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Adédèjì Olówè: Certifications Broke My Heart



dreamstime_l_52137818Nigerians are funny people.  Everyone wants a shortcut to success. For those without the liver to ‘do Yahoo’ or go into politics, sing or act in Nollywood, the obvious choice is having a professional career. I mean a career in just anything… as long it guarantees a chance to impress Baba Nkechi, the neighbor.

I recently went on a rant of how having an extra degree has been mostly fraught with disappointments but I’m not yet done yet.

Will getting certifications or professional qualifications provide my career with a needed boost?

My naïve family and friends think so; and in fact, they feel it’s a “sure banker” strategy.

Let’s talk about it.

Certification and professional exams come in different shapes and sizes. Sexy and luring, boring and deflating. I’m making a half-hearted attempt to categorize them my way. In general it depends on what miserable career you are trying to enhance.

The Compulsory Certifications
Some careers where you can practically kill someone else, such as medicine, pharmacy, etc., are more regulated than nuns in a nunnery. These certifications come under my rant, because they are compulsorily required – else you won’t be allowed to do anything. For example a lawyer trying to practice without law school degree is flirting with going to jail; the only time you can be allowed to sell drugs without a pharmaceutical certification is when you are a drug dealer. That itself, will get your head missing in Indonesia.

The Computer Certifications
Nigeria welcomed the 1990s with a slew of computer schools – the corner street panacea to everything needed for a modern career. Everyone rushed to do computer education with dubious diplomas but the racket didn’t last for long because did it help build any career except for the account balances of the patrons.

But computer certifications won’t just die easily. It upgraded itself and became the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MSCE). For the first time we had something that if you had, it briefly guaranteed you to be god’s cousin. It actually helped careers… before the charlatans were discovered. MCSE cost one hand and two legs and people got jobs in droves. I remember the wistful way I used to look at Solix Technologies adverts then. Solix’s a story for another day. Then everybody I knew got on the MCSE train and it stopped being fun.

We moved on to other things.

Oracle certifications glowed briefly. Novell tried for just a few days before it became dead on departure. Cisco seems to have had the best outing so far. The CCNA was easy to get on, with the promises of a good career as a network administrator. CCIE has been adjudged as visa to career heaven, wherever that is. But once you got on it, you discover that heaven is more of a personal thing. You get me?

I spend dearly every year for my Chartered Fellowship with British Computer Society. 6 years down the line, I’m still trying to justify it. It looks good on my LinkedIn profile though.

The Project Management Certifications
PMP came with a bang, followed by its cousin, Prince2. The myth of project management as a job or career was created by Nigerians who trooped to the UK on the HSMP programs, got there and couldn’t find gold on the streets of London. Hey, don’t crucify me yet! That’s the rumor I heard. I can’t be sure it’s true. Someone confirm for me.

Project Management meant many things.

OK, I was also on the PMP and Prince 2 trains. I did them to show that I’m also smart. I found out I was stupid, as it never did anything for me. I mean nothing!

Quite a number of friends, relatives and even family members did these certifications with a hope that their lives and careers would take a sudden change for the better. It never happened.

The Dead Ass Certifications
How people started doing HR certifications baffles me. I mean HR guys are usually miserable people who endure thousands of emails from jobseekers expecting them to perform miracles, find work and pull promotions out of thin air? They are a fantastic bunch but if you don’t want to become a lecturer in Nigeria despite respecting your uncle that’s a professor, don’t do HR certifications also.

I’m sorry if you did ICAN or ACCA with hope that being an accountant means anything, you need your head examined. The accounting work has been largely automated with fancy software. When last did you see a job vacancy for accountants? How many of your cousins with accounting degrees are accountants?

The Glory Certifications
If you can pass the CFA, a big IF, you deserve everything you think you deserve. Mostly nothing at times. CFA takes about 3 years to pass alongside 1,000,000 liters of coffee and stubby fingers where the nails have been eaten off and hopefully you get a good job when you are done. The only one person with CFA that I know whose life changed for the better because of this qualification was one dude who got moved from dead ass role to live ass investor relation job because he has CFA. The job itself doesn’t require CFA.

My Diatribe Against Certifications
Certifications, through the empty promises of improved career and super fly lifestyles provided by “armed robber” salaries, never came! I could have spent the tiny I had on beer and at least forgotten my sorrows for a while. Instead I slaved nights, read dumps, went to boring classes and got shafted.

I was intellectually raped.

And I wasn’t alone. I, being a very nice dude and a gentleman, am asking this question today: can certifications turn your career around or provide a needed leverage?

My humble assessment, if you bother to ask me, is no! I know some people have made it because of the few wonky certifications. I know a lot of people who have been “healed” in churches too; but hey, we both know where you go when malaria shakes you and rattles your bones.

You may want to read the following carefully.

Too many people are certified, and if you paid attention in your economics class, you would know that demand and supply wreck havoc to the most beautiful things. Once everyone has PMP, your project management certificate means nothing. Don’t even mention Prince2. I don’t know what else you can do with it apart from using it to craft paper kites.

If it was that good, someone would have put a gate on it. You want to do PLAB to be a doctor in the UK and earn good money? Trust me there is at least 7 years of extremely dreadful medical degree between you and that.

Does anyone know any successful accountant around? So why do you subject yourself to incredible cruelty with ICAN and ACCA? Nobody hires accountants these days.

I have been on interviews panels like a billion times and we hardly take a second look at certifications; we look at you! Are you smart? Do you come with a positive attitude? Can you work without supervision? Do you know why Buhari wouldn’t devalue the Naira? Nobody gives two flying horse legs about certifications – except of course if you are going to be in networking or IT security.

The Outliers
It’s not all doom and gloom. Some certifications will certainly enhance your chances. If you are going to be doing networks, better come with at least a CCNP else you should stay at home. If you have a CCIE, oh, we will roll out a damn red carpet for you. Even better, we will be thinking you are effing crazy not to be in Dubai earning Arab money. UAE, and to a large extent, the Gulf, is a nice place to be if you have Cisco networking certifications.

Same for the increasingly needed IT security experts. The spate of computer attacks these days is scary. So large companies like telecoms, banks, oil and gas, etc. are practically gobbling up IT security experts and no better ways to show you know your left from right than your certifications. CEH, CISM, CISSP, GSEC, etc. are regularly served for dinner.

Guaranteeing Career Success
Ok, I lied. I don’t know how to guarantee career success for you. I mean, I don’t know a single formula. What I know, however, are things you could do to move up the ladder – without spending the money you don’t have on phony certificates.

Probably when I’m less busy, I will come back to share some tips. Until then, goodbye and go have a good beer!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Adédèjì Olówè is too ashamed to call himself a geek. Despite two degrees in hardcore engineering, he’s spent all his life as a banker. He’s known as one of the best out there in data and analytics. He’s spent the last five years as an expert in FinTech where he’s making electronic payments simple, safe and available to all and sundry irrespective of where they are. Although an ardent believer in customer service, he thinks the dude who invented the telephone should be in the deepest part of hell and those who invented emails should be canonized. He also blogs at


  1. Ami

    February 29, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Best and most sensible thing I have read in a while!!

    • nena

      February 29, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      Reminds me of my nysc days, with every new batch came troops of various “institutes” assuring you of heaven and earth in the job market if you obtain the hse, pmi and whatever other certificates they offer. People looked at me like a super weirdo when I told them I didn’t register for any of the courses, in my head I was like “lookatew, you don’t know nuffin”

    • Taiwo Adeyemo

      July 5, 2018 at 9:59 pm

      We all feel for it

    • GirlEngineer....

      February 29, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      I took a certification course in pharmaceuticals and that was how I got my job. Both engineering degrees I had frustrated the shit out of me when I was still a job seeker, This your advice shaaa, what may not work for you, may work for someone else.

  2. Chic

    February 29, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Whose boyfriend is this??? Get him outta here before the vultures come for him.

    • SD

      February 29, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      Husband and daddy, you mean.

  3. Natu

    February 29, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this article. I am currently pursuing a degree in Entrepreneurship and I have plans on starting a new venture. I don’t have the time or energy to be job hunting. Instead, I utilise my time by developing new ideas and concepts. My advice to the new generation of Africans is to embark in entrepreneurial. activities. Do not waste your youth hunting for jobs that are not available. Start your own and build your legacy!!!!!
    Lastly, the government should also issue out loans and funds to individuals with brilliant ideas. this initiative will increase employment opportunities along with other economic growth measures (GDP, GNP &PPP). It is really basic economics!!!

    #leader #Entrepreneur

    • aj

      February 29, 2016 at 10:50 pm

      ahn ahn you made sense oh Natu Girl!

    • Ronke

      February 29, 2016 at 11:49 pm

      Great! Get the Startup Kit for entrepreneurs

  4. meeee

    February 29, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    wooowwwww. this is great!. I remember starting ACCA back then in school. after i tried writing F3 and F4 and failed twice. I just abandoned the thing. Afterall I passed F1 and F2. I know I am intelligent so I guess there was a problem with the certification. loool. Accounting is too boring for me, I love creativity. it was my first degree and yes I was deceived into believing that ACCA would change my life. Thank God I left.

  5. DAME

    February 29, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Nice write-up till you kept hammering on the fact that nobody hires accountant anymore. WRONG WRONG WRONG !
    Being an accountant, i worked in the bank -marketing of course till i got employed with an International NGO and oh boy…these guys employ accountants EVERYDAY…we conduct interviews every month seriously…so fo the accountants out there still abttling with their ICAN or ACCA…from one accountant to another PLEASE CONTINUE…there are job openings EVERYDAY…UN,EU,ECOWAS,USAID,DFID yes please to mention a few…and they want accountants to operate these fancy software. A real accountant to know what to debit or credit or what entries need to be reversed etc…because after all the software only process what has been manually imputed by …guess who..AN ACCOUNTANT.

    Further more in as much as i agree with Mr Author, get certificates relevant to your field…it is always useful…always comes handy but like i said relevant to your field and industry.

    • titi

      February 29, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      I disagree, you don’t need an accountant to operate those softwares. u can train my 10 year old daughter on what to press and voila. by the way I have my first degree in engineering and later on passed ACCA, so this is not a beef matter

    • susa

      February 29, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      Lol. Can your 10yr old analyze financial statements?

    • Ebuka

      August 26, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      Am shocked that u passed ACCA and yet think processing debits & credits is the sole purpose of accountants. Now I am beginning to bliv your rant about certifications not being real evidence of knowledge. So I guess ur “10 yr old daughter” can do consolidated accounts, fair value measurements, group final accounts, capital allowance calculations, investigation into the cause of variance between budgets & standards etc….puhleeeeeze. U seemed smart till u came to the door step of Accountancy. Then j knew u were just another rant online. Mtcheeeeeew

    • Obi

      March 18, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      Hi Dame, I currently work as an accountant and i’m also taking my ICAN exams. I would like to be considered for a position at your firm. You can reach me on 08136244760 for further clarifications and maybe you can have a look at my resume. Thank you.

  6. lily

    February 29, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Lol….I don’t even have words. You sound very angry, I also find this funny and insightful. Me I’m still going to write ICAN or ACCA soon. Na you sabi *tongue out*. And oh, your blog has been bookmarked, GEEK!

  7. person

    February 29, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Timely. I was just thinking of doing the PMP. I live in the UK, earn a reasonable 5 figure salary, prince 2 practitioner ( which I never used, seeing as Agile has dominated the day)…8 years PM experience.
    I want to do the PMP because I want to earn more….anyone who lives in the UK- has done PMP and gotten a jump in salary ? ( not contractor pls…)

    the prince2 practitioner certificate helped me in getting my first contract role though.. so I think it depends!


  8. omo yen

    February 29, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Classical story of my life!
    I wake up every morning beating myself up for studying accounting. I met my old vice principal and he just had to ask why I didn’t go to science class again eeeeewwwwww!

    Anyways, all I need is a chance to travel. Out of Nigeria to rewrite my story!

    • DeeCee

      February 29, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      How are you so sure that there are are jobs elsewhere?

    • freemind

      March 1, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      there r jobs. (how many of them nija pple over there told u dey r jobless? (just a few or none) . if he / she feels there is a reason to move, why discourage a brother / sister? well, i dont think ur opinion counts if he/she is so determined to move.

  9. Exotique

    February 29, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Thank you for this post. I remember telling my brother who was a job seeker and fretting about acquiring some certifications to just chill and manage the money he has and not throw it away on stuff he will never use. Not to say certifications are useless, but they guarantee nothing really. I think if you need to get one, first ascertain its immediate usefulness.

  10. Dapo-x

    February 29, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    That CFA is Devil’s invention!

  11. Beth

    February 29, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    In as much as I agree with some things mentioned in this post, not every word is entirely true. Certifications still help career success a lot. Lots of engineering and accounting jobs require you to have completed some stages of their certification before you can be called a Senior Engineer or a certified accountant. Take certification exams according to what you love and according to your career.

    • Me

      February 29, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      So it’s all about the title for you and not the experience or actually being able to do the job. Yup, you are part of what he described. My boss who came straight out of the army and into a career in IT with no formal qualification than the experience he gained in his various roles was earning almost 3 times more than me with my degree.

      Most people and a lot of advanced countries value experience over degrees. I’ve worked in my field for almost a decade and have never been asked for my degree nor do i include it on my CV. My experience and knowledge speaks for itself. Louder than any formal qualification(s) i might have. If I’m learning, i’m doing so to improve myself and not for the “look how many degrees i have” or “I better pass you” attitude a lot of Nigerian’s adopt.

      Nigerian’s are the most “educated”, but take a look around you and you can tell that a lot of people passed through school, but school didn’t pass through them.

    • Somborri

      March 1, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Well, every word cannot be entirely true for the simple reason that all he has said is his opinion and not fact.

  12. TheM

    February 29, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Lol! Very nice write up. The guy certainly has a sense of humor. I can imagine him after a beer or two.

  13. Oloye

    February 29, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Not well researched though..

    For example –
    ”I’m sorry if you did ICAN or ACCA with hope that being an accountant means anything, you need your head examined. The accounting work has been largely automated with fancy software. When last did you see a job vacancy for accountants? How many of your cousins with accounting degrees are accountants?” Accountants ball more, aside from employment issues in specific country. HR analytic has it that Sales and Finance roles get more buzz in the mkt at the moment.

    Scientist or IT guys (for example) with no accounting experiences/qualifications cant manage those Finance ERPs. Companies that allowed them in the past have their cases and huge penalties with FRC, Revenue boards and other regulatory orgs.

    I however agreed that Nigerians duplicate certifications e.g. Adedeji Bello BSc, ACA, ACCA, CPA, DipIFRS, CFA, CIS…Very unnecessary..

  14. Bolla

    February 29, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Guy u are a cray I swear. See me shinning teeth hehehe and my colleagues be like “kilayoresofunmi” Apologies to non Yoruba’s.

  15. SS

    February 29, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Sorry to digress guys,thinking of going into teaching in the states,starting as a substitute teacher neXT week,any tip guys?

    • teachero

      March 1, 2016 at 12:19 am

      Make sure you get your teaching certifications up to date in your state as well as get the National Board Teaching Certificate ( that comes later but it is the best in America because you can use it to teach across America)

      Your school district should be on Smartfind express or any other substitute calling service to get substitute teachers, make sure you don’t press cancelling jobs on this calling system for more than 3 times ( you can book yourself off if you are not available for some specific days)

      Try and get additional qualifications ( like special ed, reading, ESL, etc. that will make you a specialist in that subject – the more qualifications you get the better for you as in more jobs, higher salary, etc.)

      Get to understand how to interact with the kids ( teaching in Canada and America is very different from teaching in Nigeria,) here students have a mind of their own and are encouraged to think independently. Don’t ever get physical with any student ( immediately criminal record) no matter how angry or insulting they may be – refer them to the principal or office for discipline. Don’t get too friendly with students outside your professional boundaries ( anything sexual in this part of the world lands you with a criminal record which destroys your teaching record and future job prospects). I wish you all the best.

  16. Ephi

    February 29, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Just going to echo Dame’s comment:

    “Further more in as much as i agree with Mr Author, get certificates relevant to your field…it is always useful…always comes handy but like i said relevant to your field and industry.”

  17. Jerry Ihejirika

    February 29, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Your degree or certification can be as relevant as you want it to be and that is why you need to start planning your career right from when you were still a student. Your lecturers’ job is to lecture you and impact some project management knowledge in you. It is your job to educate yourself and plan your project management career. So, that you failed to make your own certification relevant, doesn’t mean the certification itself is irrelevant. If you have a very good car and you don’t know how to drive it or how to make the car valuable to your life, would you blame the car?

    • Anonymous

      February 29, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      Start planning you career after you get your first job or a foot into the career you want to do.

      Studied micribiology, spent a huge part of my NYSC savings to become a member of NISP even planning on Nebosh et al hoping to work in an oil and gas firm.

      Started my career in marketing/branding and 3.5 years in, I’m planning on an MBA and CIMA with about 1 year experience abroad cos I’ve seen it works in this field. Some pple just entered with everything and now it can’t serve as a competitive advantage

  18. UcheA

    February 29, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Good write up but frankly I won’t hold what he said with a pinch of salt. Isn’t this man the one that packed everyone from UBA to dominate us here in Fidelity Bank and telling us that they are qualified with certifications. There is god o.

  19. The real D

    February 29, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    I don’t know about Nigeria but all the accounting majors I know have had better job security. Unlike petroleum Engineering, Chemistry or many other majors that are industry specific. All companies need an accounting department so it is much easier for accountants to move from industry to industry. Even in “the abroad” where technology is top notch, firms are hiring and still hiring accountants. When the oil crises hit, men was I wishing I studied accounting. Yes duplicating certification is beyond silly but I know many people whose certification such as PE for Engineering, PMP for project management have aided their career growth.
    Now let me clarify, for the professional certification, I have come to the realization that this helps once you have some professional experience under your belt. Most companies reward completion of a degree or certification through promotion (increase in pay) and that helps you gain experience in that area as well I.e job growth but you have to be working for the company already prior to completing your professional certification or degree.

    • Blessedheart

      February 29, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      Thank you. How will you say no one hires accountants? No matter how automated, every company needs an accountant. How many companies are really that automated anyway? In my opinion, professional certifications in your field are very relevant. Just don’t expect the certifications to take the place of relevant experience. With relevant experience, certifications help a lot.
      A topic of discussion I would be interested in would be Masters/PhD versus professional certifications.

  20. Ephi

    February 29, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Babe, that picture is a getty/dreamstime image and not the writer :p

  21. Tubo

    February 29, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    OMG!! I think I am in love with this dude!! Where did he fall from? They def don’t come this smart anymore! Great write up

    • kehinde

      February 29, 2016 at 7:21 pm


    • benita

      March 1, 2016 at 9:29 am

      If only you knew the man behind the writeup,you wouldnt wish that for yourself.

  22. Anne1

    February 29, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    @ Adedeji Olowe, I have had a good laugh here – I believe all you have said but the question should be why our Nigerian employers keep including having so and so certifications would be an added advantage in their job adverts? Our Nigerian employers need re-orientation. Nigerians basically believe in having ‘Kpali’ whether it is needful or not and this is why the average Nigerian youth is not very innovative because the society has drummed it in his head that it is either you have this ‘kpali’, or that ‘kpali’ or nothing is happening.

  23. Mr sabi sabi

    February 29, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Back than 7 years ago i did comptia A+ MCP, MCSA, CCNA and CCNP. I was very young and naive then certifications were things to have and brag about. Totally worthless. I learnt a lot about various vendors and their technologies. Most I use now.. I don’t know if it was worth it.

    The golden rule is to get work experience first after that you can build up on a whole lot. For Information technology the industry doesn’t respect certificates or certification. It only respects what you have done in the past and what you can do now.

    • Curious'

      February 29, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      Pls i am a civil engineering graduate (wit building/road construction experience)..but am think of switching to the ICT field, because i feel the might be more opportunities there…for me this article came at the right time bcos i now understand that duplicating certicifications or getting 2many unecessary certicifications could be useless. So pls anytips on how to find my way in d Ict world. Which fields offer more opportunities?

    • Hmmm

      February 29, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      Trust me you are in the right field.location matters tho I will advise u to move to middle east especially Qatar …..u will thank me later

  24. Confuzzled

    February 29, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Someone should tell me what all these ccnia abc etc acronyms mean lol. My advice. Only get certifications if:
    1. The program is fresh on the market ie if it’s the hot thing no one else has in a new industry ( also see point 3 below).
    2. If your employer will pay for it. That’s my mantra. Cos that mitigates your financial exposure and also ensures that it’s a valued addition.
    3. Certificates will never trump experience. Only get certified once you have at least 3yrs of related experience.

  25. kilipot

    February 29, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Ahaha. Who is this guy *scrolls up to check name* Love you Adedeji. I had been feeling bad cos I had not a “Certification”. Thanks for not making me feel like a failure.

  26. Teris

    February 29, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Lazy a$$ lazy a$$! LOL!
    So if u have never seen a PC, n by extension cannot use one…what? pray for annointing to miraculously have the skill to — just bcos u’re special?
    Clearly, Mr. Writer, you have fallen under the delusion that it is about the kpali and not the application of the skill set. Or have u forgotten that a lot of 2-2s have more satisfying jobs than some 1st class grads.
    The purpose of the certificate is to testify that one has indeed learned a specific skillset based on what shud be a standard of measure. But trust nah, the person “teaching” you prob’ly has only the vaguest notion of the potential. He has satisfied himself by organising a class to teach the coveted skill to.

    The day is short and we must acquire what skills we can while we may. And not necessarily for pod employment alone. So quit whinging and write like you actually went to school.

  27. tinu

    February 29, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    What about statistical packages he didn’t talk about that. It is related to my course of study though still an undergraduate. I don’t knw if I should still go for it.

  28. Easy n Gentle

    February 29, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    I actually laughed out loud while reading; about people who got healed in church ? Keep it coming brah

  29. Sammie

    February 29, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Great Article. I guess Men always have serious things to say! Having certifications isn’t a bad think as long as its strategic to our career advancements and you make money from it on the long run.

    Seek to solve unique problems using the certications as a tool in this regard.

  30. nwanyi na aga aga

    February 29, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Please dont take whatever deji has written too seriously, Look at his bio two degrees. I know that he must ve plenty certifications. The thing is certifications are good but it is better when you have an experience to back them up. If you are planning to do your ICAN or ACCA, its ok. No accounting or auditing firm will take you, if you have at least not started. It depends on your career path, look for relevant certifications and obtain. Everyone cannot be an IT expert like Deji, some people will have to know the principles behind the program to be written or the data to be collected. See accounting may become funky or computerized but believe me, someone will have to explain to the IT expert the objective of the program to be written. Someone too should be able to say if the data collected are true or not E.g if you need a program that will help you with vendor management, no genius of an IT coder/programmer can write it for you except you explain what you needs to be written. I remember a lawyer friend telling me she was writing ICSAN (Institute of Chartered Secretary & Administrators) I was surprised because I couldn’t figure out what she a lawyer was using secretary things for. One day I saw an advert for company secretary / legal adviser and in the requirements ICSAN certified was boldly written. I know of a guy who had been in audit for years across Africa, one day he was posted to a firm in Zambia to become their chief auditor, guess what Zambia labor laws said he couldn’t be chief auditor, Why? He wasn’t chartered. This is a guy that has audit in his finger tips, 20 years plus experience. Do you know even UK had an issue with another Chief Auditor sent to them, that he was chartered locally, and hence had to write one or two of their certifications. So I guess for me it will be better to get certifications that are relevant to your dream/career path. If you like listen to deji. AGM in a bank at his age better be wise get that certification now!!!! Loool!

  31. Sammie

    February 29, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    @Teris you don’t have to insult or abuse while stating your comments. I disagree with you, for career growth, one has to be strategic, you can’t take certifications just for the sake of taking them. If it doesn’t align with your career aspirations then it’s a waste of time.

    A certificate just shows that you have gone through a body of knowledge on a subject matter, it doesn’t reassure or guarantee anything. It’s ur experience and previous works that show ones level of expertise.

    This is the 21st century, our parents time, it was “Hardwork pays” but now in an information era “It’s strategic Hardwork that pays” like a game of chess.

    • Teris

      February 29, 2016 at 8:56 pm

      The “insult” wasn’t intended with any malice truly.

      However, I agree and disagree wth your comment: the what-level school cert that got Buhari into office will not cut it in this day and age. The writer belittled those funny computer appreciation courses which, like it or not, made a big diff for a lot of ppl.
      In short, the entry level bar is higher.

      But. I do agree that I don’t have to take a course in community health, oracle, ICAN and PMP while searching for the Golden Fleece.
      Hence why this write up is a “lazy a$$” philosophy IMO.

  32. The Lurker

    February 29, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    The article reads as very logical and articulate. However, it would only appeal to those struggling with certifications as well as those with challenges getting employment. No serious minded, career-oriented person should take the advice and opinions too seriously.

    @nwanyi na aga aga has said it all.

  33. Kilipot

    February 29, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Bella, you won’t post my comment ABI. You think I am just all about weddings and relationships ok o.
    I have my first degree in Math/Computer science. I work with the a revenue generating parastatal in Nigeria. I have been thinking of getting a certification, and cos of where I work I seriously considered ACCA but I just don’t think I am really sure ( my friend who works with an Insurance company thinks I am not serious lol. ) It’s been 5yrs post-Uni. I feel comfortable where I am, but someone had to advance at some point.
    Ps: I am just over my IT part. Tried programming C++ way back, then a lil bit of Animation and then finally Database Programming. I just dumped every, my head nor carry IT abeg. For now. I love keep investing my salary Biko. BN, don’t judge your readers by topics they open often. Most of us come here to “relax”, we are serious people in real life

    • Kilipot

      February 29, 2016 at 6:55 pm


  34. Honeycrown

    February 29, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Nigerians are just funny people, period. They usually run to get any degree/certification/training as long as they heard so so is making money in it! Jack of all trades master of none!

  35. Senator Rilwan

    February 29, 2016 at 7:34 pm


  36. MEE

    February 29, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    I do agree with some things the author said, but I would advise that this article shouldn’t be taken too seriously. In doing a certification course you have to be clear on what you’re trying to achieve. It has its usefulness. For those who finished in a particular field and intend to branch out to something else, certification courses give you that luxury without having to go back to uni. If you plan on not progressing in your career (in a vertical fashion),by all means forget the professional courses and continue your profession lives repeating the same level at different places. And please if you studied accounting, don’t follow this bandwagon please get chartered. Professional courses might not get you a job, but they can get you promoted when you do get a job. Also, which is most important is how and if you can apply what you have learned, people pass these courses without actually knowing what to do on the job.

  37. BN's Cece

    February 29, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Truth is Experience counts more than certificates especially when making career switches.

  38. coco

    February 29, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Says the guy with two degrees….please hold on to your certifications, you never know when it will come in handy.

  39. OSA

    March 1, 2016 at 12:00 am

    Exactly why I don’t even bother anymore with the certification. I did NIM during NYSC. Obtained NISP after NYSC. I have got a first degree in Petroleum Engineering and a second degree in Oil and Gas Engineering. Still no job. Oil price isn’t helping either. Any suggestions please. Seriously looking for internship opportunities.

  40. jennietobbie

    March 1, 2016 at 5:08 am

    Loooolll. Deji, thanks for the laugh. I’m aching. Goodness!!

  41. Abimbola

    March 1, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Certifications aren’t landing jobs, true, but the knowledge gained during the learning process come in very handy. So my advice, don’t go for certifications to land a job, go for them to learn,to be better or better still; to be the best!

  42. CertificationMendedMyHeart

    March 1, 2016 at 11:10 am

    For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them– Certification can be a good cover for lack of experience, it can also be used to compliment ones experience atleast and help one to stay relevant in work. Best thing is to acquire the right certifications needed to advance your career. No knowledge is lost so better be strategic about the certification/knowledge you get. I remember my first invitation for an aptitude test for mobil in 2009, one of the distinguishing criteria for getting selected was an IT certification (CCNA). Even now that I have some experience in the field, I normally acquire a certification in an area I don’t have much experience in in order to get a chance in that field and possibly promotion.

  43. zeus

    March 1, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Definition of success is the base thought. If getting richer is the objective, nothing is needed but a brain, a spine and a lax sense of moral values (in Nigeria at least). But I am certain the reason getting richer is our idea of success is because our generation has never had social systems to aid us with basic living. I don’t think the Scandinavians even think about getting richer as a primary motivator for seeking knowledge. Quite an amount is needed to even survive in Nigeria and the money is scarce. That is why our churches are filled with prayers for more money not the strength n wisdom to face and conquer problems. The vein idea of being worshipped by those beneath as well. God dey my bro.

    • Mo

      March 2, 2016 at 4:36 am

      Wonderful perspective!!!!!

  44. Chi baby

    March 2, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Nwanyi Na aga aga has said it all. I esp agree with the ICSAN thing a lot of organisations won’t hire you as a com secretary / legal advisor without ICSAN . While the writer has said some truth take it with a pinch of salt esp since he Is writing quite light heartedly. If you are an accountant and want to make a career in that area then please go ahead and at least start ur prof. Exams these things actually DO make a difference ( I dislike how he kept dissing the accounting field.. I’m a lawyer but still found it annoying). The only advice is don’t rush to do stuff… Wait and be sure it’s what you want… Not because everyone is doing a Masters or whatever you will now sell your car, resign and go to school only to come home 3yrs later and be job hunting. Have a strategy look at jobs you like and see the requirements …somethings you just do for your own personal knowledge and development. For instance I did an MBA because as a lawyer working in the financial sector I felt it would increase my knowledge base … Plus it looks good on my CV ?. Same with certifications look before you leap. Nigerians ” like book” and while some things don’t add up its always good to have an edge. Ps. Full time Entrepreneurship is not for everyone… I believe that even if you have a job you must have some small/big biz on the side. Know yourself and tread with wisdom. God guide us all!

  45. oil

    March 21, 2016 at 11:52 am

    the world is everybody’s idea and representation…/
    and we humans have in our nature, the greater inclination of painting the whole from the parts of the whole or even half parts…/
    and one time or another, we make ourselves victims of mainstream views…/

  46. festility

    April 6, 2016 at 9:59 am

    huumm! d write up taught me alot of things..but what certifications can a Art( linguistics, mass communication, ISD, Foreign langs, eng and lit, theatre art) student take?

  47. Tolu Taiwo

    April 22, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Lol. It’s funny.
    However, I do think it starts with the definition and purpose of school, education, and certificates. I believe the purpose of education is to train our minds to think and execute solutions to human problems. So the question is, do schools and these certificates ensure that? If they do, how much solutions have been provided given the world problems? Whatever the answer is, I believe a responsibility of every young person is to identify the problems they would love to solve, and then figure out what they need to learn to bring about the solution. And this may not necessarily mean a certain certificate or degree. So the bigger question is, are people going to school or uneducated? My personal opinion is that, school largely gets in the way of our education. We read and regurgitate someone else’s opinion on a subject matter, in order to pass an exam that you have to answer, in a particular way.

  48. Wale

    April 23, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Deji, this article is one of the most shallow I have ever read. Forming an opinion based on a very limited perceptive. I am an accountant and I probably earn twice what you earn partly because I have certifications. ( I hear you are an AGM in a Bank) I pity your mentees and staff.

  49. alwayshappy

    May 16, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Enjoying a pint this monday just like you recommended Deji. Let the man be great abeg at least he has an opinion and he isn’t afraid to share it. Certifications are not and will never be the rags to riches story for every candidate or certificate pursuer because that’s just the way it is . But often people with “lottery” mentality do fall prey to pursuing nonsense and irrelevant paths they have no business with plus zero intention to fall through on.. I agree with Deji, save your time, money, commitment and brain to enjoy a drink of beer which if you are not a softee you can at least finish with satisfaction and fulfillment and it would have cost you less.

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