As an education and career website, we often get inquiries from students who need advice on courses of study to pursue in the university.
Most of them usually ask for the popular courses. Actually, in Nigeria today, course of study hardly matters again, except in few specialist cases.
Here, JarusHub editors have compiled the list of good courses students tend to underrate. Their admission requirements are not usually stiff and most of them are available in many schools. Prospective undergraduates, especially average students, should consider them.
Two years ago, one student reader of JarusHub sent us an email saying he was ashamed of telling people he was studying Sociology. He was desperate to cross over to Economics. We advised him to continue with Sociology and study hard to be exceptional in it. He came back two years later to say our advice turned out to be a life changer as he made a first class in Sociology. Being deficient in Mathematics, he might not have made a first class in Economics. Most companies lump Economics together with other Social Sciences courses in their requirement specification. What that means is that, anytime a vacancy is advertised for Social Sciences graduates, his first class degree in Sociology would earn him shortlisting before someone with second class upper in economics. What a short cut! If you make a 2.1 in Sociology, you are likely going to be better off in the job market than someone with 2.2 in “more respected” courses like economics.
2. Political Science
We think Political Science is a little tougher than Sociology, but if you are good in reading long texts and writing and telling stories, you may consider Political Science. For Economics, you need to be at least average in mathematics to do well. You don’t need that for Political Science. So if you are not sure of yourself in Economics, just go for Political Science, which is less competitive, for admission at least. If you do well there, you stand better employment chances post-school, to someone who “forced” themselves to study “economics” just to be seen to be doing socially acceptable course. A 2.1 is Political Science is better than a 2.2 in Economics.
Philosophy as a course hardly has tough admission requirements, at least compared to Law. Philosophy as a course improves your critical reasoning. It also improves your argumentative skills. If you do well as a Philosophy student, you should not struggle much in the labour market. You could apply for job in journalism, in international relations, and many other fields.
A good number of students that find themselves studying languages in Nigeria, especially English and French, actually applied for Law and were only offered the courses because they couldn’t meet the admission requirements for Law. Well, as an English or French graduate, you could fit into many roles. You could compete with Mass Communication and Journalism graduates for journalism job. If you are a French graduate, you could even consider opportunities outside the shores of Nigeria. If you find a job in say a bank, you stand a higher chance of being considered when international opportunities arise because of the fact that you have multi-lingual background. After all, English proficiency is already by default.
5. Hospitality and Tourism Management
Hospitality and tourism sector is growing in Nigeria. Not many people have the specialized skills. With a degree in such hardly popular course, you could a chance of early mover advantage. Whether advertised or not advertised, you could write to 30 hotels, with good cover letters, and sell yourself. After all, you have an uncommon degree that is relevant to them. You are not likely to be turned down in all.
6. Physical & Health Education
Sport industry is growing in Nigeria. More and more people in the middle to upper class are paying attention to fitness. Professional fitness coaches are still low in supply what we have are emergency fitness coaches. Sport-based businesses – from astro turf to gym centers to health clubs to even standard sports centers – are opening on weekly basis. As a professional Physical and Health educator, you stand a chance of employment in this emerging industry.
Graduates of Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics can apply for a good number of job openings that engineering graduates apply for. You come head to head with them for a number of vacancies, even in the oil and gas industry. The first indigenous MD of Shell, Basil Omiyi, studied Chemistry as a matter of fact. A good number of graduates of these courses work in the oil and gas industry. You spend 4 years in the university and compete for same jobs with the graduate that spent 5 years. 5 for the price of 4. So don’t panic when you are offered chemistry instead of chemical engineering or physics instead of mechanical engineering.
In an era where many companies don’t care about your course of study, if offered a course in Education, just do it diligently and make a good grade. You can actually apply for same job as graduates of same course without Education. A 2.1 Economics Education graduate is likely going to be invited for same job vacancy as someone that studied Economics (Social Sciences). Many graduates of Education courses work in banks, consulting firms etc. On top of that, you have a broader option as you are a first choice for teaching jobs – even if temporary instead of being idle – provided you are able to prove that you are as good as the guy that did same course without B.ED
9. Public Health
This branch of Medicine is a silent money and network spinner. It deals with prevention of diseases. Many international organizations and research organizations are pumping money into Nigeria for this. Good money, sometimes in dollar. If you studied medicine at undergraduate level, you may want to consider specialization of Public Health at Master’s.
Every health organization needs nurses. Nurses may not earn the mouth-watering salaries of the doctors, but they are hardly out of job. Less rigorous training compared to Medicine. Less years in school. You may even just have to go to School of Nursing, rather than conventional university.
So, there you have it. Don’t set your eyes on the big name courses only.