Educating people does not only serve their personal lives, it also enables them to contribute to the development of their countries and the world at large.
That is, a nation’s development greatly relies on educating its people, formally and informally.
In Ghana, people are encouraged to at least complete basic education, that is, Junior High School, (JHS). The general belief is that if you do not have any formal education, then the chances of being successful are very low.
With this in mind, people with very poor financial backgrounds try their possible best to climb the academic ladder through support from loved ones and any available sources.
Throughout our education system, mostly undergraduate students get to learn that, the better your performance the higher your chances of securing a well-paying job. As such, every student works hard by burning the midnight candle to perform excellently academically. Most parents also try to provide whatever their wards need, so as to enable them to come out with excellent results in order to secure better job opportunities.
But the pertinent question is, does excellent academic performance matter in landing a job in Ghana these days?
Many young people who are still in school will reply to this question affirmatively because they have not started a job search yet. “Getting First Class in my undergraduate degree will help me get a better job,” one young student says.
The funny and scariest reality we tend to ignore is, you do not need to perform academically well to get employment opportunities. We live in a country where ‘connections’, that is, the “whom do you know” syndrome overrides hundreds of certificates.
After parents have paid huge sums to sponsor their kids’ education, what they at least hope for is their wards getting employed. Instead, disappointment is what many young people face.
That is because when they walk confidently to any company in search of jobs, the question they get asked is, “who brought you here?” When the name of the one who referred them is not familiar, the next statement is, “you will hear from us.” Unfortunately, they never hear from these companies or institutions again.
These employers often offer the job opportunities to persons they know regardless of qualifications or competence. The less privileged ones therefore remain unemployed, inspite of their good certificates and skills.
For those who don’t know anybody, some employers seek huge sums of money from them before offering them jobs. The question that needs to be asked is, where are these unemployed graduates expected to get the money to pay for such job offers?
As I prepare to enter the job market after my first degree, I ask the question, does education really matter in securing a job in Ghana these days?
The author is an undergraduate student at KNUST. She is currently interning at Myjoyonline.com.
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