The dream of every Nigerian parent is for their wards to study professional courses at the university.
Because it is generally believed that graduates of these courses have a higher chance of gaining employment when compared with those that studied other courses.
But the truth is whether you study a professional course or otherwise, you can still make your life a success. An example is the former president of Nigeria who studied Zoology but ended up leading the country for several years.
Generally, professional courses are courses which provide a straightforward route to earning professional certificates. These courses are usually affiliated with professional bodies that supervise the training and practice of these professionals. These include: accounting, law, medicine, pharmacy, engineering etc.
For instance, the training of an accountant in the university prepares the accounting graduate for the ICAN certification exams which leads to the path of being certified a chartered accountant. However, you don’t necessarily have to study accounting to become a chartered accountant but the route to becoming chartered isn’t quite straightforward when compared with those that studied accounting
Overall, professional courses provide extra training tailored to equip graduates to become the right fit for the available jobs in the real world.
In this post, we’ll highlight some of these professional courses that you can study in Nigeria.
List of Professional Courses in Nigerian Universities
#1 Banking and Finance
Although banks tend to recruit graduates from every kind of discipline, banking and finance graduates definitely have an edge when applying to banking jobs.
As a graduate with the intention of charting a career in the banking industry, you can take it a step further by enrolling in the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Nigeria. Earning this certification can boost your chances of climbing up the ladder really quickly in the industry.
Studying accounting in the university is one of the best paths to earning the status of a chartered accountant.
Accounting is a 4 year course in any Nigerian university. And as stated earlier, the course is a great way to prepare you to becoming a chartered accountant.
With an ICAN certificate, your growth as an accountant can be really quick with many opportunities for you in the job market.
You can enrol for the ICAN exam as an undergraduate and if you’re able to pass each stage of the exam at your first attempt, you’ll definitely be chartered by the time you graduate from the university.
#3 Estate management
Although many people work as estate surveyors and valuers without the prerequisite degree or certificate, earning a professional degree in estate management can give you a unique edge over these other practitioners.
Additionally, after completing your degree in estate management, you can register with the Nigeria Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers to become a member of the Institute.
A combination of your degree in estate management and membership with the NIESV can improve your network and boost your job opportunities.
If you’re to ask a science student in any of the Nigerian secondary schools what s/he intends to study at the University, it is very likely that the response will be, “I want to be a medical doctor.”
Medicine as a course in Nigeria is the height of professionalism in many Nigerian homes. Often times, parents are extremely proud to have one of their children as a medical doctor.
Studying medicine involves six years at the university. But that’s not all. Before you’re certified to practise medicine by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, you need to pass through one year of housemanship after which you’re certified as a medical doctor.
Afterwards you can choose to study in any field of your choice. Some of the specialties in medicine include: Dermatology Emergency medicine, General medicine, Geriatric medicine, Gynecology, Medical research and education, Oncology, Neurology, Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Pathology, Public health, and Radiology.
Pharmacy is another professional course that comprises 5 years of study at the university. After graduation, the pharmacy graduate will proceed to a one year internship at any of the centres registered by the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN). At the end of the internship year, the PCN will certify the intern a pharmacist and s/he’s can practise as a pharmacist anywhere in the country.
Lawyers are well respected professionals in the country. And the journey to becoming a lawyer starts from enrolling at a law program at the University.
It takes 5 years to complete a law degree. Then there’s an extra year that the law graduate will spend at any of the centres of the Nigerian Law School in the country. Afterwards, s/he’s called to bar and can practise as a lawyer. Below are the steps involved in becoming a lawyer in Nigeria:
Step 1: Enrol for the undergraduate degree, the LLB in a Nigerian University. As stated earlier, it is a 5 year course where you will learn core course like Legal Methods, Nigerian Legal System, Contract Law, Constitutional Law, Company Law, Law of Torts, Commercial Law, Law of Equity and Trusts, Criminal Law, Land Law, Law of Evidence, and Jurisprudence.
Step 2: Complete your LLB program and enrol at the Nigerian Law School Bar Part I and II programmes. The Bar courses include Criminal Litigation, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law & Practice, and Law in Practice (Ethics & Skills).
Once you’re called to bar, you’ll be included in the Roll of Legal Practitioners which is maintained by the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. At this stage, s/he can practise anywhere in the country
Apart from medicine, engineering is another popular course among secondary school leavers seeking admission into the university.
This is simply because being an engineer is seen as a prestigious profession with vast job opportunities. As an engineer, you can work with an oil and gas firms, telecoms companies, IT firms or any of the reputable manufacturing companies in the country.
An engineering student spends five years in the university after which he can go on to take professional courses to boost his resume as a professional.