“No More Postgraduate Certifications For Me…
…but my learning continues.
By Olakunle Allison
Yes, I have forever shelved the idea of pursuing a Master’s and/or Doctoral Degrees. I used to flirt with that idea in my mind even as I oscillated between pursuing postgraduate studies later in life or simply nixing it. Today, I have conclusively and permanently nixed any possibility of further academic pursuits. I have come to the conclusion that I do not need them for my life’s journey going forward.
If you are wise you would nix them too, unless of course your goal in life is to teach or lecture. Then you have my exemption. But if your goal in life is to be successful in your chosen career path, to get a highpaying job or to be very rich, then you are wasting both time and resources if you enroll for a postgraduate degree.
Many of us are stuck in the past. We are frozen in time. We still think that more academic qualifications means better jobs and higher paychecks. This is old and conventional strategy which probably worked 20-50 years ago but not anymore.
If your goal is to be rich or wealthy during the remainder of your life, it is foolish and insane to pursue postgraduate degrees. If more academic degrees could do the trick, your University lecturers and professors would be the richest people alive. Your Business School instructors would make Forbes top 100 List of the Richest People. Apparently they aren’t.
I would rather spend 2 years as an apprentice or personal assistant under a Bill Gates or a Jeff Bezos or a Donald Trump or a Mark Zuckerberg than spend 2 years chasing a Master’s Degree. I would learn more in those 2 years about being successful and making money than any professor could ever teach me. This is because those in our higher institutions are not trained on how to be successful in an ever changing world. There are no Course Contents/Curricula on “how to be successful” or “how to make money” or “how to raise your professional and personal worth” in our Universities.
Rather, they are trained to become adaptive rather than disruptive. They are trained to become job-security-loving employees instead of risk-taking employers. They are trained to make money by getting good jobs instead of creating good jobs. It is not a coincidence that most, if not all, Doctoral and PhD Degree holders are not in the Millionaire or Billionaires’ Club. They are not even innovators and inventors. Maybe it’s because as the saying goes “you cannot give what you don’t have”.
Most billionaires in history are not even graduates. Some are college dropouts (see Gates and Zuckerberg). While some did not even graduate from high school (see Edison and Disney). But these men were clever and intelligent business minds who changed how we define education.
Albert Einstein is reputed as saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. Like I said earlier, if your career path is not in teaching and lecturing, you are wasting both time and money by pursuing postgraduate certifications. You can no longer use further certifications to get better jobs and higher paychecks in today’s world because those kinds of jobs no longer exist.
We are in a different world and jobs are no more secure. Heck, they are no more. Anyone who still talks about job security in this time and age must be pitied. The number one threat to your job security is technology; particularly Artificial Intelligence. Most jobs are being and will be taken over by computers and artificial intelligence which will lead to many job losses. As soon as people figure out how they can replace your skill set and abilities with artificial intelligence, your certificates would be useless. This is already happening and more job losses are imminent in the nearest digital future.
The people I pity most are Nigerian graduates who keep going back to the University for more certificates in order to increase their employability. Such conventional nonsense. My question to them is simple; “where are the jobs?”. Where? Are they even aware that futurism is real? Are they awake to the idea that most future jobs would be done by computers and AI?
Let’s even assume for the sake of argument that artificial intelligence is a long way from reality, due to unstable power supply and an unfriendly business climate in Nigeria many jobs are or have been shipped abroad to neighboring countries. High cost of production is driving businesses away to low-cost countries where the factors of production are less costly are more competitive. So, your certificates are only worth something where jobs exist. It is therefore lame for graduates in Nigeria to think they can become more employable where employers are scarce.
Again, if your goal is to teach or lecture it is actually a career sin not to further your studies. But if your goal is to become financially free and successful like me, what you need is financial education, not another degree.
I have once said in a post on this platform that education is a process. The mistake most people make is that they conflate academic certification with education. That’s why they cannot understand it when someone doesn’t place much premium on certificates.
Your education actually continues even after your PhD. Those who think they have climbed the final rung of learning because they have a PhD have not learned much about learning. Education is a journey, not destination.
I have discovered that there is nothing I put my mind to learn that I cannot. I found that I really do not need the permission of a lecturer or anyone to learn anything I so desire especially in this Information Age. I can access whole libraries on my mobile device and thousands of research institutes on my palm. So I decided that going to further my studies in a University would be time-wasting. A waste I cannot afford, especially because I do not intend to teach and lecture as a career choice. If I ever do so it would be as leisure or a hobby, not as a career.
I want to be rich, retire rich and leave a lasting legacy of financial education and financial freedom for my children who will be raised in the fear of God and service to humanity, and I don’t need a Master’s Degree or a PhD to achieve that.
I know what I need to do.