Nigeria is home to many of the best universities in Africa, making it an ideal destination for incoming university students from neighboring African countries. On the contrary, however, there are many uneducated youths in the country due to poverty, poor educational infrastructure, and insufficient financial support for accessible education.

The overall literacy rate in Nigeria is around 65%, and the number of university degree holders is much lower. There is a high dropout rate among university students, and many of the outstanding students choose to acquire a scholarship and study abroad. Among those who stay and study in Nigeria, many pursue humanities majors in the university or gain technical skills from vocational schools.

The increase in the number of students eager and capable of pursuing a university degree in Nigeria remains very slow, calling for more initiatives from the government and private sector to take necessary steps to make education more accessible and affordable to the youth.

In the guide below, we discuss some of the best subjects to study in Nigeria.

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Top Subjects to Study in Nigeria

1. Medicine

As discussed, the majority of university students tend to pursue humanities courses in Nigeria. The number of students eager to pursue a science degree is relatively low because such programs take longer and cost more to complete. As a result, the demand for science majors and professionals remains very high, making courses like Medicine and Healthcare among the best subjects to study in Nigeria.

Among African countries, Nigeria has some of the best medical universities with good facilities, competent lecturers, and world-class education predominantly acquired from British standards. Based on this relationship, most medical schools in Nigeria grant a medical degree that takes at least six years to complete, similar to the British curriculum.

In order to qualify for a medical program at the university, aspirants must have specialized in sciences and relevant subjects, such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English, and Mathematics, in secondary school. Getting good grades in all of these subjects can qualify a student to pursue Medicine. One of the best medical institutions to go to in Nigeria is the University of Ibadan, which was a subsidiary of the University of London and currently has its own hospital.

2. Petroleum Engineering

Another reputable science career in Nigeria is petroleum engineering. The oil industry is responsible for roughly 90% of the country’s revenue from exports, making petroleum engineers the highest-paid professionals in Nigeria. However, not many people pursue this career because the program is pretty difficult. There’s also an alarming number of dropouts due to academic and financial challenges.

Some Nigerians who possess a Petroleum Engineering degree may also advise fresh graduates against pursuing a job in Nigeria due to the rampant corruption issues in the country and the propensity of government officials and oil company executives to only hire relatives or people with connections. Luckily, degree holders have enough qualifications to find suitable career opportunities abroad if they find it challenging to land a job in the country. After all, petroleum engineers are highly valued in many oil-rich countries.

Incoming students can benefit from the many universities offering Petroleum Engineering programs in the country. Some higher education institutions offering such programs include the University of Benin and the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun.

3. Real Estate

The real estate industry is one of the most profitable industries in Nigeria. Because of this, pursuing a Real Estate degree in the country is popular and competitive. In addition, aspiring real estate managers or agents need to acquire a license to have better chances of getting hired at some top firms.

Real estate is among the top subjects to study in Nigeria. The industry contributes a significant amount of revenue to the country’s economy. Despite the drawbacks of the global pandemic, the real estate sector in Nigeria has started to bounce back and is steadily improving, calling for more skilled professionals.

Estate managers in Nigeria can contribute to the country’s development not only in industrial and economic growth but also in environmental sustainability. That is why selecting a good university that shares this vision is crucial. Some of the best institutions to choose from for good Estate Management programs include the Obafemi Awolowo University, the University of Benin, and the University of Calabar.

4. Aviation

The aviation industry in Nigeria offers a wide range of career opportunities ranging from ground staff and engineers to flight crew and pilots. There are also over thirty federal and international airports in the country to accommodate young professionals.

Even though half of the country suffers from poverty, Nigeria’s economy is slowly growing. The boost in its airline industry has helped improve its domestic transport of goods and services. As the country inches towards further growth and less dependence on the oil industry, the demand for aviation professionals will continue to grow, making subjects relevant to the field the best to study in Nigeria.

The International Aviation College Ilorin offers short-term courses that last 6 – 24 months to help aspirants get various types of private and commercial pilot licenses. Meanwhile, the Dhaewood Aviation Business School (DABS) offers numerous courses relevant to the aviation industry, including fundamental ground and cabin crew training and hotel or tourism management subjects.

5. Computer Engineering

Computer engineering is another one of the best subjects to study in Nigeria. It is because regardless of the economic status, every country has a great need for skilled computer engineers across almost all sectors, public and private alike.

Due to the high demand for computer engineers, many universities in Nigeria offer competitive programs to attract more students. As a result, the quality of education students receive keeps on improving year after year. Moreover, outstanding students may even qualify for an internship abroad, resulting in globally recognized competencies that can lead to more career opportunities in the global market.

The Afe Babalola University offers some of the most promising Computer Engineering programs at three levels: Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. It also hosts eight computer laboratories and allows students to select from various research areas, including Intelligent Systems, Power System Engineering, and more.


I hope that you found this article on the best subjects to study in Nigeria informative and helpful. Make sure to also check out our Scholarships Page for different information on scholarships and universities across the globe!