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Welcome to the Meet Employers Series. In this adventure, we look at the beliefs, thoughts, and opinions that feed the job & career culture in Nigeria.

We will also explore what it takes to get a job, keep a job, and build a successful career in our society. Our first episode will take us to Nigerian tertiary institutions. Yes, the polytechnics, universities, and colleges of education.

What do undergraduate students think about what it takes to get a job in Nigeria? Let’s take this ride.

(Note: Real names of speakers were not used in this publication)


1.    Biola, 24

Caleb University, Lagos, Nigeria.

I don’t think your school qualification will do it 100%. Yes, it matters but there’s also a mix of connections, qualifications, and skills. Having all three increases your chances greatly if you want to get hired in Nigeria today. Sometimes, a job will require special skills in certain software or something else. Your qualification won’t buy you a chance in this case.


  1.     Sodiq, 22

Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun, Nigeria

Qualifications and good grades can help you get jobs in Nigeria. Yet, I still believe one needs to possess knowledge beyond what was learnt in school to be competitive.


  1.     Chizoba, 20

Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun, Nigeria

Not all qualifications will work. A good example is people who tend to further beyond the regular Bachelor’s degree. They have a higher chance. Connection is also key if you really want to get a job in Nigeria today.


  1.     Emeka, 23

University of Ilorin, Kwara, Nigeria

No one relies on only certificates anymore when job hunting in Nigeria. We are now under the influence of connections. It is why everyone here in school wants to make friends. It’s more about relationships & connections. “I need to know someone who knows someone.” The school certificate is just for formality and ceremonial reasons.


5.     Esther, 20

Kwara Polytechnic, Kwara, Nigeria

In my opinion, you’ll have to secure favours by giving money. My brother had to pay N15, 000 to get a placement in a company for his Industrial Training programme in school. Even if you don’t have money, I feel you really need to know someone big to get a job in Nigeria. Be it in the civil service.

And for someone like me with no serious connections getting a job will take a long time.  


  1.     Folake, 23

University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

For me, it’s three things: There’s connection. Good grades, which I find very tricky. The third is luck. You have to be very lucky to get a job in today’s Nigeria.


  1. Moyo, 23

Lagos State Polytechnic, Lagos, Nigeria

Some Nigerian employers tend to favour degree holders over diploma holders (HND & ONDs). I’ve been at interviews where diploma holders are “benched” even when they have better training and experience to offer. Why? Because this individual went to a polytechnic and not a university. Even if you’re considered you’ll need a lot of training certificates to compete against a degree holder. You sense this discrimination on job openings and even down to how companies pay their employees or appraise them for promotion.


  1.     Usman, 23

University of Benin, Edo, Nigeria

Some will say a Bachelor’s degree. But I don’t fully agree. You need money and connections mostly. A first-class graduate can work under a third-class graduate in our society. You also need prayers because the job market is very competitive and has a “sit-tight” culture. The old ones don’t want to retire.


  1. Jessica, 22

University of Benin, Edo, Nigeria

I feel you have to be smart. But not the “first-class” or “book” type of smart. You have to “be sharp,” know how to think, analyze and solve problems. But you still need “connect” these days. You can also work hard. Just that connections make things easier even if it doesn’t guarantee the job. You also need money to prepare for that job life too. There’s clothing, transportation cost, and so much more.


  1. Blessing, 20

Lead City University, Oyo, Nigeria

I think it’s easier to get jobs if you have connections. You really need to know people. Your age really matters too. I think age discrimination is real in the Nigerian job market.



  1. Abayomi, 23

Yaba School of Technology, Lagos, Nigeria

It’s really “hard” to get jobs here.


  1. Chinedu, 21

Awaiting University Admission, Lagos, Nigeria

Your location matters a lot. Where you stay determines who you meet and who will share job opportunities with you. People also want to be sure you have something to offer. So you must be ready to prove that.


In our next episodes, we will invite HR professionals and teachers in tertiary institutions to discuss the above feedbacks & the status of Nigeria’s job culture. Why? This is because these individuals (HR & teachers) occupy “gate keeper & tour guide” positions on the path to Nigeria’s job market. Together, they nurture young adults into potential employees and usher them into the employment world.

What are your thoughts?



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1 thought on “What it takes to get a job in Nigeria today – Undergraduate Students Speak Part 1

  1. Joshua says:

    This is a good one. The response from various individuals are also true positions in the Nigerian employment market.

    I also look forward to having recommendations from HR experts and other professionals.

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