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Difference Between HND and BSC Degree in Nigeria

You stumbled on this post because you are curious to know the difference between HND and BSC degree in Nigeria.

This has been a major controversy between students of Polytechnics and Varsity hereby imposing an inferiority complex on the former. However, this post tends to unleash the differences between the two and juxtapose the stand.

People have continually argued about the differences between HND and BSc certificate holders and most times, the former suffers humiliations especially when points to counter the opponents are not made available.

One may need to ask ‘is the argument even worth it?’ Are HND holders doomed? Are they not going to make it in life? Although in recent times, research shows the rate of the argument has dropped from 90% to 55.5%.

Firstclassnigeria however hopes this kind of belief and argument will permanently go into extinction and such belief obsolete. Thus, the article Differences Between HND and BSc Holders.

The dichotomy reached its peak sometimes back and the Senate had to step in and pass a bill to breach the gap between HND holders and BSc holders from tertiary institutions. It was a step taken to encourage HND holders and save the majority from the inferiority complex.

One could however be curious to know if there are any differences between the two in the first place. This amongst many others will be critically examined below.

What is HND in Nigeria?

HND is a common and familiar term for almost everyone in the education sector. An acronym that most individuals have come across numberless times probably while researching, seeking admission, or after bagging the degree.

HND means Higher National Diploma. It is the concluding part of your Polytechnic education in Nigeria as it comes after OND (Ordinary National Diploma). It takes two/three years to complete HND programme depending on whether you are a part-time student or full-time student.

What is BSC in Nigeria?

BSc simply means Bachelor of Science. It is a kind of degree awarded unanimously in Universities upon completion of an undergraduate level study in a science or technology-related field. Most times, it takes a minimum of four (4) before one can bag such. Just like HND, the program can also be studied as a PT or FT student. However, one can obtain a Bachelor’s degree in other fields of students such as B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) amongst others.

Difference Between HND & BSC Degree in Nigeria

Having known in detail what HND and BSc mean respectively, one will then be curious to know the differences between the two and while the latter beliefs so much in a superiority complex.

Prior to this time, there seems to be a great wage disparity and gross discrimination against HND holders in the public and private sectors.

Meanwhile, some of these (HND) holders are better of in-field when compared to Varsity students. In as much we are not taking sides but rather neutral while trying to bring to limelight the correlation between the two.

Below are some limitations which HND holders may face which on the other hand is not so with BSc holders:

  1. BSc holders are usually considered for teaching (especially education graduates) without further qualifications. Whereas, HND holders are expected to have, in addition, PDGE – Postgraduate Diploma in Education.
  2. BSc holders are mostly accepted for MSC admissions without further qualifications. Whereas, some schools will not admit an HND holder without professional qualifications (such as ICAN, etc.) or PGD except for a few universities.
  3. BSc holders are usually assigned administrative duties at work rather than practical field assignments which their HND counterparts are exposed to.
  4. Except most recently and to a few government establishments, HND holders were formerly employed with Grade Level 7; GL07 as opposed to Grade Level 08 for BSC holders.

However, HND holders might have upper hands over their BSc counterparts in some areas. Let’s take a look at some specific areas:

  1. Study Abroad Preference: In the USA, graduates with Higher National Diploma are preferred than their BSc. counterpart because of the US. places preference for your practical skills than just theoretical knowledge.
  2. Equal Certificate: There is equity in the polytechnic as all Polytechnic results have the same value either private, northern, eastern, or western polytechnic. However, the Degree certificate is not so as a federal university certificate is more valuable and wanted than some other degree certificates.
  3. Change of study and environment: This is another convincing factor that gives HND holders upper hands over their counterparts. They (HND holders) can decide to change their course of study after their National Diploma if there any reason to do so. In addition, they can complete their course of study in any other polytechnic or university aside from the one from which they got their ND from. Hence, widens exposure, level of knowledge amongst other factors.
  4. Quick certificate: Within 2 years, the National diploma ND certificate can lead you to work in enviable positions. To start earning a salary with your certificate doesn’t have to cost you 5 years, and this has been very helpful, especially for those who depend on self sponsorship.

What’s the Next Degree After HND?

Most times, people do say NYSC is the next phase. However, attaining the certificate or before even attaining it, there are several options as to what’s the next degree after HND. We are going to examine some of the options below:

  1. Top-up Degree: In this part of the world, Nigeria, where there is obvious discriminations between the two certificate holders of which the latter is affected most, 75% of HND holders will consider this as next after attaining HND degree. Even though most times, they seem sound educationally than university students, the gap is still there as the general public rates the former over the latter. HND graduates can use this means to obtain BSC certificates after one, two or three years of part-time degree courses – converting their HND to BSC.
  2. Direct Entry to 300 Level: One can just obtain the JAMB DE form and look for a few universities and courses accepting HND holders to 300 level. This will definitely save you time.
  3. Converting HND to Education: Some individuals feel they are better of in the education sector as teachers/lecturers after they might have finished their HND programme. However, one of the next stages is converting your HND to Education.
  4. Masters: If one is lucky enough to come across universities that accept HND for second degree, then, this stands to be the best option. Prior to this time, it’s very uncommon to find universities that accept HND for second degree. In fact, some universities would insist one must obtain forms for PGD – Post-graduate Diploma and be qualified before you can obtain your Masters if you hold Higher National Diploma (HND). We are going to however take a vivid look at universities that accept HND for second degree below.

Universities That Accept HND for Second Degree

Universities That Accept HND for Second Degree 

Below are some Universities in Nigeria that accept HND for a second degree

1. University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Kwara State

The university accepts HND on the terms below:

  • Masters in Business Administration (MBA): the university accepts professional qualifications such as ACA, ACMA, AIB, ACIS, CIBN, ACTS or HND (Upper Credit) must possess a postgraduate Diploma Certificate in Strategic Management from the University of Ilorin with a Minimum average weighted score of 60%.
  • Master of Geographic Information Systems (MGIS): Holders of professional qualifications such as HND (Upper Credit) with a minimum of five (5) years post-qualification experience are also eligible to apply.
  • Master in Information Technology (MIT) Regular: Higher National Diploma (HND) in Computer Science, Information Technology or any related field, with a minimum of Lower Credit grade
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Strategic Management (PGDSM): HND certificate with a minimum of Lower Credit from recognized Institutions.    

2. Osun State University (UNIOSUN), Osogbo Osun State

The state-owned university accepts HND for her master’s courses on the following terms.

  • Master of Science (M.Sc) in Environmental Management (Professional): Candidates with HND (Upper Credit) as well as three years cognate working experience in related disciplines as stated above from a recognized institution may be admitted.
  • Master of Science (M.Sc) in Disaster and  Risk Management (Professional): In addition, candidates with HND (Upper Credit) and at least three (3) years cognate experience in Social Sciences, Environmental and Engineering programmes, as well as related disciplines from a recognized institution as approved by Senate of Osun State University, may be considered.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Resource Management (PGDERM): In addition, applicants with HND (Upper Credit) minimum from recognized institutions in relevant fields with at least three years cognate experience may also be considered.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Strategic Management (PGDSM): A minimum of HND (Lower Credit) in any discipline from an institution recognized by Senate of Osun State University
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE): A minimum of Higher National Diploma (HND) (Lower Credit) in any discipline from a Monotechnic or Polytechnic recognized by Senate Osun State University.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Resource Management (PGDERM): In addition, applicants with HND (Upper Credit) minimum from recognized institutions in relevant fields with at least three years cognate experience may also be considered.
  • Postgraduate Diploma In Financial Mathematics (PGDFM): A minimum of HND (Upper Credit) in Mathematics and Statistics; Computer Science or Accounting from recognized Tertiary Institutions with three years cognate working experience.
  • Postgraduate Diploma In Computer Science (PGDCS): A minimum of HND (Upper Credit) in Electronics/Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering/Science, Computer Technology or related fields from a recognized Monotechnic or Polytechnic.
  • Postgraduate Diploma In Animal Science (PGDAS): HND (Upper Credit) of a Monotechnic or Polytechnic with a minimum of three years of work experience. After admission, each candidate’s area of specialization must be agreed upon by the major supervisor and another supervisor (s), the Head of the Department of that area of specialization and the candidate.  The candidate must, in addition, satisfy examiners in an oral examination of his/her project.
  • Postgraduate Diploma In Civil Engineering (PGDCV): a minimum of HND (Upper Credit) in Civil Engineering or its equivalent obtained from any NBTE Approved Institution recognized by Senate UNIOSUN.
  • Postgraduate Diploma In Electrical/Electronic Engineering (PGDEN): A minimum of HND (Upper Credit) in Electrical and/or Electronic or its equivalent obtained from any NBTE Approved Institution recognized by Senate UNIOSUN.
  • Postgraduate Diploma In Urban And Regional Planning: A minimum of HND (Upper Credit) in or its equivalent obtained from any NBTE Approved Institution recognized by Senate UNIOSUN.

Read Also: Polytechniches to Study Surveying and Geoinformatics

3. Kwara State University (KWASU), Ilorin Kwara State

For her Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) Programmes, the university accepts Holders of Higher National Diploma (HND) with a minimum of Credit pass or its equivalent in relevant areas.

The following shall qualify for the Postgraduate Diploma admission.

  • Graduates of Kwara State University or other recognized Universities.
  • Holders of Higher National Diploma (HND) (not HD) with a minimum of Credit pass or its equivalent in relevant areas.
  • Candidates who hold qualifications other than the above, which are acceptable to the Board of School of Postgraduate Studies and Senate of the University.
  • In addition to the above, a candidate must satisfy the University’s requirements for matriculation.

The duration of the PGD Programme is a minimum of 2 semesters and a maximum of 4
NOTE: This is PDG not Masters

Read also: After NYSC Relocation, What Next?

4. Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State 

The university considers HND holders for her Masters/postgraduate programmes on the following terms

  • Postgraduate  Diploma  Programme: Holders of HND with Upper Credit and above could also apply
  • Masters of Information and Communication  Technology  (MICT)  programme: Candidates should possess  HND plus a Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science or B.Sc. Physical Sciences/Engineering and Allied Disciplines.  Prior computing or IT exposure is beneficial but not essential.
  • BA (Agri-Business) and Professional Master in Communication Studies degree programmes: candidates must be holders of Bachelor’s degree from a recognized University or HND (Upper Credit minimum) with a Postgraduate Diploma in any discipline.
  • Masters of Environment Management (MEM) is a three-semester professional programme designed for captains of industries who are degree holders or HND holders with distinction/credit pass plus PGD in relevant fields who have also satisfied all basic UTME requirements while Masters of Environment Management and Protection (MEMP) is an academic Master’s Degree that runs for a minimum of four (4) semesters.

5. The University of Ibadan (UI), Nigeria 

For almost all her Masters/postgraduates courses, the University of Ibadan accepts HND. However, there are attached terms and conditions for accepting that.

In one update

 Candidates for admission to the programme should hold a minimum of a first degree in any discipline from a recognized University or possess acceptable professional qualifications such as HND or other approved equivalents. Candidates must have acquired a minimum of five years post-qualification working experience, including the National Service year where applicable.

In a related one,

 Prospective students are expected to have an honours degree (minimum of third class) from a recognized University and at least one year work experience. HND holders with a minimum of a Lower Credit and at least two years’ work experience are also eligible for admission.

6. Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba (AAUA), Ondo State

The university accepts HND; not in all courses though, and on certain terms.

  • POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA IN THEOLOGY (PGD. Th.): An HND Passed at a   minimum of Upper Credit from recognized Polytechnics.
  • Masters in Adult Education with Specialization in the following areas (i) Industrial Education and Training (ii) Community Development (iii) Social welfare (iv) Literacy Training and Development Candidates with degrees in disciplines other than above must possess HND/third Class plus Postgraduate Diploma in  Education (PGDE) with an overall average score of 60%  or any other relevant professional qualifications are eligible to apply.
  • POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA IN EDUCATION (FULL-TIME & SANDWICH): For PGDE programme, candidates with Third Class or HND (Upper Credit) or a minimum of HND Lower etc. holders with substantial teaching experience may be considered. All disciplines are acceptable for admission into PGDE.
  • Professional Master’s Degree Programmes:  The Professional Master’s Degree is open to graduates who earned a minimum of 3rd Class Honours in the first degree or HND at upper credit level in relevant fields with a Postgraduate Diploma.

7. Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Agoiwoye, Ogun State

The university accepts HND for her postgraduate diplomas and Masters as detailed below:

  • Postgraduate Diplomas: Higher National Diploma (HND) in relevant disciplines from accredited programmes of study from approved Polytechnics with a grade not below LOWER CREDIT.
  • Professional Degrees (MPA, MBA, and MBF): HND Upper Credit and above OR HND Upper Credit plus Post HND Certificate. HND Lower Credit or B.Sc./B.A. 3rd Class plus relevant PGD course
  • Master Degrees: HND in appropriate discipline with a minimum of Upper Credit as an accredited programme of study of any recognized Polytechnics. HND in appropriate discipline with Lower Credit plus Polytechnic Diploma may be considered. Other professional qualifications by the University Senate such as PGDP, AIB, ACA, ACII, ACI and ACIS may also be considered.

Read Also: How To Revalidate NYSC Mobilization

Conclusion: Difference Between HND and BSc Degree in Nigeria

Summarily, nothing is practically wrong with being an HND holder, you should not feel inferior to your university counterparts for whatsoever reason.

Although the gap has been breached by the FG, there are still some private sectors indulging in the dichotomy secretly and such depriving HND holders of some advantages.

There are however so many reasons for both to complement each other as they have different merits. With the latter being affected the most, there are several options to consider if trying to breach the gap and become a Varsity degree holder. We however sincerely hope this dichotomy we come to an end in a short time.

Benjamin Targba

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