Renowned social commentator Reno Omokri has ignited a debate on the relevance of traditional university degrees in today’s rapidly evolving world.
Taking to his social media account, Omokri suggested that aspiring professionals might benefit more from acquiring high-income digital skills rather than pursuing lengthy university degrees.
In his incisive post, Omokri urged individuals to consider the practicality of spending years studying courses like sociology, philosophy, anthropology, and political science, arguing that the job market demands skills that are more aligned with the technological advancements of the 21st century.
He suggested that investing six to eighteen months in learning skills such as nursing, cloud computing, blockchain engineering, artificial intelligence, web design, coding, programming, ethical hacking, and analytics could lead to greater financial rewards and career opportunities
“Instead of spending four years reading a course like sociology, philosophy, anthropology, political science, library science and so on at university, just go and learn a high income skill like nursing, cloud computing, blockchain engineering, artificial intelligence, web design, coding, programming, ethical hacking, and analytics, for between six and eighteen months,” he stated.
“You will earn more in a lifetime than most university graduates. The world has changed. Many university courses have expired. They belong in a museum,” he argued.
Citing the changing landscape of the job market, Omokri asserted that many traditional university courses have become outdated and may not necessarily lead to practical employment outcomes.
He cautioned against investing time and money in courses that fail to align with current industry demands, likening such pursuits to “lost causes.”
“Maybe a few people can read them to preserve some knowledge. But when you have hundreds of thousands studying them at degree level, they will never find real life applicable jobs for those degrees. And they and their courses end up being a drain on society.
“Get a skill instead of a semi-useless degree! And stop looking for loopholes. Those courses are dead and gone. They are like aerial cameramen. You cannot streamline an aerial cameraperson to compete with a drone. Accept reality and make better educational choices, and stop putting good money behind lost causes. Truth is bitter, but better!” Reno urged.
While Omokri’s viewpoint has sparked conversation, it has not gone without its critics. Prof. Mahfouz Adedimeji, Vice Chancellor of Ahman Pategi University, Pategi, Kwara State, offered a contrasting perspective, asserting that knowledge is not solely a means to financial ends, but also an end in itself.
Prof. Adedimeji countered Omokri’s materialistic approach by highlighting the broader value of higher education in nurturing the soul and developing the mind.
The Vice Chancellor noted: “Reno is entitled to his opinion but his deposition is purely materialistic. Knowlege is both a means to an end and an end in itself. Throughout history, society has always catered for those who work in the vineyard of knowledge preserving the heritage of generations
“Jean Jacque Rousseau described higher education as a “a nourishment to the soul” and not just a means of securing employment. How many of our graduates have ‘nourished souls’ with their materialist mindset of studying courses with the highest paychecks?”
Drawing from historical context, Prof. Adedimeji emphasized the role of education in preserving cultural heritage and fostering a sense of empathy and understanding among individuals. He cautioned against adopting a solely materialistic mindset, which he believed would lead to a narrow focus on courses with high earning potential, potentially neglecting the holistic growth that education offers.
“Materialist analysts like Reno are many and they assume that the purpose of university education is to be financially independent. They will legislate courses that ‘sell’ and those that are not marketable.
“Functionalists however believe that higher education is to train the mind, develop the soul and make human beings human and humane. Those elements are missing in our education of today which makes us to be fixated on self, not others. The result is in the contradictions that pervade our ‘ill-literate’ society,” the international academia submitted.
In a society grappling with the tension between practical skills and holistic education, Omokri’s call to prioritize digital skills as a pathway to success has ignited a thought-provoking debate on the purpose and relevance of traditional university degrees.
As the discourse unfolds, Techparley understands that the future of education and its impact on individual and societal growth will remain a subject of critical consideration.