Unemployment amongst youths today is becoming an issue of great concern; could it be as a result of lack of the needed skills due to the failure on the part of our institutions?
After much thought on this, I have come to the realization that yes, as students we ought to continuously seek for knowledge aside what is been taught in the classroom but then, I also believe the academic institutions have a role to play in helping students grow their skills.
Sadly, our academic system is more focused on the traditional way of imparting knowledge rather than seeking workable conventional methods that are focused on practical than theory.
When I talk of academic institutions, I’m not just talking about the tertiary institutions but also the very first stage of every individual’s educational journey; which is from kindergarten through to the secondary school level and then the tertiary level. The Good Old Book says “when the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Psalm 11:3
I am of the opinion that if our schools focus more on identifying the strengths of her pupil and then helping them grow those strengths, by the time they get to the university, we will have a set of people who know what exactly it is they want to do.
With a critical observation, I think a University degree is proof of conforming to societal norms. Universities are richer than ever, constructing tens and even hundreds of millions of cedis worth of new buildings, stadiums, and recreational centers. Taken a second looked at the material and syllabi they are decades outdated. Grades are an illusion. Cheating is rampant. Many (not all) of the professors have not done the thing they are teaching (or merely reading word for word from generic, cookie-cutter slides). Schools are teaching meaningless contents and charging huge sums of money for them, preparing us for jobs that either don't exist or won't exist very soon (robots are becoming the new middle class). If stakeholders are not going to fix this rotten educational system, then I pray it crumbles faster and get out of the way because we have people to train for this progressive new age of business and life.
The education in Africa has resulted in more people with degrees but lacking in problem-solving skills, emotional awareness, and common sense. We can't continue like this we must rise up and fix this.
Again, the question remains Why do we have so many unemployed youths today? Are all the said unemployed youth have the required skills or expertise needed for the jobs they are looking for? I can boldly say NO, after so many encounter with some of them.
So many of them just study to pass exams and acquired a certificate.
If you are unemployed today take your certificate have a sit and ask yourself these few questions:
After my three or four years of studies at the tertiary level, what am I good at?
what can I boast off as a skill that I have acquired?
If you know you have nothing to show. You must find a way to train yourself, stop sending CV’s around, get yourself ready first.
Note that without a skill you are going to be unemployed for a very long time
If you are still in school it is high time you stop learning to pass an exam and focus on developing yourself and acquire a skill, no company out there is ready to employ you with a fine certificate without skill or expertise.
Entrepreneurs have lamented the death of skills in Ghana and called on the government to place a premium on skills acquisition instead of on certificates which have choked the country with unemployed youths. As a young Entrepreneur having participated in Job fairs, I have come to the conclusion that our youth believe in certificate more than their skills. When you have a certificate without the technical know-how of the course you took at the university then we are in for a disaster. I had the opportunity to meet some of them and when I ask what skill do you possess and what can you do, some pull out their CV’s others tell me they have a first-class degree hmmm a sad moment for an employer.
It is time I join others to stress on the need for the country to change from seeking paper qualifications to empowering the youths with skills making them employable.
The world has gone beyond certificates. “we the youth, especially unemployed and those still in school must start putting things in place before going out for job hunting. If half of our unemployed youth have skills and there is synergy, Ghana will succeed.
I have read that in some publications that “Getting a job at today’s IBM does not always require a college degree, “the company’s CEO, Ginni Rometty, has asserted. “What matters most is relevant skills.” Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, has been pushing the same message at his company. And David Blake, co-founder of the learning platform Degreed, has put it like this: “It shouldn’t matter how you picked up your skills, just that you did.”
For a startup software company like Emezak it is all about what you can do, I mean your skill first before your certificate.
Degree and skill are two sides of the same coin. To succeed in the race of life, a person needs to have a degree along with the skill. A degree without the skill would be empty.
Personally, I will prefer the skill without the degree. Both need to go hand-in-hand in order to be the survival of the fittest. A degree is nothing but the certified documentation of the skill within the individual.
It is a skill which attracts the employers, clients, and management which lifts or drops the person. Without the skill, the person would not be able to catch hold the interest of their superiors and attain success.
we must revisit the past learn from the past; our ancestors develop skills before awarding a certificate in some other cases there was no certification at all.
the great people from history were all skilled people, but they didn’t have the certifications for their knowledge.
To survive in this current world, we need skills (truly to earn money) and to showcase what skills you have, you have to be tested. In general, if you apply for a job, the interviewer may test your skills or just look at your degree and starts judging you. The other case is, no degree, but excellent skills and u start showcasing your skills and make the companies approach you (this is the best way but hard too) …...
Yes, you can get in touch with Emezak.com (SkillBoard), Code train, and others for tech training internship opportunity to sharpened your skills, and there are lots of companies out there that are ready to train you while you are still in school
As an employer in this our current dispensation, I will prefer a skilled dropout without a certificate than a first-class degree holder who can’t do anything.
I would say we must all have a degree with skills. Degrees take you to places and skills help you stay there and take you forward. You will find many people who'll say degrees don't matter and skills are all that it takes, well, what if you don't get an opportunity to showcase those skills?
Someone will say but look at Mark Zuckerberg. He didn't have a degree. Well, he dropped out of Harvard. And if you reach Harvard in the 1st place, that means you were special and good from the start. For normal people like us, we need validation. And there is no better validation than a degree.
So, a degree is necessary, but not enough.
Oliver K. M. Aziator
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."