Although the average student has a dream of being an entrepreneur, there is no doubt that you get this charming air of vigor and vitality when studying a prestigious course especially in a Nigerian university. If you ask the average Nigerian mother what she would love her child to study, she would tell you she wants to be referred to as ‘Mama doctor, Iya Engineer Bode,’ and that tells you how much it means to them that their children get to study a well-known course.
But that’s not the good part, the interesting thing that comes with studying a good course is the enormous opportunities that is shrouded with it like a second skin. I will start by listing them in no particular order and taking you through the reasons they were chosen. Stay with me.
Tell someone you’re studying medicine and watch their mouth open in both shock and admiration. You might even have to remind the person that his mouth is still open. Yes, it is that big. I remember a friend telling me, over a text, that she just gained admission to study medicine at the University of Ibadan. My default reply was ‘Wow’. Now, it doesn’t tell incredibility, it shows respect and admiration and what have you. Getting to study medicine in Nigeria is referred to as Hot Cake. It is so competitive that most people only get to be studying it after their seventh attempt. But then it’s hard to see an unemployed medical doctor, the phrase is almost nonexistent. Maybe I should draw your attention to the fact that their pay is as massive as a breastfeeding woman’s breast.
With an MBBS which means Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, or in Latin: Medicinae Baccalaureus, Baccalaureus Chirurgiae, you can work in a hospital or science institutes or a pharmaceutical company or even own your hospital. There are a whole lot of benefits attached to the degree but if your eyes dilate with fear at the sight of blood or punctured injuries, then you probably should know it isn’t for you. This is because medicine is a career that is driven by service, the zeal to help others no matter what and that is why on completion they take this oath called Hippocratic Oath. It is an oath that compels the doctor to treat lives to the best ability and put lives first too.
But the medical career is one that is tedious, lengthy, requires discipline amongst other things. These things shouldn’t scare you rather the prospect of a safe, stable and rewarding future should fascinate you, it should make every strand of hair on your skin leap for excitement.
The average medical student in Nigeria earn over 500,000 naira for a start, a figure that is definitely expanding over time. Medicine is truly a course to pursue because aside the great social status it bestows on you, it makes you greatly needed outside where you make people happy and live healthier.
Engineering is one of the most lucrative course to study in the world. It is like a quiet king whose reputation has preceded him. The good thing about studying engineering is that, aside the fact that you fall into the oily money of companies, it is a life long career. It is a career that keeps you on, keeps you seeking more knowledge and is fertile to your decision making self. Like medicine, it also makes the eyes freeze in admiration.
I have a friend who works for Shell. He said he started working as a fresh undergraduate and earned 600,000 naira. His zeal to know more made the company send him abroad for further studies and when he came back it was as a new man. I asked him how much he now earns and he says he doesn’t want to injure me with the figures. But in less than six years, he has a mall, a fuel station and his second health center is under construction. He has a house and car of his own. In summary, he is living the dream life. He gets to travel at will, there is bedroom allowance too.
The point is, engineering created a vacuum in him. A vacuum that can only be filled with knowledge. He wasn’t a voracious reader before, he was an insatiable pursuer of knowledge. It all started with engineering. I remember him telling me, ‘abeg na to graduate go work.’ But now, he wants more. And this is what engineering as a career gives you. Although it is as competitive as getting into a morning Lagos bus, its reward is gigantic.
No wonder they say, with engineering you’re made for life.
This is a big, big course. I sometimes regret why I am not a pharmacist but I console myself with the hope that one of my children will tread this path. Pharmacists smell of success. You can’t see a pharmacist and not find a smile spreading across your face. They are just breaths of fresh air.
A degree in pharmacy not only open doors for you to walk into many companies, it also gives you keys to open your own company. It is one of the career that is less stressful upon graduation. You live a life that others only dream of.
But like other professional good courses, it is highly competitive. Most pharmacists live life on their own terms and this is what a degree in pharmacy offers you: self reliance. With pharmacy, life is easy.
The course whose white and black outfit we crane our necks in jealousy to see. They always arrive, in all full glory and you can’t help but wish you were a lawyer. Going through the rigors of being a lawyer can be depressing but thinking of the day when you’re crowned a barrister is enough to make the mountainous path seem like a threshold. But it is a tricky one too as you get to pass through many paths before being handed a license to practice including going to a law school!
The pay although high, isn’t the fuel that drives law student. Ask a law student and they’ll tell you it is in fact the prospect of having never to suffer unemployment or being looked down on is what drives them. A law degree sets many paths clear for you, it affords you the opportunity to dine with the shakers and movers of the world. Imagine defending a president, a senator or even the biggest company in the world. They say lawyers have succeeded in making even the breeze of every nation blow with caution and I couldn’t agree more.
According to a professor, this is one course you should pursue with all that you’ve got. The thing about studying Accounting as a course is how a safe, comfortable and structured future awaits you. You have an excellent prospect of getting a job. ‘These people don’t spend up to six months in the labor market as far as they’re smart,’ the professor had said that day, his voice thick with sincerity. And I couldn’t agree more with him because the world is in dire need of Accountants so they wouldn’t want to see one aimlessly wandering with files clutched beneath his arm.
The good thing is you can work in any company ranging from an oil firm to a bank to a University to just anywhere that promises a bright future. Accounting is just really a course to give your all for. And it is beautiful too, beautiful because of real life applications and international recognition. It is simply irresistible like a sumptuous meal.
Ever heard of a green snake in a green grass? Or a silent killer? Yes or no, just know those sentences describe an Architect. You see them work tirelessly in a studio and you think they are wasting their time. As a matter of fact, they are as independent as a gown. They don’t need anything to complement them.
More interesting is the fact that it’s less competitive here in Nigeria and maybe it’s because we are yet to discover how lucrative it can be. See, being an Architect is more of a lifestyle than a job. The love with which they do the job is selfless and they surge with the wave of hope that they do it well. So aside the money, they also are interested in stamping a good name that will follow them wherever they go like a stubborn fly. It promises an admirable career that is also long and comfortable. Be an Architect, be a boss!
While the doctors take all the accolades for saving a life, the unsung heroes just sit back happily. Nurses are breaths of fresh air and like Architecture, it is also a lifestyle. You hardly hear of an unemployed Nurse. Why be unemployed when you’re an employment yourself? I like to say they’re like butterflies upon blossoms, even.
They find relevance everywhere too: oil firms, hospitals, schools, home care facilities, government agencies and the likes. It is very lucrative as well and largely comfortable. You can get to work at nights or morning, just anytime provided it digests your food (that is, makes you comfortable).
Most nurses I have come across followed this path because of passion. ‘It is refreshing to know you can help people stay healthy,’ one said with a chiseled face beautiful with smiles. One said it is continuous, rewarding and beautiful. Whatever you say is your reason for studying Nursing, it all comes down to one thing: Love. Be a Nurse, be a light that banishes darkness.
All said and done, you shouldn’t have any worries now in making that life changing decision. Selecting a course to be admitted for should be easier. Good luck!
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Post Credits: Joseph Chimezie