BusinessDay
Nigeria's leading finance and market intelligence news report.

Covenant, UNN, FUT Minna, Ilorin, UI top most preferred graduates by employers

Graduates from Covenant University have come tops as the most preferred graduates in the Nigerian labour market, The Nigerian Graduate Report 2018, prepared by Stutern in partnership with budgiT and Jobberman has shown.
The report identified Graduates from Covenant University, Otta Ogun State as the most preferred candidates by employers such as KPMG, Andela, Shell, PWC, Chevron, Civil Service, Dangote, Deloitte, Access Bank and ExxonMobil.
Also, University of Nigeria Nsukka; University of Ibadan; Federal University of Technology, Minna; University of Ilorin; Bowen University; Obafemi Awolowo University; University of Benin; Lagos State University and University of Lagos make up the top ten universities employers recruit from to boost their human capital.
The Stutern’s Nigerian Graduates Report also indicated that the best institution for return on investment is University of Ilorin which retained the first position from previous edition.
“A student from this school can earn their total tuition fee more than 13 times in their first year of full-time paid employment. The best value institutions comprise of 13 federal universities, five state universities, one private university and one federal polytechnic”, the report indicated.
The report also indicates that KPMG tops the list of employers that offers the best opportunities for graduates. Companies in the top ten includes; Andela, Shell, PWC, Chevron, Civil Service, Dangote, Deloitte, Access Bank and ExxonMobil.
Chinedu Duru, a human resource professional who spoke to BusinessDay explained that the top employers look for talents that have the ability to express themselves coherently and adequately both in writing and speaking.
Duru said that private institution such as Covenant University is taking the lead in applying the core principles of university which is to build capacity for the emerging markets.
Analysis of the highest paying industries from the report shows that for first job opportunities, Oil & Gas industry, Logistics/Transportation and Banking and Finance are the top three sectors that offer the best pay in the country. These industries have the highest respondents earning N200,000 and more. Healthcare, Telecommunications, Agriculture/fishing/poultry offered the least paying first jobs.
The education industry employs majority of recent graduates during their first or subsequent jobs. According to the report, “The industries that experienced the most increase in the number of recent graduates upon a switch are media, technology and healthcare sectors. The industries that were most stable (no rapid fall or rise) includes agriculture, transportation and consulting industry”.
In terms of most employed graduate courses, Medicine, Library and Information Science, and Marketing are tops. From the survey, 47.58 percent of recent graduates studied the top twenty courses listed.
The report also shows that three out of five (about 60%) of Nigerian graduates earn less than 50,000 ($139) as their first job monthly salary. Upon getting a later job, that number falls to two out of five (a little above 40%). Overall, most recent graduates earn between N20, 000 to N49, 999 ($56 to $139) in their first job after graduation while for their later job salary, most earn between N50, 000 to N99, 999 ($139 – $278).
Speaking on the top ranking for his university, Aderemi Aaron-Anthony Atayero, vice-chancellor, Covenant University told BusinessDay that the vision of the University is raising a new generation of leaders.
He said that Covenant University has been set up as academic enterprise and that the “best students and faculty are drawn to the University by the allure of being part of a compelling intellectual and creative enterprise; a community of scholars characterised by collaboration, innovation, and qualitative training in our various fields of expertise.”
The report also showed that graduates surveyed believed that their academic experience prepared them more for further studies (86.8% of respondents) than for employment (69.4% of respondents). Although, 69.4% of these graduates concluded that their education prepared them for employment, only 28.6% of employers believed so.
“More than 50 percent of the graduates responded that their education did not prepare them with skills such as the practical skills of the courses studied, spoken communication skills, written communication skills and the ability to solve complex problems”, the report indicated.
Other key findings of the report include the fact that ‘unemployment is gender biased as female graduates suffer the most.’ Also less than 10% of graduates studied the 10 most employed graduate courses.
The report, which is based on a survey of 5,219 graduates who left school within the last five years (2013-2017) also showed that “majority of graduates who completed their studies within the last five years are currently unemployed (28.9%), while 26.3% are working in a full time paid employment. About 1 in 6 respondents (16%) reported that they are observing the one-year mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program. While 13.4% are practicing entrepreneurship, freelance and other self-employment activities, 8% are involved in voluntary and other unpaid employment. The remaining 7.2% are engaged or preparing for further studies.” The highest unemployment levels were found among OND holders while the least was found among PHD holders. Those with masters and MBA had the most chance of being in full time employment. Those with MBA also earned the best salaries. Another interesting finding from the report was the fact that 42.19% of graduate got their jobs through ‘personal contacts.’
The Nigerian Graduates Report, which is in its second edition, according to the authors “offers new insights on the country’s employment environment and highlights notable issues that surround employability, especially among the youths.”
The authors are hoping that the report improves   the efficiency of efforts in the education system towards improving the stock of human capital in the country and help shape the strategies of a diverse range of stakeholders, including employers in search for talent, job-seekers looking for gainful employment, and state actors in designing effective policies. Despite its huge youthful population, the Nigerian educational systems is largely regarded as being highly inadequate in preparing its youths for a fast changing world.

KELECHI EWUZIE

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