International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Graduate Turnout and Graduate Employment in Nigeria

The issue of graduate unemployment in Nigeria has become a national concern as the unemployed youths tend to be more anxious, depressed and unhappy with their attendant sleeplessness than those with jobs. This situation has not only posed a great challenge to the economy but also retarded the economic growth of the country. The graduate unemployment in Nigeria is attributable to the fact that employees’ education and skills acquired are inadequate to meet the demands of modern day jobs. This issue has become a phenomenal topic of discourse across professional gatherings in media and commentary reviews, employer surveys, national economic debates, social networks and employee forums. This study, however, analyzed the extent of the mismatch between graduate turnout vis-a-vis their skills and graduate employment in Nigeria. The study found that graduate turnout outpaced the graduate employment rate over the years in Nigeria. The total graduate unemployment rate increased from 25.6 percent in the year 2003 to 40.3 percent as at March, 2009. The increase in the graduate unemployment rate was largely attributed to the mismatch between graduate employee skills and those skills required for performance in the modern workplace. The study also found that inadequate technical knowledge, deficient English proficiency and lack of critical thinking on the part of graduate employees coupled with high technological drive of most organizations in response to tougher competition in the competitive markets are the factors responsible for graduate unemployment in Nigeria. The study therefore recommended that the issue of mismatch between graduate turnout vis a vis their skills and graduate employment should be seriously addressed by taking a three-dimensional approach that involves the tertiary institutions, the government, and the labour market. The tertiary institutions in collaboration with the government and the labour market should plan their curriculum in such a way that employable skills that match up to the requirement of jobs in the present day workplace are inculcated into students while undergoing their courses of studies.

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