It’s interesting that for a lot of young people, the thought of what to do, where to work, and how to get a good job only comes up upon graduation.

Ever asked a college student, “After graduation, what’s next?”

The usual answer is “A Job!”😊

Young friends,

if getting a job is the next thing on the ‘menu’ of your life after college, then start making hay now while the sun still shines.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in a freshmen orientation conference in a school that will not be named. It was replete with words of admonition, charges to make a difference, and great motivations to make the most of their 4/5/7 years of college life.

The speech of one distinguished professor took the cake. She said among many things that the class of degree any student will graduate with can be predetermined from their formative semesters. Meaning that, if you, as a freshman, want to graduate with flying colours, it begins from your first year!

Of course, need I say a lot of applauses followed such a wonderful speech.

I personally couldn’t agree more with the professor, and as employability specialist, for a moment, I wished these freshmen were also told that building the capacity of landing a well-paid job upon graduation begins from their first year as well.

I mean, of what use is a college degree without employability skills?

Ever wondered why a lot of young graduates with commendable grades still have a hard time getting well-paying jobs?

The answer is lack of EMPLOYABILITY skills.

Speaking from my almost three years’ experience as a career consultant, I will tell you for free that employers of today are demanding skills from graduates which are usually outside the subject area of study in college. I know it’s a hard pill to swallow considering the efforts most young graduates put in their studies, but the era of “high grade=high-paid job” is long gone!

Matter of fact, some employers now place less importance on graduates’ actual degree discipline in favour of the more generic skills which they have acquired.

A group of four mixed ethnic students in a classroomThe good news, however, is that you don’t have to wait till you graduate to develop employability skills. Also, It mustn’t necessarily be in the boundaries of your field of study. Achievements outside your discipline also enhance your chances of getting hired quicker as they show you are versatile.

The importance of employability skills cannot be overemphasised. Personally, I believe it should be given the same importance as the academic courses because the labour market is intensely competitive, and employers are looking for people who are flexible, who take initiative and can undertake a variety of tasks in different environments.

I repeat you do not have to wait till you are in the rat race before developing these skills.

Check out more details of these employability skills at

My name is John Ita.

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