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The Reality Of Overqualification - Are People Getting Overqualified?

Yes, let's face it. We are getting overqualified, truth be told.  Not only in Naija but all over the world.

Someone was telling me today that he attended an interview for Google in the UK. They wanted a Phd! Come on, a Phd to do what? Even Larry and Sergey didn't complete their Phds.

There was a time that advanced scholarship was pursued solely for academics or research. Now you need any number of degrees and/or certifications to hold down a basic straightforward job that requires little more than commonsense, as opposed to Laplace, Fourier, or Lagrange's equations. People cite 'competition' as the reason for all this, and these companies claim they are using these new criteria to generate more competition for their jobs. Are they, or are they just ignoring the basic values required to do a simple straightforward job?

There are a few questions that come to mind:

1. Are all these qualifications necessary to hold down a job in today's economy?

2. Are employers benefiting from any perceived knowledge these degrees and/or certifications are supposedly bringing to the table?

3. Who are the real winners? Could it be that the various professional bodies and degree-awarding institutions are the real winners, raking in millions of hard currency on an annual basis?

Your thoughts and responses are much appreciated.

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48 answers

Interesting discourse.

I think we need to also understand the needs of the two key players here: The Employers and job seekers.

What do employers really NEED? Do we need workers who can do the job at hand, not placing any emphasis on the future of the employee in the business? Do stuff like ''future directors''really mean a lot to them in this day and age where anything can happen - I have seen someone with a BA degree in Business Administration heading a highly technical E&P company at the highest echelon? Yes, Peter Voser, Shell's CEO is not an Engineer! What benefit will employers get flushing out experienced hands and then recruiting some multiple degree holders for their business - have they considered the amount of money they will spend bringing a fresh hand up to speed on the job and then groom such for the ''future director'' role? What if the employer decides to quit working for the company after being trained and making little or no contribution to the business? Does that not equal to spending investors money on useless things?

Then to the job seekers: Have you really thought through what you want out of this life? Will going for multiple degrees really add any 'benefit' whatsoever, to your market value? Are you sure you won't be better off working on your own, rather than working for others? Some guys up there have talked about Seminars bordering on careers. I guess we need more of that for our teeming graduate population.

We now need to properly carve out what specific qualification(s) the job the employer wants to fill requires. But then again, that's the meat of this discussion.

It would appear that employers have myriads of reasons for filling a position in their companies. From frivolous things like having a Ph.D holder doing menial jobs - just to shore up the image of the company, making the company look like they have the 'best' brains working for them, to the real reason why a job seeker is taken on board to do the work - I mean getting down and doing the WORK. Maybe employers should just trim their need down to: ''People who can do the job''. This will save them a lot of energy and unnecessary expenses on HR matters!

I am for people who know what they want out of life - employers and job seekers alike!

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The abroad you are talking about, do you know that somebody with a City and Guild certificate in Telecoms, IT, Electrical, Electronics, etc can rise to become a supervisor and even manager (with some 6 months – 1 Year Associate certification in the managerial programs), this is impossible in Nigeria. No matter the numbers of years experience and up-to-date knowledge you have obtained, one little boy without any experience will just be employed to boss over you. Most times these graduates don't posses any practical knowledge and will be given contrary orders based on the theories they have studied. People have been employed based on extensive knowledge gained through hobby, not on any formal training and sometimes they are even made to head such departments. This can’t happen in Nigeria, they will quickly point out the degrees, the other person has which makes him to be more knowledgeable then the real technician. Even HND is looked down on with preference being placed on degree holders in technically oriented jobs.

In fact, that is one of the causes of our dying university system, as people who are not cut out for the rigorous studying system all started scrambling for degrees, when they would have been better of gaining hands on skills for field work. So degrees need to be got by hook or crook, plus the outdated topics being taught in the universities. Can you believe some Computer Engineering, Science students complete a four/five years course without being on computer for 72 hours, during the entire duration of the course, except those who have at home, or access to a pc elsewhere?

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^^

Back in school we used to joke that Nigerians/Africans have progressively travelled down this pyramid, since we were colonized, and even more since the end of colonization.

One thing that bothers me most about Nigerians (me and you are all guilty) is our abhorrence of anything relating to physical or mental labour, and our clinging to white-collar symbols - multiple degrees, as well as jobs that involve very little actual skill.

Not that we are mentally deficient - to pack multiple degrees you need some significant brainpower - but our society's total rejection of actual hands-on skills for paper qualifications and tons of irrelevant book knowledge is only going to do us a lot of harm in the long run.

There is zero existence of actual skilled manpower in Nigeria, while there is a deluge of men and women holding meaningless certificates.

Let me even ask a funny question: Are we aware that these certificates actually work in other countries? I know many people, Nigerians abroad, who have advanced technical degrees, and are actually putting these degrees to work out there. However, oftentimes I get resumes from people who are looking for jobs in Nigerian telecoms, and they have Phds in telecom engineering! I always wonder, what would such a person be expecting to do in Nigeria?

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^^ The fresh grads are simply looking for a job, and will do anything to enhance their chances.

Maybe if some of us oldies can provide some mentoring . . . they can at least know what obtains and prepare better for the wider world.

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thank you jare!!

If you go through many post on nairaland education and career section you will notice many students/ fresh grad craving for any certificate of any association going.

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We can't be surprised at the trends if we have a bit understanding of the prophetic.

'Knowledge shall increase in the last days' is a popular scripture.

Now, you can agree with me that with the emergence of so many fields/sectors that were virtually unknown in a couple of decades ago, there is a dire need for humanity to shore up their knowledge in coping with the challenges ahead.

After all, it was Albert Einstein that said 'The problems we create today cannot be solved with the knowledge of yesterday'

Its not really an issue for me if companies require professors to fill job openings, as long as it satisfies their organizational plans. what i'll rather want young professionals/grads. to avoid is what i call a looming 'qualification confusion'

Pray, tell. What is somebody with a degree in say, Economics, that has not held down any job since graduation and probably cannot differentiate between a Router and a switch doing with a combination of  CCNA, OCA, MCP, and is still eyeing JAVA certification.

I think people should learn to choose a career path and stay focused on it. Its a basic foundation

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@David10,

Why should they scrap HND when people are still scrambling to go to polytechnics in Nigeria? There are people working in the polys, they also need to keep their jobs, same as the uni people, abi?

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[i][/i][color=#000099][/color] this issue of overqualification is all over the world at times i just wonder if education is the real answer to unemployment,we go to school got some degree search for work and u are being told u are overqualified ,mehn its funny ,dis tend to discourage people from learning at times

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TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU ALL. ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THE WAY FORWARD.

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thts a true, hard and fast reality check

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HND for this current dispensation is no work done, bro.

You don talk am finish. Educational roulette. Degrees for sale, literally speaking. Zero value added.

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what is the qualification used for? to get the job in lieu of others. many people are going to school and acquiring degrees not because they want to learn, but they need it to get the best paying jobs around. i had started a thread to analyze why people go to school. the link is shown below

http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria?topic=341976

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you people talk about Bsc BA, Msc and now PhD. What about HND people, no jobs for them?

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You are right, I think we are talking from different ends of the career ladder knowing how Nigerian companies shy away from training their own recruits

some positions come with band/ salary range- with an Msc Phd, i'll probably feel depressed earning an entry level wage knowing how much i have spent/lost doing the course

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^^

You are quiet right!

But the reality is that most companies will like to enjoy a good mix of both qualifications and experience. so i'd say why not get the two?

There are certain job responsibilities even at junior positions that cannot be easily handled by graduates as their scope of work does not cover such, besides, it is easier to train someone with an extensive knowledge in a field than someone without.

A Phd holder who focussed on Mergers and Acquisition for example is 10 times likely to start contributing to your business in the first 3 months than someone straight out of college.

Besides, graduating with a Phd means that you have spent the last 3 to four years working and researching extensively, comparing scenarios, studying lots of problems and solutions on a certain field, and as such asserts you as an authority in that field.

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^^Maybe nigerian companies

Most companies i know will introduce Mr V.Hammersmith as the colleague with over 10 years experience in international finance, mergers and A etc etc rather than Mr V.H Bsc, Msc etc etc sounds really crass to be listing peoples paper certificate look at the company profile of Nigerian companies and a Uk company you'd see experience in the field will be reeled out rather than the paper certificate, the usual understanding is that someone employed in a company will have gone through internal and external course updating their skills without breaking their work

Secondly its a matter of motivation, do you really want to employ someone with an Msc in Banking and Finance doing cashier work in a bank when a School cert holder with a bit of training can easily do the work, wouldn't loose motivation as quick as the other guy lamenting everyday about his 'big international msc'. someone that is overqualified for a certain job will be looking to get out as quick as possible or would just feel he is too big amongst his team members, his mind would be on getting his real position rather than doing the job at hand.

But with the recession everything changed to some extent

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I believe many organisations require certain levels of qualifications for their image branding rather than for the specific skills they claim to posses.

For example, a Bsc holder with 10 years of work experience is more likely to get the job done than a CFA holder with 3 years or a Phd holder with 2 years work experience.

However, even with the knowledge of this, companies want and are really proud to display the folks with lots of academic qualifications on their board.

They want to be able to say.

Dr Violent Hammersmith. MBA, CFA.

rather than a

Mr Violent Hammersmith Bsc {Hons}.

The former builds the company image and also projects confidence to potential investors.  An investor is more likely to give his, money to the former rather than the later even though the later has a lot of experience.

Besides, someone with professional qualifications is much more likely to adapt rapidly to changing conventions, contribute theoretical knowledge from years of vast academic research as well as learn faster than someone with the work experience or without the said professional qualifications.

Employers see newbies as the future directors of the company, therefore it is necessary to ensure that they have the right qualifications, knowledge as well as passion to do so.  How best can you project passion for a particular field than having a doctorate degree in the field?

They are not only concerned about whether you are fit for the job now, they want to be sure that you will be fit for the job in another 15 years even with a wild rapid changing convention.

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I don't buy the idea of what you guys termed overqualification especially the way these companies put it.

For me, I think if there's are open positions for entry levels; whether it is a fresh graduate with only BSc or with BSc & MSc or with BSc, MSc, & PhD or someone with inadequate (0- 1) years of experience; everyone of them should be passed through a tests and interviews to ascertain who best fits the positions.

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@Poster,

I have pondered on this too several times especially when I think of the amount nigerians spend on acquiring foreign degrees especially post-graduate ones.

From another view though, I have a degree in economics but have always functioned in the IT sphere as a trainer, dba, plsql scripter etc but when the there was an opening for a product manager, all eyes fell on me because of some of the latent skills(i.e apart from the technical ones) I possessed.

Put another way, an overqualified person now may well become an underqualified person in the next couple of years - too much future uncertainty.

Just my 2 cents

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Literally, the word overqualified is somehow difficult to understand in the present system. Look at this instance – a PhD holder seeks for a job as a daycare teacher, what do you call this? Overqualified or not? Definitely, the guy cannot do the job which means guy man no qualified for the job and not overqualified. However, one can draw a conclusion that overqualified is a polite way of simply saying not qualified.

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@Ajalenkoko,i must confess dat ur contributions in dis forum both in general and career has been greatly inspiring.sincerely speakin,i dey gbadu u.if u dnt mind,kindly send me ur mail address to my mail talk2skippo@gmail.com so dat i culd make more enquries.thankin u in anticipatn.

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Yes, without work experience, fresh from University. He was just about to start his dissertation when he got the job. Even though, the vacancy stated first degree in Civil Engineering or a highly numerate degree

The last time I checked on slb students and graduate career website, no mention was made of work experience for an entry level job in their research and development. All that was required is a Research master’s or PhD in chemical engineering, chemistry, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, electronics, geology, geophysics, materials science, mathematics, mechanical engineering, petroleum engineering or physics. The academic requirement for some entry level jobs are MPhil or PhD. Most companies are raising the bar. Some top companies like Nokia and Arup only recruits graduates with MSc or MBA qualifications. Very soon, a BSc or BA degree will be equivalent to an ordinary GCSE.

True that for consultancy jobs, specialist knowledge is required and not all are acquired from work experience. Some are acquired from specialist 2 semesters or 3 semesters MSc programme. Most involve field work and strong links with the industry. They were designed so that you can hit the ground running. That is why it is easy for people to change their career even after many years when they realise they had initially made a false start.

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Somebody already pointed this out. It is required in mostly research and development with past work experiences, not just the PhD

For most consultancy jobs, specialist knowledge is required, and that is acquired after some work experience.  You don’t require a civil engineering degree to become a transport consultant.  Just like you don’t need an IT first degree to become a Data Security Consultant.

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Really? with or without a work experience in law or the traffic thing?

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Spot on bruv.

In addition, to the above

Depends on the chosen career,

1. A PhD is required for most jobs in Research and Development even at entry level. A good example is Schlumberger, A Mphil/MRes or PhD is required for entry level jobs in their REMS department.

2. Some engineering career require highly specialized MSc degree, a good example is Civil Engineering. Most Structural engineering firm would prefer a candidate with MSc in Structural Engineering than a candidate with BSc in Civil Engineering. In the UK, MSc in Traffic and Transport Engineering is highly preferred for entry level job in transport consultancy than BSc degree in Civil engineering. I know of someone with a first degree in Law and MSc in Transport/traffic that was chosen for an entry level job in Transport/traffic Engineering consultancy above candidates with BSc Civil engineering just because of his specialist MSc.

Although, BSc candidates may apply for this jobs and be successful but the companies will have to train them for at least 2 years coupled with a paid part time MSc programme in the specialization, most companies will try to avoid this at all cost as it will save them money and time spent in training a first degree holder to measure up to their standard.

3. Education is an investment. Knowledge is power.

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spambot has gone on overdrive!!

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@Ajanlekoko,

If the role your contact was talking about is European based, then I'm almost certain it is the job description below

Senior Economist - London at GoogleLocation: London (London, United Kingdom)

Type:Full-timeExperience:AssociateFunctions:Information Technology Industries:Internet Posted:April 1, 2010

Job Description

This position can be based in London, UK or Brussels, Belgium.

At Google, we believe that data can help answer life's most interesting questions, if you have the right tools and the right people to interpret it. Googlers with the ability to analyze, visualize and extract insights from data drive key business decisions and help set company strategy. So passionate are we about the power of data to change lives that we are one of the few technology companies in the world to have established "Chief Economist" as a role. So clear are we about the importance of applying and adapting mathematical and economic theories to understand this data that we attracted leading economic thinker, author and educator Hal Varian to fill this role.

Under Hal's guidance, our world-class Economics Group works with some of the world's largest and most interesting Internet data sets in a relentless effort to understand the relation of online behaviors to Google, the global economy, and to society. This group of enthusiastic "analytical athletes" is dedicated to researching Google's business operations and communicating trends and relationships - drawing on the vast pool of real-time data generated by our products. "We, have essentially free and ubiquitous data.", says Hal, "So the complimentary scarce factor is the ability to understand that data and extract value from it." In addition to researching Internet economics, some of the team's other research explores whether Google search activity can help predict economic activity, and examines the role of social proximity in market trading behavior (see a conference talk here). This team plays a pivotal role in setting direction at Google, and now we are looking to appoint our first Senior Economist (EMEA) to our team.

The Senior Economist (EMEA) position, based in London or Brussels, will provide rigorous and thoughtful analysis of the economic value of the Internet. This leader will deliver data-driven insights not just from a EMEA-based commercial perspective, but set within the wider social, financial, and political contexts. Crucially, this person will also serve as an active spokesperson and help communicate this information to government policy-makers, the media, and to the people. This is a unique opportunity for a statistically-oriented economist to join what is truly a mathematical guru's playground, to use these findings to help change the way business is done and to change the world for the better. Like Hal, we believe that statisticians will hold the dream jobs of the next decade, and Google is looking forward to this significant next step in our continued investment in this area.

This role can be based in either London or Brussels.

Responsibilities:

• Economic analysis of Google's advertising model in EMEA, looking at areas such as the economics of online advertising auction models, the competitiveness of online advertising and the economic value of a free and open Internet.

• Explaining and communicating the impact and positive value of Internet developments and online activity to society and the European economy as a whole.

• Being a public advocate for the competitive nature of online advertising and for the contribution of the Internet to national economies.

• To work cross-functionally with our Product, Sales and Policy teams on economic analysis that supports robust communications and public positions.

• Translating economic analysis to a non-specialist internal and external communities.

• Rigorous testing and verification of economic assumptions.

Requirements:

• PhD in economics, business, applied mathematics, operations research, statistics or related discipline preferred.

• A demonstrated passion for the Internet and its potential to make the world a better place, as well as a knowledge of key development issues as they pertain to the technology sector.

• Extensive experience in econometric modeling, statistical analysis as well as a strong publication record or other evidence of capabilities.

• Direct experience working in national politics, government or think tank in the EMEA region, in a role requiring advanced quantitative modeling and analytical skills.

• First-rate leadership, personal, political, and communications skills as well as a profound willingness to collaborate internally and externally.

• A demonstrated track record of public speaking, publishing and presenting.

Do you need a PhD for such a role? I don’t think PhD is essential. Anyone with considerable experience in similar role can function perfectly. I think Google wants someone who can project the image of an authority in the field of Economics when meeting with industry and political leaders. PhD might be essential if you’ve not previously functioned at the level required by the job. I think in this kind of role, image, not only what you know matters.

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^^^ I go with this! I'm presently studying Education/English (basically to improve my writing skills, because that's where I'm going). Knowing that may not be putting enough food on my table when the time comes, I'm saving to do a computer related course after graduation, though I don't know the branch of computer I'd be settling for. (I'd welcome infos on any good computer course)

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I don't think over-qualification is an issue; it is always going to be about demand and supply. If you have the skills that are required in a growing industry, then you have an edge over someone who is just as qualified but whose skills are in a dying industry. A recent marketing professional who was taught about digital marketing will have an edge over a manager who studied marketing 20 years and has not updated his knowledge. The old marketing manager will likely understand print advertising but know nothing about digital advertising which is growing year on year. Likewise, a professional who as a Ph.D in horology from Unilag will never have an advantage over a Swiss master craftsman who has no formal education but possesses the knowledge handed down from the previous masters.

The point I am making is that, anyone can go to school to study for any program but it is the responsibility of the professional or those guiding him (for a young school leaver) to ensure that he is getting trained in a profession that will be relevant in years to come. What is the point of getting a Ph.D in botanical sciences or Zoology in Nigeria?

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Intending  M.Sc, MBA  and PHD  post graduates  should also have a  prove of special skill and relevant working experiences. Degrees alone is not a great achievement.

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Further education in itself is not a bad thing. Obtaining an MSc or an MBA after graduation is not necessarily a downside, even though I would advise you get some experience first to help define what you want to do.

However, it is the way the labour market in Nigeria has conceived education that is driving the wrong behaviours. For a graduate position of a non-specialist job, why do we need a masters degree for it? This way, people just graduate and look for the nearest country to run to and get a masters degree, without a proper evaluation of how it even affects a potential career path.

I am currently doing a masters after working for 3 years, and I hear all these fresh graduates in my class saying, "I can only go back to nigeria if they are ready to pay me N 500,000"!! And I tell them, I better not be teaching you anything if I am paying you that much!! But truth is, they do not even know anything other than having been through a string of concentric classroom education. After an average 5-6 years moving from course to course, how much of that value can you really translate into results for a hiring company?? Education ends up being seen as a qualifier, rather than an enabling tool.

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You are right! In engineering, it could actually be more of a hindrance because she would be too highly specialized! One of the great benefits of engineering, especially electrical engineering, is that the field is extremely wide but your friend has effectively narrowed the field to a sub-specialty. Most engineers will tell you that what they do at work can only be fundamentally linked to their education before getting their first job. You usually build on the fundamental knowledge through your employer’s training/schooling.

In other words, she needs to get some experience in some industry then go for her PhD as related to that industry.

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I do agree. But at times, it depends on the type of work and also serves as a way to differentiate candidates. In today’s economy in my field, even a PhD might not be enough. For example, Patent Attorneys with a background in the sciences (biology, physics, chemistry, pharmacy) are “required” to have a PhD, a law degree (JD), and a couple of years of experience before getting entry level jobs. There are lots of recent law school graduates with PhDs roaming the streets looking for a job!

I think more education is not a bad thing but the employers need to pay for it!

Yes, because you need a way to stand out from the crowd even if it means just getting your resume to the top of the pile.

Yes. In fields where you bid for a job, the proposal looks a lot better with resumes of advanced degree holders. Also, on average, the employer will be getting more bang for their buck because the employee will have more "potential", at least in fields that require technical knowledge.

Schools…they have the largest racketeering going!!! Why the hell should an MBA (2 year program) cost upwards of $80k?

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Hnmmm, this is so familiar. I have a friend who is finishing uni in the uk this summer, she's also starting her PHD thing in october without an hr of work experience in her field. My honest opinion is a no no, but i'm being all supportive because i don't know how to tell her that she'll find out that the PHD will do her basically 'less good' by the time she's ready to get a job in the sense that i believe people with just a yr work experience will be considered over her in most cases. But . . . . what's with all these titles though?

I personally want to work for a couple or yrs before any PHD or wotnot sha.

PS: my friend is in the engineering filed and i dnt think PHD is all that in that field . . .says another engineering friend anyway

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@Aj,

Depends on the obj of the organization.

If the job requires a specialist, surely you can't employ a fresher for the job.

Most companies want the 'best' qualified, in reality most fresh gtaduates can easily be trained to do these jobs.

The bottom line is that competition is stiff and only the most qualified will get the job.

HR uses all these qualifications to screen prospective employees.

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It's a competitive global labour market hence, the upsurge in qualifications which does not always translate into champagne-class on-job performance cos experience is equally key. Business schools tend to expose one to empirical findings thus a employers' favourite choice.On the other hand,top CEO's without  shave with school will make you understand that the dynamics in business environment makes all your qualifications rather inconsequential. Really,u cant go wrong with the right addditonal qualifications;dey could still give u the cutting-edge u need at some point.

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The demand by employers for all these degrees is simply a method they adopt to reduce the number of applicants to job positions. Simply a way for HR to make their work a bit easier.

This method however, erroneously assumes that the more degrees you have, the better qualified you are for the job. Unfortunately, a lot of talented candidates with potential are lost simply because they don't have advanced degrees or several years of work experience.

So, while I think that most people are over qualified for the jobs they apply for, it still does not mean that they are suitable for those jobs. Being a PhD holder in mechanical engineering does not mean one knows how to operate a lathe machine nor weld two metal pieces together. And that is where a distinction should be drawn between experience and qualifications.

Now the surprising thing is - one can get experience for free but must pay for qualifications. Ever thought about volunteer work, work for free?? Ever heard of free college degrees, besides scholarship?

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In the 1960s & 1970s, Primary six certificate (FSLC) was hot cake, jobs were waiting for those that have it. In the 1980s and early 1990s, it was WAEC, in the late 1990s, First degree was then hot cake. early 2000, First degrees + Post Graduate Diploma. Now they have made Masters degree compulsory for you to be recognized. Soon PH.d will become obsolete.

I really think the solution is to create job for yourself. Be your own employer. See how musicians are making it big.

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Hmmmmm! Interesting. But i must say that Most companies in 9ja nw demand for yr(s) of Experience frm Fresh Graduates knwing fully well that majority of them don't ve such experience.

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Keep telling us things.

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interesting post. alot of people seems to be missing out on the point here. majority of nigerians wnats to get all the degrees and qualification first and get a top paying job with that but it doesnt work like that in the real world. a company regardless of your qualification without a work experience to back it up, will be reluctant to emply you simple as that. most people will be suprised that all we learnt in univeristy and school even thou there are useful are totally different in the real life work environment. my advice is after degree, get a good work experience then go for msc den work experience again and if you want then phd and then you are at the top. instead of degree, msc, phd, professional qualifications all at once before work experience.

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^^

Quite right.

What we have is a hierarchical system, some kind of pyramid structure in which managers don't really do anything but 'manage'.

In my team, I am trying to make it a bit flat; everybody, including me the HOD, always has a project they're working on. Managing the team is now just one of my tasks, not the sole task.

The guy who left was an expat, and basically was doing nothing more than being an expat. The specialists reporting to him were really the ones doing the job. Now he's left, and I am like; why fill the position? I would rather keep it, and use it as a motivator for my specialists. At least someone can aspire for a promotion, rather than bringing in another 'overqualified' twerp.

Also, I am thinking of getting bright young NYSC people for one or two vacancies in my team. Normally they are 'specialist' vacancies, but the job can actually be done with good foundation knowledge and a bit of common sense. I would just attach the youth corper to one of the existing specialists to learn the ropes, and we would take it from there. It's also an easier way to discover talent; if the youth corper is good, I will fight for them to be retained. If not they go quietly.

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I think it all depend on what your managers do. There are some jobs where you cant replace a manager with a fresh guy. But with what you are saying, there seem not to be anything special about doing what your managers do if you see no need to replace him. If that's the case then I guess you might just use the opportunity to save some money by paying someone else less to do more.

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it is a sad sad situation and sorry seems to be the hardest word.

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As someone in HR, what's your view about all this? Who is really winning here? Are companies getting any benefits out of these 'advanced degrees'?

For me, I head a department, and am seriously considering getting more NYSC staff to do certain jobs, rather than hire actual staff and deal with their 'ambition'; promotion, motivation, and all that. In fact, a manager left, and I don't have any plans to replace him, even though my GM has me under pressure, since he's got some 'qualified' candidates. What do you think?

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I won't call it ambitious. . .

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Yep. Seen lot's of cases where Msc holders are applying for fresh graduates positions.

Naija graduates are ambitious and a lot have completed their masters and professional qualifications without ever having worked a day.

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The issue is a global one.

over qualification is here to stay (in the interim i hope).

The fact is that barrier to entry in the labour market has been raised by heightened competitive forces.

The Google UK scenario is replicated in most 1st tier management consulting firms.They used to high cream of ivy league business schools (hey still do) but the rate has reduced as the supply is now plentiful, they now prefer PHD holders and now cherry pick even the cream from the top business schools.

a case where you have Msc or M.A holders with no work experience vying for entry level positions makes the fresh 1st degree graduate almost redundant in the labour market.

go check biz schools like Harvard and NYU, a good number of the intakes have very little work experience.

More and more degrees are becoming the differentiating factor for most applicants.

The funny thing is that more degrees without real work experiences are increasing worthless but the funny circle continues.

One more thing, one whether employers are benefiting from the trend; it depends.

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