What should the fresh graduate do?
As soon as graduates either enter the NYSC program or are leaving, they already have a plan.
It's either they want to begin to search for a job or pursue a second degree.
Usually the "start a business" route comes either as an idea during the service year or when waiting endlessly for a job, it presents itself as a better alternative.
What's the big deal about a Masters?
Having a Masters in itself is prestigious.
It separates you from the pack.
Here are Some Advantages to Having a Master's Degree
1. Specialized Knowledge.
Applying for and bagging a master's degree helps you gain specialized knowledge to advance in your field. This is because there are deeper levels of research and deep, analytical thinking involved in a Masters program. At the end of the program, you are supposed to have better knowledge of the subject matter than a BSc graduate.
2. Career Advancement.
This is the bulls eye. No extra knowledge should be acquired after graduation if it has no direct bearing on your career advancement. This is because a masters degree makes it easier for employers and those in management positions to give more responsibility and promote you into a senior position when you have a second degree.
This is especially true for Masters that are human resources or management related.
3. Increased Economic Value
We all love the perks that come with this.
Having a masters degree generally increase your value in the eyes of your employers and helps you earn better if it is believed that your added knowledge will generate commensurate profitability for the company.
This is usually the case in developed countries.
Even when applying for the same job, someone with a masters degree will be able to negotiate a slightly higher pay package than someone who has just one degree.
But hey... this is Nigeria. Our realities are not so similar.
Here Are The Cons of Pursuing a Masters Degree in Nigeria.
Firstly, many graduates go into having a second degree for the fact that they've been applying for jobs and remain unemployed.
You have a large chunk though who want to be lecturers and so the natural path is to get a masters degree.
If you have no desire to become a lecturer, then you need to reconsider your application for a Masters degree.
This is because an irrelevant degree will do you more harm than good in an interview session. You will not want to be portrayed or seen as someone who is without focus.
Ask the question, why do I want a Masters degree?
Secondly, your masters degree must be in line with your chosen career path.
This puts many graduates in a bind because they do not have a career per se.
They are just applying any and everywhere to land a job that can pay well.
This approach is as effective as playing the blindfold game. You know the candy bag is there but you're swinging right to left in the hope that you will hit the prize.
Chances are that you might get it; but chances are that you'd totally miss the mark.
If you are an English graduate and go on to do a Masters in your field, your application for the role of a marketing specialist will not be given as much importance as someone with the same degree but with a masters in business administration.
Thirdly, the increased economic value is certainly overrated here in Nigeria.
With the deplorable state of our indigenous institutions, people are not certain of the quality of education that is gotten within the walls of the schools.
When you have recycled projects, stale content that is being taught at the BSc level, there is no guarantee that any major change will happen at the masters level.
And so an average Masters graduate is not very different from a smart graduate who just has his/her first degree.
This has increased the lure of pursuing a Masters degree outside the shores of Nigeria but not so many can afford it and the scholarships definitely cannot meet the demands of the graduate population.
Also you have many employers who are thinking of their bottom line and devising ways to get the best results/talents with the minimum risk of expenditure.
There are definitely exceptions to this case though.
You have companies and organizations who value personal development of their staff and reward those efforts adequately. But these are few and between.
Investing in a certification program that is related to your job role might be more beneficial than pursuing a regular degree.
Lastly, experiential knowledge is more profitable in the long run.
People will be more willing to pay for a skill you have developed and practised over the years, than a skill you've learnt in theory with little hands-on knowledge.