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Yesterday, I had a call from a friend who’s been job-hunting from the middle of last year till now. He’s been lucky to be short-listed for a few interviews but none ever worked out due to the “university degree” menace rocking the nation.
This guy in question is a very practical person when it comes to the field of information technology. He’s just curious to know about the latest IT trends, new software usage, troubleshooting skills and How-to’s but he’s not getting employed. He's studied at one of the best private IT institutions in Ghana and yet, no job. So I asked myself; what is wrong with not having a degree??
Dearest my passionate reader; please help me answer this question that keeps bugging my mind over the above subject.
Question: Why do employers in Ghana demand a prospective employee to have a degree before been employed?
According to a colleague I shared this topic with yesterday; this is how she defines a “degree”. She says; “A degree only shows that a person can follow a set motion of educational learning, but that person might have no common sense or experience at all”.
To some extent, I realized what she said was very TRUE. Do you also agree or disagree with her? This is actually very evident with a lot of people I know who have a degree in Information and Communication Technology, Computer Science and Computer Engineering but absolutely knows nothing. Yes, they know absolutely NOTHING.
Somewhere in August 2009; a week after Maker Faire Africa, a friend asked me to come have a look at his computer because it was acting “funny” and needed to format it. He didn’t even know the steps in formatting a PC, let alone grab an installation CD to start… Would you believe this friend is a graduate from the prestigious University of Ghana with a BSc Computer Science degree couldn’t solve this small problem on his PC?? What is the essence of his degree then?
I know graduates who have first-class honors in the IT field from some of the top universities of Ghana. I randomly asked a few of them to terminate a CAT-5 network cable for use in connecting to a Local Area Network [LAN], and they were like flying to the Accra Zoo for assistance. When asked why they couldn't terminate the cable, their reply was; “We were not taught how to terminate a network cable at the university!” You wouldn’t believe where some of these guys are working now?
Some random girl [a university graduate] who keeps reading my blog and thinks I’m a geeky/nerdy sort of a person because of my passion for tech-stuffs once asked me: “Why is it that I cannot get a job”? My answer to her question was this simple; “You don't have any practical experience in ICT and for that matter, you need to go for ICT professional courses [Cisco, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle or CompTia] in addition to the degree you have. If you have any of the trainings/certifications in those fields, your chances of getting short-listed and a promising job is far higher than only the so called “Degree”.
How would you compare the “whom you know” syndrome currently rocking the nation to the bureaucracy of yester-years?? It seems that with the advent of the Americanized system (the introduction of the CV), people are pigeon-holed into whatever category of work they include on their CV. What is difference between a “Personnel” and a ‘Human Resource” manager? Do you have any idea how your CV is treated when you apply to any of the GSM companies that everyone is dying to work for right after the university??? Buzz me for more fila…!
Share your views, comments, criticisms and objections here. Those are the reasons why I always sit up every morning to put my thoughts on my blogs for you. Enjoy and hope to see you come back for more....!