our degrees. This is a situation that is replicated in most middle class families in this country. That's the least I expect from a partner. Call it lofty ambitions but I want a highly educated brother just because!

I worked with a 16 year old boy once in a crappy job at sports world and all he wanted was to work his way to the top. No more education at that age. I was stunned. In this country, there is a very high emphasis placed on education and I think it teaches us to reach for the stars (in their own twisted way) Even that golden generation that left secondary school and got on the job market immediately, later got affected. My aunt worked for Union Bank straight after school for 30 odd years and in the early 2000s, the Bank insisted that people like her upgrade themselves. She left. In ADB, Gatemen have Bachelor's degrees. Those that got in early were told to get Masters Degrees if they wanted to stay on.
Education has its unique value that it adds to your life. You can't scorn book smarts cos no matter how rich you get, you still need persons with book smarts to take care of business for you from time to time. A doctor for your health, a lawyer for your contracts and an accountant for your money to name a few. But I see why experiences count. An HR manager told me that the problem she has with Nigerians is that they are overly qualified, educationally and have zero experience. Well, that's our culture and we think it is sound to be that way until we are refused jobs or promotion due to our lack of experience. The holy grail is clearly having the combination. My cousin FA and my sister WLA have the best of both worlds. FA has a fantastic degree, she's got her Masters, she's in Law School and she has had the most fantastic internships in exotioc parts of the world, when she's ready to hit the Job market, she will be surrounded. My sister's degree is in Economics and her Masters in International Development. She's worked with a lot of international organisations as an intern. Education got them these internships. These two ladies are educated, smart and have had the requisite experience. They will do well on the job market. I don't subscribe to just experience alone. So I place a high stock on education. A great degree has a lot to say for itself.


  1. I am with you on education snobbery. I used to snob graduates from certain tertiary institutions etc. But as the years have gone by I have come to respect talent. Real talent, natural intelligence will always shine thru even if it was badly nurtured.

  2. lol @ snobbing graduates from particular institutions. I did that too, even in jand. I agree that talent has its place but I feel one cannot be substituted for the other. Not everybody has great, money-making talent. Some can just fart the national anthem!

  3. The problem with Nigeria is we emphasise too much on obtaining the education without adequate provisions for the hands-on part of it. It is ridiculous how there are only a few entry-level jobs in Nigeria yet so many requestiong for 3-5 years of experience. Really?! Where are the fresh graduates supposed to get those experiences from o.
    In addition to this, small-scale-enterprises are not recognised on Resumes and this makes sense! There is no way to verify in the first place that they exist or in good shape. there is no database to get the information, there are no records kept and everything is just a mess!
    Also, undergraduates get to mostly go on just one internship throughout their 4 yrs of college (of which,, it isnt even that emphasised). ONly a few companys have this provision-internships. And even the recognised (big league) companies that have it rarely pick candidates fairly.

    We definitely need some serious re-vamping in the education system!



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