Admission into Nigerian universities has become more competitive than ever for many reasons which include the fact that WAEC and NECO continue to churn out hundreds of thousands of highly qualified candidates for university admission every year.
Although there are over 150 registered universities in the country, most Nigerian parents can only afford federal or state universities for obvious reasons.
Federal universities are sought after because they charge low fees, but they have very limited spaces for admission seekers.
Another reason why students fail to secure university admission is because too many admission seekers waste their admission chances by choosing highly sought after courses often referred to as “professional courses” such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Engineering, computer Science, Law, Accounting, Mass communication, and a few others.
Courses like Medicine, Pharmacy and Law, in particular, are highly regulated by bodies outside the university; hence they have limited spaces for prospective students.
At Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, for instance, the maximum number of students that can be admitted for law is 250, while Medicine and Pharmacy are 120 each.
For a student to be admitted on merit into any of these courses, s/he has to score up to 290 in UTME and obtain nothing lower than B2 on the average in his or her WAEC/NECO.
Unless a candidate is a superb excellent student, it will amount to a waste of time and money to choose these courses.
The following are some lucrative disciplines that are too often overlooked by students seeking admission into Nigerian universities:
Education courses. Most parents look down on education courses because we are in a materialistic society that views teachers as “unsuccessful” people.
Not only does education offer excellent career prospects for those who wish to establish schools later in life, but a student that obtains a good education degree automatically qualifies to seek employment anywhere in the public or private sector, including banks and oil companies.
Basic science courses. Most large companies engage the services of scientists, who are further trained for specialization in many fields and sub-fields most of us hardly know anything about.
Courses such as Mathematics, Chemistry, Industrial Chemistry, Physics, Engineering Physics, Botany, Zoology, Microbiology, Biochemistry and many more specializations abound in the Faculties of Science of Nigerian universities.
The points required for admission into these disciplines are often the minimum pass.
Social science courses. In the social sciences, there are courses like public administration, political Science, Psychology, Sociology, International Relations, Economics, Demography and Social Statistics, and many more.
All these courses are basic disciplines for future specializations in human resources, personnel management and many other esoteric specializations.
Graduates in any of these fields only require a little further affordable training to position themselves for juicy appointments later in life.
Humanities and arts courses. Courses in these fields are too often looked down upon as even lower than teaching.
Unknown to most people, many arts and humanities courses equip students directly or indirectly with the requisite skills for successful human relations.
Very much like the Sciences and Social Sciences, they effectively serve as the needed springboard for successful launch into productive and enterprising life after graduation.
Besides, some of them are real money spinners.
Examples are foreign languages like German, French and Spanish; Performing Arts courses like Theatre Arts and Music; Language courses like Linguistics, English language and Literature; Philosophy and Religious Studies; History and Strategic Studies; and many more.
Final remark. The stark truth about a student’s ultimate success in life does not lie in the course s/he studies in university, but the quality of his/her overall education.
This writer counsels admission seekers, especially those who have attempted UTME more than once, to go for less competitive courses. That way, they will not stay too long on the shelf of admission seekers longer than necessary.