In our contemporary society, societal dictates, parental influence and association tips tend to influence the career choices of young people. Some careers are seen as ‘status boosters’ and a sign of high intelligence. Careers in this classification are equally regarded as the lucrative ones. Some other careers are not regarded as ‘hype’ on status. The mentality is that they lessen status and they do not depict a reasonable level of intelligence. The question is: If some careers are not worth embracing as some of us claim, why do they exist in the first place? One thing we must get straight is that societal demands are not in direct correlation to a person’s calling.
Many people make a choice of career without proper counseling, or they made a choice without an adequate personal conviction. Some are wrongly counseled into making a choice. The good news is that choices made at this phase of people’s lives are mostly not far-fetched from redemption. Because at this phase, your career choice is to go through a nurture, incubation and development process, either in a higher institution or through apprentice in a trade outfit or crafts shop. By the time your career choice reaches its development stage, you’ll know if you’re properly in tune with the choice. If your heart repels certain aspects of the career or a considerable whole of it, then you’ll definitely start to have a re-think. If your heart agrees wholeheartedly with the choice of career on the long run, then in whatever circumstances you made your choice in the first instance, you’ve fallen early enough into your line of calling.
Many people don’t get it right from the start. Or at best, they get it partially right. For example, a lot of people undergo one course of study in the higher institution but they delve into something completely different afterwards. They discover themselves in something else. The journey of self discovery can be long and torturous for many people. Earning a first degree may well serve as a stepping stone.
The educational approach of my society tends to limit the actualization of the all-important self discovery. Our higher institution in recent days tends to promote the ‘cramming’ of knowledge without encouraging creative insight. A student’s intelligence is rated on his ability to be a ‘passive’ duplicator of somebody else’s written knowledge, with his own innovation never to come to bear. The university lecturer, fully aware that we are in a society that places much emphasis on the certificate, sees the exam and his unchallenged authority to wield the red pen as a substantial means to subdue the student as he pleases. The students, not willing to spurn the demands of the society, cower under his influence. It’s only in the case of some deviants who have peculiar views and stand by it. Invariably, students are not acquiring knowledge for the sake of knowledge. They are only complying with the system of things in order to be ‘certificated’. At the end of the day, many may have a good result on paper, but the knowledge acquired is disjointed, incoherent and not up-to-date. They now have a degree that limits them to a mere employee in a society that is in dire need of innovators.
Students that take careers in science require a technical know-how in this field which they can put into practice. But our poor educational infrastructure has no adequate provision for this. It has been said that the educational system of a society should produce three sets of people. They include the professionals, the technologists and the technicians. We place more emphasis on breeding professionals and give less regard to the remaining class of workmen. That’s why we keep formulating excellent policies and have brilliant results from research with our inability to bring about practical implementation and invention. Our low level of industrialization is due to lack of a considerable number of seasoned technologists and technicians.