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In our last post, dwelt on the need for vocational skulls but in a general scope and largely with graduates as our focus. You should read THE BENEFITS OF VOCATIONAL SKILLS OVER FORMAL EDUCATION if you missed it. In this post, however, we shall streamline our attention to undergrads elucidating how vocational skills and entrepreneurship may benefit them on campus and yes, against popular belief, foster their academics.
Vocational skills may be defined as the functional technical know-how derived from an extensive practical training gotten from an individual, group or institution that can impart such skills. Such training emphasizes skills and training that are required for effective functioning in a certain job.
The acquisition of vocational skills more often than not, implies that a university degree is not required. Depending on the society where students find themselves, there are many a vocational skill they could acquire. A comprehensive list of vocational skills is provided in the National Policy on Education (NPE 7: 46), some of which are mechanical trades, computer craft practice, electrical engineering trades, building trades, wood trades, textile trades and several others.
Entrepreneurship skills may be defined as the knowledge and skill required to convert goods and ideas into profitable commercial ventures. It, however, bothers the conscious mind how much vocational and entrepreneurial opportunities undergraduates bypass largely because they are unconscious of the benefits thereof. Oftentimes, students bare quick to give the excuse that vocational and entrepreneurial activities distract them from their academic pursuits, but nothing could be more misplaced than this belief. The advantages of vocational and entrepreneurial skills, which only a few conscious students enjoy include the following:
- RAISING SUPPORT FUNDS
As a blossoming undergraduate, you sure, do not want to ring home each time you have need for an item, a study material or textbook as the case may be. More so, overdependence on your parents only foregrounds your inability to reason on your own and your lack of preparedness for a financially independent life. As a matter of fact there are times when allowances are not readily forthcoming. Getting a vocational or entrepreneurial skill will bail you out here.
- FOR EXPERIENCE
It is not out of place to undertake vocational activities for the sake of it. No, it does no harm. Just in case you have ‘all sufficient’ sponsors who are able and willing to undertake all your schooling expenses, you may as well take up a vocational skill. No knowledge is a waste!
- FOR THE PURPOSE OF DIVERSIFICATION
Another aspect where undergrads may do themselves lifelong good is to opt for a vocational skill completely worlds apart from their career pursuits. Such skills go a long way to help students should there be any gridlock in their academic or career paths.
- TO DEVELOP THE RIGHT ATTITUDE TO WORK
Admittedly, you should get to the bridge before crossing it, but it sure helps to get prepared before getting to the bridge. Involvement in a vocational or entrepreneurial skill provides students with skills such as discipline, honesty, accountability, objectivity, focus, etc which are all core requirements after graduation.
- TO DEVELOP A SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY
Finally, the feeling of fulfilment and responsibility that goes with effectively functioning in a particular vocational or entrepreneurial skill cannot be matched. Such feeling of fulfilment gives students the confidence required to face life after school fully armed.
As an undergraduate, you must recognise that irrespective of your socioeconomic background, acquiring a vocational or entrepreneurial skill keeps you on the edge. Go get a skill!