When PHD and MBA holders compete in jobs reserved for lesser qualified candidates, it’s only human to ask questions.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Director of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote recently disclosed that PhD and MBA holders were among over 13,000 applicants that applied for the recent Graduate Executive Truck Driver in his company.
In a report by Thisdaylive, Dangote disclosed this Thursday evening during a mentorship chat with World Bank Youth Forum (WBYF) Coordinator, Mr. Rotimi Olawale with the support of the World Bank Country Director, Ms Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly.
According to him, the company only needed 100 drivers but was surprised to receive over 13,000 graduate applicants and amongst them were about six PhD, 65 MBA, 649 Masters and over 8, 460 Bachelor degree holders.
He said what surprised him most was not the sheer number of the applicants but the quality and calibre of those that applied who equally graduated from reputable higher institutions.
Likely questions you’ll want to ask:
Is the problem of unemployment in the country so bad that after spending several years to acquire higher education, MBA and PhD degree holders decide to apply for truck drivers job reserved for lesser qualification?
Is the education system so inadequate that the time spent becomes a waste? That students spend years studying a field to graduate with nothing but bookish knowledge inapplicable in real life?
Or has the orientation associated with our system of education so influenced our graduates to believe that the only way to use all that “knowledge” is to get just any job?
You may want to argue that the applicants, in this case, may have plans considering the nature of the job:
“Despite the fact that the drivers get trip allowances on each trip along with their salaries, the arrangement is that they will own the trucks at no interests or repayments after they must have reached 300, 000 kilometres, which is about 140 trips from Lagos to Kano and a hard working driver can complete in two years, while lazy ones can take maximum of four years”, explained Dangote.
If the best strategy an MBA and PhD holder can come up with is to get a Truck driving job advertised for recent graduates, with the hope to own the truck in two years, what happens to the bachelors, HND and no-degree holders?
Issues like this could leave you wondering what the purpose of acquiring all those paper degrees is, without real life experience. A lot of graduates and students have this misconception of, “the more formal education you get, the higher your chances of success”. Or to rephrase, “the more formal education you acquire, the more you deserve success and recognition”. Most graduates make the mistake of believing every formal education should lead to working for a company. But this is only an assumption that is far from existence.
On one hand, you’ll commend the action of above applicants for their decision to go for such jobs, when most of their colleagues with such qualification will rather keep seeking a white collar job than take truck driving job. You need to differentiate your formal education from your true personality.
As a graduates or students, you should start seeing your education as a means to an end, and not an end by itself. And be adaptive and flexible to the economic situation, relying less on that shiny piece of document.