Trump Drops A Playbook for Nigeria on HND-Degree Dichotomy

Trump Drops A Playbook for Nigeria on HND-Degree Dichotomy

Nigeria needs to learn something from U.S. just as we continue our legendary discrimination of HND graduates against their degree counterparts: what matters is capabilities, not certificates.Yes, President Trump has signed an executive order which makes reliance on college degrees for federal jobs largely muted. Mr. Trump is not saying you should not get degrees. He is simply making it clear that not having one should not be an issue if you have the skills (irrespective of the path taken) to get the job done. Of course, some areas like medicine will require degrees and the associated certifications. But most other things, we can do without those papers.

President Trump signed an executive order that overhauls hiring for federal jobs, prioritizing skills over college degrees. The move doesn’t fully eliminate the college requirement, but stresses skills in positions where having a degree is less important. The administration says the move will lead to a more inclusive workforce. Two-thirds of Americans do not have a college degree. And the federal government is the country’s biggest employer with 2.1 million civilian workers. A CNBC op-ed notes degrees have been given less importance in recent years at major companies, including Apple, IBM, and JPMorgan.

Personally, I recommend that you get degrees if you can. You do hear that stupid line: being a good student does not guarantee you success. Sure, but being a poor one cannot make one an automatic legend, either. So, being a good student does not necessarily hurt.

Getting a degree goes beyond the paper. It is one of the first signs you can set a goal and accomplish it as a young person in Nigeria. To graduate, you learn time management, personal planning, team building, etc. Those things matter more than the actual classroom works.

So, as President Trump signed that document, we need to be sure not to miss his intentions: he is not anti-degree. He simply wants to expand the employment pool bucket  since “two-thirds of Americans do not have a college degree”.

Nigeria needs to focus on capabilities and not papers. And that means removing the discrimination against HND. Trump has provided a playbook on where the world is going to; joining IBM, Apple, etc.

Nigeria Should FOLD All Polytechnics Into Universities


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3 thoughts on “Trump Drops A Playbook for Nigeria on HND-Degree Dichotomy

  1. Trump is doing that for his KKK supporters largely.Non college degree white males are his greatest supporters.

    Better cite the numerous scholars who have said as much- instead of inadvertently elevating this racist at this delicate moment of change.

    I am glad that you brought up the subject though. Your illuminating discussion of the
    indigenous apprenticeship system is a great
    illustration of how effective non-orthodox
    systems are and can be.

    1. Sure – most times, the world borrows from America. Today, Trump is the President of U.S. Even if he is not optimal, he was elected. The scholars have written and many have cited them. But nothing has happened. Maybe, citing Trump could do the magic. That is what I am doing here.

  2. The challenge in our case is, what identifiable skills do most government jobs here require? It’s really hard to point at anything, an average secondary school leaver can do most of what they reserve for grade 8 and 9 here; we should stop making ordinary things look extraordinary.

    The specialised areas don’t take people straight from the universities and expect them to do well, they still need to train them. Many people who work know that they do what they do, not because they are graduates, but a case of having basic knowledge and skills, which they didn’t learn in tertiary institutions. If there is one thing humans have perfected, it’s the art of making simple things complex, just to appear important.

    I do believe that startups are best positioned to end the paper certificate madness, because it’s one environment where only those with skills thrive. If I need a graphic designer, obviously I will look for who can design and produce magnificent stuff; how a degree gets into the mix, I do not understand. And if I need a great marketer, I am not sure how plenty degrees and certifications come in here, other than who can turn prospects into customers.

    Not everything requires conferences and riots, if common sense is there.


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