Certificates Vs Experience


Hello Beautiful Readers,

On this one, I’m craving your indulgence on the subject matter. A worried reader wrote to me about this question on the minds of numerous youths. Those who have come along way through various walls of learning only to discover that there is still more too learn.

She wrote thus:

Dear MrProlifeeq,                              

Although,I’ve been following your blog (the few posts you find time to post,that is), I hardly comment, so  I’d like to say, good job so far.

I’m kinda confused about a particular area in career advancement and I’ll appreciate it if you could share this with your readers.          

Should one gather as many qualifications as possible before getting a job? Or is it better to wait till there’s a job before getting needed and relevant qualifications?

This has been on my mind since the Dangote truck drivers saga and I would love to hear/see people’s views on it.


Please make contributions. You just might be saving a generation!


About mrprolifeeq

This is the official blog of Ogundemuren Adetunji (aka MrProlifeeq) and his enthusiasts; where he will share personal views and takes on general and diverse themes. A proud Nigerian who holds a Bachelors’ degree in Accounting from the Lagos State University and an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. MrProlifeeq is a poet and a lover of the simple things of life and with his modest command of the English and Yorùbá languages, he will share his thoughts in a manner that will bring to life, a variety of angles to several issues already considered cliché. MrProlifeeq enjoys family moments, the scrabble game, singing, playing musical instruments and writing songs. To contact MrProlifeeq, send a mail to adetunjidemuren@yahoo.co.uk. Other websites include; www.facebook.com/detunjidemuren www.twitter.com/mrprolifeeq www.allpoetry.com/demuren Enjoy the blogging side of me!

Posted on January 16, 2013, in Let's Talk About It and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Ok. Mr. Prolifeeq, I must commend you for setting out to help a genuinely confused reader. The subject is quite straight forward. You will soon realize the great nuisance of certificates when you realize some of the things Masters Degree Holders are forced to settle for in this kind of environment where mediocrity is the standard and people are praised and rewarded not for the excellence, nobility or novelty of their ideas and practices, but for the depth and deposit of ignorance in their locale that makes even an average performance become celebrated. The Golden Rule is…what ever your hands finds to do, do it with all your heart and all your might. Once you have a level of education that allows you to work at all in the first place, then you only need to obey the golden rule and every other thing will fall in place. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg were drop outs from school, but check out where they are now. Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, etc didn’t even go at all. Plato, Jesus Christ, Socrates etc. What certificates did they have and today we are still studying their wisdom and greatness. The first person to ever certify anyone in the world, have you ever asked, who certified him? If you ponder well on the above answers, you will be able to interpret your reality better. The common fibre amongst all the people I mentioned is Continuous Learning. Even if you do not have a single certificate, with Continuous Learning you will get to wherever you want to get to. Let me refresh your mind again, where you are now. Work or do what you do with all your heart and might and relevance will meet you there.

  2. 'jesus pays' Olabode

    First things first: the acquisition of certain certificates/qualifications should be proof that you are skilled/empowered to solve certain problems, meet certain needs & provide certain solutions to rising challenges. If this is still true, then by all means get as many as you can.
    Any Job opening is a call for someone who can help such organization achieve success in specific areas where they have a need. They need someone who already has a certain skill set or at least the fundamental requirement to allow for training in that field. If this is also still true, it means no company should employ an un-certified ignoramus.
    Having said that, the choice of which comes first should be clear (in an ideal environment though). If u wait till u face a battle before you learn how to shoot a gun, am sure it will be too late then. I believe that the skill set should come first, then we look for needs/problems/challenges in that area to conquer.

  3. famakinde Oluwafunke

    Hmmmm…Recently i had a similar conversation with a friend regarding this same issue. Certificates and Experience are very important in present day Nigeria if you must get a ‎​good job.

    Your Bachelors degree is the first thing that should qualify you for getting a job as a recent graduate. But we all know that getting a ‎​good job in Nigeria is not beans (not easy) at all. In most cases graduates either end up getting a very unsatisfying job or remain jobless while waiting for that dream job. Trust me, before you can get that dream job, you must have a reasonable job experience and lots of certificates( added advantage.)
    You can’t make a choice between Certificates and Experience, rather you have to strike a balance between the two.
    1. After graduating from school, accept whatever job offer you get( after considering the salary after transport and feeding).
    2. While you’re on the job, you can start preparing for professional examinations and start acquiring addittional certificates.
    (*btw, if you are still an undergraduate, it is advisable for you to start writing professional examinations)
    3.Eventually you won’t be losing out on experience and certificates.

    i am not a career counsellor but i hope i have been able to help.

  4. During my orientation for specialization in January 2007, I was told that whatever I would have learnt in my first year would have become obsolete by the time I graduate. Today VB.net has been replaced by C sharp(C#). It’s good toi learn but the truth that employers have come to know is that there is what you have learned in school and there is real life.

    I was talking to a sister-in-law a couple of years back, she holds a high position in the organization she works for. She needed an assistant and when she requested that the applications be solved, she said she had to give first preference to someone who already had knowledge of what needs to be done. In a situation whereby you’re a starter or “entry level” applicant, you may need to have extended qualifications to have an edge but when it comes to positions that are further than that, experience will pull you through easily.

    I studied Business Informatics and Applications and I’ve been working as a Database developer and software implementer, I have NO plans whatsoever to do masters now, or in the future just for the mere fact that it will hardly help in my career. Luckily for me, I’m not in Nigeria as I know masters have become the minimum qualification for job seekers.

    In summary, what I’m saying is, understand your environment, be knowledgeable of what works and what doesnt and the position you’re seeking to fill.

    Good luck!

  5. Famakinde Oluwafunke (the 3rd person that droped comment) just expressed my mind abt this issue of certificate and experience.Her approach for me is the best.One should always strike a balance btw the two.Let us take for instance a person who went for his MBA immediately after first degree (full-time basis),the issue at the end of the day after his/her successful conclusion will be lack of experience to get the dream and suiting type of job.So also a person who just settled with OND and didn’t bother to futher might not be eligible to apply for some type of jobs even if he or she has gathered much experience.So its a pure case of balancing both experience and Certificate.However in my own opinion,instead of being idle while waiting for that dream job,if the resources are available one shouldn’t relent in acquiring higher qualifications bcos we don’t know what oppurtunity the future will bring,……

  6. Ifeanyichukwu Thompson Igbokwe

    Dear Mr Prolifeeq, am a first time reader on your blog and am privileged and glad to share a word of thought in this mind bugging and thought provoking topic.
    Looking at it in two ways; the world’s way and the WORD’s way! The world’s way demands certificates while the WORD’s way looks at experience. The young shepherd boy David told king Saul, I have killed a lion and a bear therefore, by the POWER of the MOST HIGH I will kill this giant.
    In the Book of books (Bible), Men like the patriachs, Joseph, Moses, even our greatest mentor Jesus Christ were all short of certificates. Also, Einstein, Gates just to mention a few.
    In conclusion, “Diligence is man’s precious possession”, on a personal note I would say EXPERIENCE counts!

  7. all welll said…..one thing i wish i did and took serious was to enrol for my masters immediately after school. the truth is most ppl get to relent after they get that dream job and as a matter of fact the time seems not to be available at that point. so if the resource is available go ahead with ur exams while on the look out for the job it also helps you to keep abreast of things and your brain is also very sharp when u get the job. unlike just staying at home whiling away time cos time wasted can also not be regained again.

  8. Certificate, Experience: let us endeavour to keep our focus on the “enquirer’s” question: Should one gather as many qualifications as possible before getting a job? Or is it better to wait till there’s a job before getting needed and relevant qualifications? I consider these outlooks as extremes. You may not have to gather all the qualifications in the world before you get your dream job but you might require a basic qualification for the job you desire, depending on what it is. As a matter of fact, there could be occasions when you might have to step down some of your qualifications in order to get WHAT YOU WANT. Have you taken the time to consider the motive behind the turnout at Dangote’s job offer. Is that the only opening for drivers in recent times? How many graduates applied for the others? Sometimes, the incentive outweighs the job title. There is a basic requirement for any position and the fact remains that as bleak as we might want to think Nigerian situation is, we have our Bill Gates who opted for more practical existence and ended up employing people that are highly schooled even though they themselves started off with a certificate less than OND.The fact remains that: 1. every employment has a basic requirement attached to it; 2. Experience would provide an hedge in certain circumstances; 3. You may have to pay some price to get the basic experience: like offering to do vacation job for free in related establishment.4. Employers now know that some graduates with 1st class cannot even raise a memo, you need to develop yourself and be marketable. What am I saying? Certificate is useful, experience is needful; BALANCE is of utmost importance.

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