After Completing HND, What Next?

After completing your Higher National Diploma, you can be contemplating on many available choices open to you.

You can as well be a novice to what exactly you should dabble into as soon as you’re done in class.

Of course, this post is nothing new. Yet, it will carefully guide you on what should be next on your agender considering other factors such as finance, personality, and availability of certain resources.

1. NYSC is the Obvious Stage After HND

Without telling you, literally all HND graduates should be on the lookout for National Service after their convocations. 

Of course, a few graduates may be left out here if over-aged or their programmes were run on a sandwich, part-time, or distance learning basis. After all, graduates with these programmes are not allowed (at least for now) to serve at NYSC.

It may be obvious that NYSC comes immediately after HND, this time may not be taken seriously because it’s nothing, to a few corpers, than a time to serve the nation.

You can, of course, serve yourself during this period. If you consider reading some of my posts linked below, you may understand how important your service year is, not only to the country but also to yourself.

  1. 3 Ways to Prepare for Life Before/During NYSC
  2. Top-Up Degree or Direct Entry, Which is Better?
  3. Is it Possible to Run Two Degree/PGD Courses Together?
  4. Can I Do Masters (MSC/PGD) Before or During NYSC?

2. Consider Top-UP Degree in Case

One obvious headache you should have now as an HND holder is not being equalled to your BSC counterparts. You’re possibly better than they. Yet, no one cares – not even the government organizations.

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In case, you don’t know, HND is still yet to be given the same recognition and treatment as BSC even though Federal Government has given the hope that this would happen sooner.

However, instead of starting a BSC all over, a programme called the top-up degree or HND/BSC conversion is a time-saver. 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.

For more on this and universities offering the HND to BSC conversion programme, check my post, “HND to BSC/Top-Up Degree (18+ Universities in Nigerian and Abroad)“.

3. Consider Direct Entry to 300 Level if the Top-Up is Questionable

If furthering your studies is your priority and you truly want to have a degree too, you can just obtain the JAMB DE form and look for a few universities and courses accepting HND holders to 300 level. This will save you time.

And if you don’t mind, 200 level admission is equally acceptable. You have three more years or so to spend on your course. And that’s the same as the conversion programme except that the latter is, usually, on a part-time basis.

4. Converting Your HND to Education – Becoming a Teacher or Lecturer

Some HND holders were done in polytechnics before they realised they’re better of as teachers/lecturers. Some had the dream of a Bachelor degree in Education earlier on but fate, unfortunately, found spaces for them in polytechnics.

Now you’re done with HND, you may consider going back to your dream or chase a new discipline without the need to obtain a top-up degree or JAMB direct entry.

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A few schools and programmes were discussed in my post, “6 Ways to Convert HND to Education Course (Teacher/Lecturer)“. Literally, any of the 6 options will make you achieve progressional teaching certification in just a few months.

5. Chase Masters If you Find Universities Accepting HND for Second Degree

For a few years, in the past, it’s very uncommon to see universities accepting HND for a Masters programme.

In fact, some universities would insist you must obtain forms for PGD – Post-graduate Diploma and be qualified, before you can obtain their Masters if you hold Higher National Diploma (HND).

Even though certain universities still hold this position, some others now allow HND holders to obtain their Masters’ forms.

I’ve compiled some of these universities, to the best of my knowledge, in the post, “Universities that Accept HND (with Lower Credit) for PGD/MSC“.

Take a moment to go through.

6. Start Your Own Business and Grow it

After HND, especially once you’re done with the clarion call, you may want to start your own business.

After all, you’d spent your years in classes and on-field (during SIWES and IT), to acquire enough practical experiences that should gear you to starting your own business empire.

Of course, with no or less capital, it may be difficult to venture into this. Yet, if you’re stubborn to toes, you can check if you should start with self-examintion for NYSC returnees.

That’s a good way to do retrospect!

Looking for immediate opportunities to start a business, check, “4 Unique Profitable Businesses (Ideas) To Start After NYSC (With Little or No Capital)“.

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You may also find more opportunities in my post, “7 Things To Do After NYSC to Be Independent Financially“.

For ladies, who may want to be choosy, read, “4 Immediate Opportunities for Female Graduates After NYSC“.

And if you’re still contemplating on whether you should go for Business, job searching or postgraduate studies after NYSC, read, “After NYSC What Next? MSC, Jobs or Business (Self-Employment)“.


Basically, there are three routes before you after completing your HND. The three roads may be categorized into starting a business, furthering your studies or working for others (job searching).

Making the right choice depends so much on your person. Do you prefer academics over self-reliance and vice versa? Answering that question is the direct response to the question, What next after HND?”.

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