In their aspirations to secure a lucrative employment when they eventually graduate, many undergraduates believe that acquiring a first class degree presents the best platform to attain this height. Some go ahead to delude themselves into thinking that their rise to success and stardom in their career begins with their graduation ceremony as first class graduands. This belief is rather unfounded and delusive, and it cannot be put in a better way. Notwithstanding, it is necessary to state that getting a first class degree is a commendable feat that many students find difficult or impossible to achieve. This, however, does not translate as indispensability of a first class degree in the labour market because quite ironically, the degree is one of the least factors put into consideration by employers in the modern day world.
Very recently, a local bank in need of a front-liner released its application requirements as “age not more than 24, graduation from a federal university and with a second class lower degree (2. 2)” with a strong emphasis on the clause that second class upper and first class degrees are not needed! Yet, this is just one of the many cases that testify to the realities in the labour world. Truth be told, employers are not interested in degrees that might have been gotten from intensive memorisation or ill-gotten grades. They are rather interested in practical skills, viable qualities and marketable experiences that will benefit their companies or organizations.
In lieu of the frantic chase for a first class degree, students could avail themselves of the tons of opportunities available to them while in school and develop employable skills that graduate recruiters are on the look out for. Such skills include, but are not limited to:
- COMMUNICATION SKILLS
It does not hit one as a big surprise anymore to hear that certain graduates cannot communicate effectively. A graduate who wishes to be considered for employment must at least be fairly proficient in the four aspects of communication: speaking, listening reading and writing.
- CONFIDENCE AND ABILITY TO WORK UNDER PRESSURE
As a considerable job applicant, you must portray confidence and trust in your own abilities. You must not shy away from your weaknesses, but must reflect the desire to improve and harness your shortcomings for the betterment of the company. It is the lack of confidence that forces most applicants to tell lies before their interviewers or load their CVs with qualities they do not possess and thereafter fail to perform to expectation.
- ABILITY TO UTILIZE TECHNOLOGY
With the rapid glide towards an all-technology world, it is nearly impossible for individuals without knowledge of technology to acquire a job of their interests or placement. You must have a range of basic computer skills and be able to harness technology effectively in your field and as well be open to new ICT skills.
- SELF MANAGEMENT AND TEAMWORK
No modern day company wants to employ a graduate that would have to be shown every step to take in the discharge of his/her duties. Your employer assumes that you are well versed in your field and leaves you with little or no guidance or supervision. More so, you must be able to tolerate and work productively with others without losing out on your own visions, ideas and initiatives. Your CV must convince your employer of these promises.
In line with the foregoing, undergraduates must reconcile with the fact that only those with the aforementioned skills or more hold all the aces in the highly competitive modern labour world and not necessarily the first class holders!