Graduating from high school comes with a lot of good vibes.
Apart from the respite you’ll have from daily school routine of 6 years, you are also excited about completing a phase of your life and moving on to the next.
One of the things that immediately preoccupy your mind is the thought of getting admission into a higher institution of learning.
It is at this point that many school leavers leap before they look.
For varied reasons including lack of patience, peer pressure, family pressure, societal misconceptions, poor guidance, and so on, many settle for just any discipline.
But, there are certain important factors to consider, before you finally decide to go in for a course or decline to.
I have outlined 4 of them in this post.
#1. Be Sure About the Opportunities that Come with Studying the Course
Before you settle on whether to study a course or not, ask yourself this question: “What are the job, career, business or investment opportunities this course offers?
Getting a job these days is not a piece of cake.
According to the International Labour Organization, on a global scale, “the number of people unemployed is projected to increase by 1 million per year to reach 174 million by 2020”.
In Nigeria, the National Youth Service Corps mobilizes nationwide an average of 300,000 graduates per annum. You don’t need rocket science to figure out there aren’t up to 300,000 job opportunities per year in the country. Even if there were, those opportunities do not (and can never) cover every course of study – in reality, only just a few are catered for.
So, if you graduate and do not get a job; can you start something with what you’ve studied? What if someone has some huge fund to give you, can you come up with something?
Do not wait until you graduate to discover that there is next to no opportunity in your country for the course you are going in for. There are thousands of graduates today who would never have taken the course they did, if they knew what they knew today. You surely don’t want to add to that number.
Don’t be carried away by empty hype. Make your findings properly.
If the offers you are receiving do not fit in, wait. Don’t let anyone hurry you.
#2. It is Better to Learn a Skill than to Be Pressured to Take a Course
Never agree to do a course, just because your friends are already in campus and you’re feeling (or made to feel) you’ve been left behind. That way, you will be choosing or accepting a course out of undue pressure – not because you have a flair or passion for it.
And that often backfires.
But while you wait, go and learn a skill that can earn you a living and make you independent. Learn graphics design. Learn decoration. Learn fashion designing. Learn hair styling. Learn photography. Learn printing. Learn shoemaking. Learn some good skill while you are waiting.
If admission later comes, awesome! If not, all well and good. Who said you needed a degree to start out in life? After finding your feet with your new skill, you can progress by getting certifications in that area; or get alternative higher education through open universities, distance learning centres or online courses.
But if you still want to go back to conventional campus, why not? It’s never too late. But at least, you already have something that’s putting food on the table.
#3. Passion for the Course is Essential But Something Extra is Needed
If you must go in for a course with limited possibilities, please make sure you have the prerequisite natural abilities for it. Be sure you are passionate enough about the field, and you will work hard enough to graduate with distinction so your chances of wading through the limited opportunities are brighter.
Alternatively, you could choose to immediately pursue postgraduate programs so you can fit into the academia as a lecturer soon afterwards; or come up with a solid plan to journey straightaway to another clime where opportunities abound for your course; as soon as you are through studying it.
If you can’t do any of these, then be ready to learn a skill alongside studying. In fact, finish learning it and start making some returns from it while you are still on campus. So, if you graduate and doors don’t open as you expect, you already have something running.
#4. Any Course of Study Will Do If You Have Other Viable Plans
It will be reasonable to go ahead with whatever course of study you choose or find, on the condition that you already have a skill set or venture that is already bringing in some bucks and may eventually become your main source of living such that you only need the exposure and experience or (just the) certificate of higher education.
Sometimes, providence and divine guidance come into play too. If you are convinced your choice was divinely revealed, then it may not be a bad idea. If God has shown you, He can make a way for you there. He operates at a higher frequency.
Besides, it’s simple wisdom to step in, knowing it’s your path that has been made known to you.
In pursuing a course in higher institution, you invest in no small measure. Chief among all you put in is your time.
And it should be invested wisely; because, time is life.
Ogaga Eruteya is a Nigerian Christian minister, writer and speaker. He writes on Faith, Personal Development, Youth Development, and Life Realities. With his words, he seeks to inspire, motivate, propagate life’s truths and represent a sincere Christian voice. Learn more about Ogaga here.