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.