Nigerian Unemployed Graduates – Any hope in the Job Market?

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Nigerian unemployed graduates constitute more than 50% of the country’s population – how true is this?

I read a superb article by another contributor on this blog which was titled “How to get a Job Abroad from Nigeria”. That article would be the basis of this my week’s article.

“Why would someone start searching for a job abroad from Nigeria, what is the possibility?”

I guess the writer was biased with the truth as to how possible that was. The foreign job market is not where armatures come to play. I have been there before and I speak with experience.

I was almost disagreeing with all the points he raised, but I decided to go back a bit and think. What was I thinking about? I asked myself a simple question, which was

“What does the job market holds for a large number of Nigerian unemployed graduates?” 

Nigerian unemployed graduates roaming the streets

Nigerian unemployed graduates waiting for an Interview

You see that several times on a website like Nairaland FP, you see lots of dos and don’ts of writing a CV, attending an Interview, and so on. Yet it is obvious that people aren’t getting jobs like they are supposed to. The question is what is wrong?

When it comes to job distribution in Nigeria, the major cities like Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt are the only places that can boast of employment prospects for job-seeking graduates. What happens to other graduates in other cities is a story for another day.

On the average, unemployed graduates in Nigeria has two tough choices to make while searching for a job;

  1. Remain Unemployed while searching for a good job
  2. Get Underemployed till you get a good job.

While the former is quite scary and sounds stupid to the ears of a Nigerian parent, the latter has the potential of keeping you below the average income ladder till God knows when.

“After all, there are no jobs” would become your daily anthem in a bid to justify your underemployment.

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Back to the question, “What does Nigeria hold for its Job Seekers?”

The answer is “NOTHING.” Nigeria owes you nothing as a job seeker because the country doesn’t even have plans for itself.

To get a job in Nigeria is a function of three things.

  • Either you are connected
  • Or you have something Employers want badly
  • Or you underprice yourself.

The first option is the fastest way to get a job, while the last option is the second, but also the fastest way to depression and frustration in a city like Lagos.

What are Options for unemployed graduates in Nigeria?

Nigerian unemployed graduates at the immigration exercise

Job Seekers waiting for an interview with immigration

I will be so frank with you. Government policies can’t help you because this is Nigeria. Policies favour just the rich. If you aren’t connected, then you should read below carefully. To survive and make it up the ladder without any help or connections, you should follow the steps below;

Learn some Valuable Skills

After the recent sack in my firm, I discovered that just an ICT skill won’t save you when you want to get fired. I have about 3 Information Communications Technology (ICT) certifications, but I have learnt to expand my horizon and reach.

Learning a skill doesn’t mean just an ICT skill – just that I flow with the current trend of the ICT positioned world, there are other valuable skills you can learn.

  • Digital Marketing/Online Marketing
  • Web Designing
  • Branding and Signage
  • Hardware Repair
  • Writing
  • Graphics Design, etc.

There are lots of them I can’t name right now. Whichever one you think would help your vision, learn it.

Startup a Small and Cheap Business

There goes a saying that every business requires a good amount of capital – but I bet to disagree. After I discovered that most online marketers start with just their monthly data, I immediately had a change of mind to pick up that skill. (So don’t worry about why I am so interested to learn Digital Marketing, I have plans for the future).

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You can keep acting as a freelance without an address, till you find your feet and shoot out – maybe you would quit looking for a job. If you are focused and determined, you might end up employing first class graduates to work for you – it isn’t rocket science.

Depending on the skill you’ve acquired, and then you can find something to offer. If you don’t have a skill and yet you claim there are no jobs, who would employ an unconnected and non-skilled graduate?

I don’t refer to soft skills such

  • Analytic skills
  • Quantitative skills
  • Attention to details

All those don’t count! What counts is what you can offer, that can be beneficial to you and your employer.

Are you positioned towards following my tips? I promise to bring you my next article titled “Starting a small business as an unemployed graduate”. Before then, like our Facebook page @ and subscribe to our newsletters by putting your details below. See you next week.

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I am just that Tech Girl who loves to Inspire. I am a newbie writer, but I hope to progress fast real soon.

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  1. arinola

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