Why Do Ghanaian Employers Require University Education?


College Life
Image by AdamCohn via Flickr

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. 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, 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… Continue reading more→

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