Becoming An African Entrepreneur – Hire Talents, Not Certificates

Becoming An African Entrepreneur  – Hire Talents, Not Certificates

There is one model that seems to work very well in this world: you need a very good education to make it to the top global companies. You need to have been to Harvard, Yale or even some iconic Law Schools to make it to the U.S. Supreme Court where majority of the members attended Ivy League universities.


In Goldman Sachs, you need that touch of Wharton, HBS, Stanford, among others to have a chance. They have a minimum ceiling that you must cross before you even get looked at.


In management consulting companies like Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey, Monitor, and more, you must have graduated from a highly ranked university. In short, BCG lists only the schools they hire from and most times, they hire from only the top 15 ranked schools.


Have the mind of Thomas Edison, the one of Michael Dell, the one of Larry Ellison,  Bill Gates (actually not true because he was a Harvard student!, the same goes for Mark Zuckerberg), Steve Jobs, among others, you will not qualify to work in any of these companies. No matter how smart you are today, the best way to get into Facebook, if you do not have a college degree from a highly ranked U.S. or European school is to build a company and ask Facebook to acquire you and the company. Anything less than that is not going to work because they have about 10 schools they hire their engineers – MIT, Stanford, Ann Arbor, CMU,  Oxford, and few other ones.


Not in these schools, do not apply. It is that simple. You have skills, who cares? You do not have the certificates. Simply, this is why schools are ramping up academic school fees because they know those certificates will be the selling point to your future and no matter what they do, people will come. The school you attended in America contributes more than 60% of the success you may have in life, we think!


Do not get us wrong. When a lady was nominated by George Bush to replace one of the  U.S. Supreme Court Justices that retired. The lady was qualified. But she got her Law degree from Methodist University in Texas. The Congressmen were so annoyed that Bush will send someone not educated in the preferred schools for confirmation. The woman withdrew. They later quickly passed Justice Robert and Samuel Alito who went to Harvard and Princeton respectively.


In Nigeria, that thinking is not entrenched. It is safe to say that people have a chance if they just attend any school. Of course, we have noticed that the Federal Universities of Technology graduates get more extra look by the energy companies. But that is not a widespread phenomenon. Where many of your Congressmen hold only SSCE/WASC/GCE attempted (NO Pass needed, just attempt), people will be insane to complain that you did not go to Ibadan or Nsukka or Zaria.


So, we try to conclude this piece that the best way to build a team is not to look too much on their academic qualifications. Rather, you have to evaluate them and focus on the talents. Schools or certificates do not do the jobs, human beings still do. That does not mean that you will not consciously understand that any child that could get into MIT must have been very good to have even been admitted. That tells you the child must have done extra works to stay ahead of the crowd. Yet, that he went to MIT does not mean he is the best in the application pool. Why? “Steve Jobs” that has no degree  could also be in that pool and you just overlooked him!


Author: Ndubuisi Ekekwe


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