Is It All About Academic Qualification?

23 18

Does success in life depend on one’s educational background? Is it not surprising how we have suddenly shifted our gaze from what matters most to what is not too important. Isn’t it sad that people are now employed based on their university degrees and not their ability to deliver? Isn’t it surprising how we have allowed people keep us at a standstill simply because we have no formal education or university certificate to flaunt?

“A university is important in being successful, but it is never a priority for achieving success,” says Stephanie Attahiru. Education is very important and come to think of it, we all are educated in one way or the other. The only difference is the setting under which we acquire whatever knowledge we have. Education is a continuous process and it takes place wherever you are.

People start getting education right from the moment they are born and this does not stop until one goes down the grave. Education, as we all know, can be formal as well as informal and both help to shape us up to what we should be. The problem with us and our economy is that we have shifted completely from a place where vocational skills and natural intelligence are appreciated to a place where all that matters is some university certificate; how it is acquired doesn’t matter.

There are stories of exam malpractices and a drop in the quality of education. Exam results are getting worse by the day and we keep looking for solutions where there is none. What do we expect from a nation whose education directors and ministers could have reached where they are by some crooked means? What do we expect in a nation where all that matters is what you have on your certificate and not your head?

Children play a lot of games just to get into the university. Girls sleep with lecturers who are old enough to be their fathers just because they must get into the university. Parents even assist their wards in buying their way through. Isn’t it surprising how some shameless parents pay for their children to obtain good grades in JAMB and SSCE? Some special centres exist just for exam malpractices and all sorts.

All these are happening because we have succeeded in telling the children that all they need to make it in life is a university degree. Corporate organisations no longer employ HND holders just because they want to be identified with some degree wrongly acquired. Our polytechnics are gradually being converted to universities and we fold our hands doing nothing.

You shouldn’t be brainwashed into believing you are a failure just because you didn’t pass through the university. There are very successful people I know in life who didn’t go through the university or who were drop-outs. Look around you and you can see that many successful men and women never had the opportunity of a university education.

How many degrees does the chairman of Coscharis Motors have? How many degrees does Innoson Motors have? How many degrees does Dangote have? How many degrees did Steve Jobs acquire in his lifetime? What about Bill Gates and Mark Zukerberg? Success is a thing of the mind and you are the only one who has the right to call yourself a failure.

That you earn more than a person without a degree doesn’t make you more successful. You can earn all the billions in this world with people singing your praise all over the world, but the fact is that right within, you know you are not successful.

Many successful entrepreneurs have become millionaires through hard work and great common sense. It is a fact that we have professors working for and depending on those “illiterates” for a living? Our youths are educated to be employed and never to become employers of labour. We speak all the grammar and move about town with all the PhDs while those we see as uneducated are out there doing exploits.

Our parents are also not helping matters. We all want to become parents of medical doctors, lawyers, bankers, and engineers. We force our children to become, not what they want to become, but what we want them to become. I have a friend who was forced by his father to follow his footsteps by going for mathematics in the university. The guy was very good in mathematics, but never had a flair for it. He had to obey the father and did mathematics for three years only to sit for JAMB again after which he was admitted for Architecture. Today, he is a very fulfilled and successful architect.

When you are in the wrong place, it doesn’t matter how much you earn, you are not successful until you identify your calling in life. I remember when I left my corporate affairs job; several mouth-watering offers came from friends. I was told by people to take up those good jobs in oil companies and financial institutions. But because I know what I am here on earth for, I refused to let those goodies get my eyes off the goal. I left my job because I wasn’t fulfilled in it even though I was the boss, but that’s not where I should be. Now I am in my place of calling and I am enjoying every bit of it, touching lives for good.

When you find yourself in your place of calling, you may not necessarily make money instantly, but money comes only when you persevere. You can get all the promotions in this life with your numerous degrees, but if you are not in your place of calling, you will still not be fulfilled.

I tell people that academic intelligence is good, but never to be compared with God given natural intelligence. You should ask God for that divine wisdom and intelligence because that is the only thing that can make a difference. I am not a medical doctor (though I wanted to be one), but I help many people when it comes to health issues. I have not been trained as a beauty therapist, but I have so much knowledge of it that those in it may not have. I am not a trained journalist, but I write as a hobby and I see lives being touched by my articles. Everything in this life is about your calling and passion; this is the only way to your fulfilment in life.

You are not a failure because you had no opportunity to go to university. You are not failing because your father didn’t leave you with enough properties to start on. I always tell people to stop giving excuses in life or blaming others for their failure. The only thing I gained from my father is a godly foundation and that has kept me strong. I remember when I was locked out of my home and I had to sleep on a bare floor for some days before moving in to a friend’s place.

I remember all the insults and negative words I received from friends who were enemies in disguise. Negative words and false publications against me would have ruined me forever if I had allowed them to (I almost did), but thank God for some good friends around me who were able to speak some positive words into me; my life came back to me. Today, I am more than fulfilled and happy because I did not allow my situation to pull me down. You may be in that same position today and you feel all hope is gone; you can still make it. I told someone who recently lost his job to begin to see himself as a boss and work towards it. A woman, who was living in a one bedroom apartment built on top of a sewage pit, was given a letter of ejection. When she came to me, I told her to look for a better place. She saw it as a joke, but after working on her mind-set, that poverty mentality left her and today, this woman lives in a three bedroom flat.

The fact is that you are what you think you are. If you think you are a landlord, you will be someday. If you stop your mind from thinking negatives about you and dedicate your time to some positive thoughts, you will surely make it. I also know that successful people don’t spend their time talking about others, but issues. If you want to be successful spend no time talking about people and if you must talk about them, let it be for something beneficial to you and the society.

If your father failed to send you to school, work hard and model your life after those millionaires who had no formal education, but are successful entrepreneurs today. Take a decision that your children must go to school and the best schools in the world. I was challenged by what my driver once told me; he said he has to work hard and do all he can to send his own children to school to avoid them being in the same position he is today.

If you are a victim of poverty, you must get up and fight poverty with everything in you. If you are one of those who went to school and had no food to eat on return, you should work hard to be able to feed those little children who go to school on empty stomach. I have always seen myself as a change agent for whatever I go through in life. I cannot live and die just like that without making impact.

Remember, success is not about the number of degrees you have or the salary you earn. Success is about you living your purpose on earth and finding inner satisfaction in it. Success is about the number of lives you are able to affect in your generation. You can agree with me now that university education does not make you successful; it helps you see the world better, but is never a guarantee for success.


  1. RASAQ

    This is absolutely true, an undiluted fact of life, it will definitely change the mindset of whoever read it, whether educated or illiterate, each and everyone of us must begin to see the reality of life through this write-up and stop laying unnecessary emphasis on University education (though it is essential for success), after all, it is not all the successful people in life that passed through University, let’s begin to see ourselves as successful individuals and work towards achieving whatever we are destined to achieve in life. Amara, keep up the good work, you are a fantastic person!!!

  2. david!

    Are you guys serious! yes God’s given talent and endowment is the best but how many people on earth can you categorically say know what their talents are not to talk of making them successful! i live in the UK where its about one qualification or the other and also work experience! i believe this world and economy is going to a place where without education it is going to become hard to get a job not to talk to saving to start your own business! come to think of even if you want to start a business, how do you raise the funds. banks are not lending cos small and medium enterprises are considered risky! there is no doubt that your talent can make room for you but a strong education background can also make you successful ! I’m not talking about a degree qualification now but professionals i.e Acca, Cima Cfa, Cisco, Oracle, MBAs just to mention a few! this are courses that lifts you to the pinacle of your career! you might not agree with me though!

  3. Kehinde

    Good write up very inspired artcle keep it up ma God will renew your strength in Jesus name. Please can i have your phone number to have a chat with you on personal issue?. Thank you and God bless

  4. Rose

    Congratulations Aunty Amara on your recent post of Head Media Relations Unit of Africa Entrepreneurship AID, i am an avid reader of your colum and would like to have your phone contact to discuss some private issue. i look forward to your reply. many thanks

  5. XSOUL


  6. Kamal

    I read your article and shed tears, a nice, wonderful and truly inspirational words especially for us looking for white collar jobs, well done

  7. Mike

    Extremely impressive and highly inspirational article. How i wish all Nigerians could keep abreast with Amara’s numerous articles. Oh dear, you are a blessing to this generation. Ride on!

  8. Idoko

    God bless you madam Amara

  9. Nsiegbe

    Please consider putting all your works in a book form. It will be a bestseller. Maybe, in volumes. God bless you!

  10. Timothy Ola

    Learning is leaving. Either we like it or not, nothing can be compare with education. The fact that our society is faulty does not mean university education is not good. In a well sanities society, you will discover that there is no way anyone can buy him or herself through education. Those successful people you mention were able to succeed because they were being surrounded by educated people. No matter how discoveries we are, education will speed up the success. Compare other society with ours, education impacted those societies. We can only apply wisdom or intelligent if there is accusation of knowledge. What you don’t know you can not apply and this is different from common sense. Let encourage everyone to be educated. Whatever thing one is doing and is educated, the person will do it better.

  11. ayo

    I have stopped reading your write-ups, simply because of the quick succession they are churned out.With all due respect,some were not well thought out,but this piece has,once again,made me a reader and a fan. Kudos!


    Madam Amara, Bible said that he/she that watereth shall be watered, may the Almighty God water you and your family back. Weldone!

  13. JudeHassan

    Nice write up., very inspirational. Welldone

  14. Cindy

    Thank you for this mind blowing write up. This inspiration can only be from God! Do keep it up Darling

  15. Apata Philips

    Lady Amara!!! It is always good to read your articles for the week. Through your write-up,you open minds of fibble and transform the weak ones to be strong.It’s another aspect of grooming(I call it Mind Grooming)and any area of life you decide to write about, is going out there to change someone’s life for better. With the inspirations i’m getting from your papper work,one day i shall have a space to present my regular articles to touch people’s life for good on the pages of our widly read newspappers.Lady Amara!!! May God continue to make flow the fountain of your wisdom to write. NOTHING TO CRITICISE, IT’S INSPIRATIONAL.

  16. Oluchi

    Amara, u are truely a genius, welldone

  17. Iyke Onyebuenyi

    Amara, I totally agree with ur view points. Keep it up.

  18. Agborandun

    Amara you are too much. I love your wite-ups. Keep it up. Be blessed

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