So you’ve completed Senior High School? More likely than not you’re thinking of going to a University to grab a degree. Probably you’re going because most of your friends are going and you figured it will be fun. Well, before you put out between GHȻ75- GHȻ200 to buy a form. You might want to consider the following.
1. If you fail or drop out, you might as well not have gone at all. Contrary to what you have been told, getting a degree is not easier than passing the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE). Most of those who struggle with WASSCE face the same problems in the university. The number of students withdrawn after their first year for poor academic performance is alarming. The lucky ones graduate with a pass degree, or worse, with a fail. If you don’t get at least a second-class lower, your degree is hardly worth the time, effort and money put in.
2. No matter how well you do, you are not guaranteed a job after Graduation. So you graduated with a first class degree, maybe even top of the class, and you feel entitled to a job that pays you GHȻ5000 a month, with a house and a car, right? Well, sorry to shatter your dream, Einstein, but this isn’t a movie. The reality is having the right links and connections, knowing the right people, or rather, the right people knowing you are the things more likely to get you a job. Unless you did Medicine, you’re going to join the long queue of graduates looking for a job after national service.
3. You miss an opportunity to make money. Four years in the university could have been four years on a salary. You probably have a few colleagues who never planned on going to the university because they knew they were not good academically. Some of them probably might have been working for some time now. There’s a high probability that by the time you are through with a degree, some of them might have 3-4 years’ experience. With the tight competition for jobs, people have been known to hide their degrees and apply for low-wage jobs with their WASSCE certificates. If that happens to you, the guy with 3-4 years’ experience would be earning more than you.
4. High socio-economic pressure. Now you have a degree so, pay all your siblings’ school fees, complete the construction of the family house and get married. The unrealistic expectations of parents who never had the chance to get a degree have for their children who get a degree are enormous. There’s no escaping it. Even if you they don’t openly grumble about you still sleeping in their house and eating their food after they invested their life savings in your degree, you would see it in their eyes.
5. There are alternatives. Have you thought of joining the Armed Forces, the police or the Immigration Service? Have you thought of going to a College of Education to become a teacher? How about becoming a professional Accountant by writing ACCA or ICAG? There’s a whole world outside of the university. Any of these options may lead you faster to a secure career than a degree can. Getting a degree can certainly help, but it’s important that you keep all your options open.
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