The Craze for and the Future of Nigeria’s Polytechnics

Do you have a This is the most popular question, job seekers get to answer at all stages of the recruitment process in Nigeria. Sometimes the question is do you have a Degree? Once the respondent cannot answer in the affirmative, that is the end of the Interview, Screening, Test, or whatever stage of the Recruitment process, even if the candidate is capable of doing the job.

It is sad that to note that some Employers and some so called Human Resources Officers do not even know the difference between a Bachelors of Science (B.Sc.) and a Bachelors of Arts (BA).

They do not even know some Degrees do not come with Honours. To make matters worse they have no idea about the Polytechnic system.

This situation is making a lot of Nigerians acquire University Degrees, particularly the Bachelors of Science by hook or crook because that is “the in thing”.

Most students no longer want to enroll into the Polytechnics because, they can see a lot of People who finish from the Polytechnics hardly get employed, while the lucky ones are treated unfairly in terms of compensation.

Why were the Polytechnics Established?

They were established to produce middle-level manpower that will help in the industrial and technological development of Nigeria, to achieve the Nation’s development plan.

Yaba College of Technology the first Polytechnic in Nigeria was established in 1947.

The polytechnics awards two certificates: Ordinary National Diploma (O.N.D) and Higher National Diploma (H.N.D)

The student spends two years (4 semesters and 3 months Internship) before being awarded OND.

To qualify for admission into the HND program which is also 2 years the Student is expected to have at least one-year post OND working experience .

It is important to note that polytechnics place strong emphasis on practice-based learning

Interestingly some Polytechnic Graduates excel in various Professional Examinations such as ICAN, ACCA. NSE, CIPM, CIBN etc and some are successful in their fields, I have met some Persons who have HND in Engineering and are making waves. I also know of some in the social sciences who have risen to Management level in some multinational companies.

Should they be scrapped?

Personally, I don’t think so. I believe some of the polytechnics provide more qualitative education as compared with some of the new universities we have in Nigeria today. Especially if we consider the fact that Tertiary institutions get better with age.

I think the Government should upgrade them and put in more facilities.

The Government should also ensure HND Graduates are fairly treated


My Advice to HND Graduates:

They should become Entrepreneurs, establish their own business no matter how small

  • It will give them a source of income
  • More confidence in themselves, as a result, they will be able to checkmate Employers who treat them unfairly
  • They will have a Stronger BATNA (Best alternative to a negotiated agreement) when negotiating employment terms if the still want to be employed