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Digital skills vital for graduates — Experts

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By Usman Oladimeji

Ambitious graduates need to position well in the digital space.

Experts in the realm of digital Technology have pointed out the necessity for Nigerian university graduates to be equipped with core skills required to thrive in the modern digital workspace. This information was shared during the Digify Pro Africa brainstorming session, an event tagged ‘Industry 4.0 Unleashed: Technologies, Opportunities and Skills’, which took place recently at a Sheraton Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. In her remark, Florence Olumodimu, Country and Programme Director for Nigeria, DigifyAfrica, emphasized the significance of equipping Nigerian graduates with essential digital skills in order to make their knowledge valuable in the labour market.

Olumodimu said in the fast-paced world of advancing technology, it is crucial to equip graduates with crucial skills tailored for the digital workplace. This significant motivation led to the inception of the DigifyNG initiative four years back, she said. With the induction of each cohort, the firm aims to produce highly skilled and well-prepared graduates from Digify Pro, armed with innovative expertise and a vibrant zeal for success, into the marketing communications industry. In today’s rapidly-evolving marketing and communication industry, it is imperative to possess proficient Social Media marketing and management skills, she added.

Having tech skills is imperative for any graduate in the nation.

According to the County director, young Nigerian graduates have been equipped with various digital marketing skills through the firm’s programs. Digify Pro Africa rides on the mission of reducing youth Unemployment by training young Africans in high-demand skills, ensuring they can establish sustainable means of living within the Digital Economy. Bidemi Ladipo, the Head of Portfolio Management (Solutions) at Airtel Nigeria, emphasized during the panel discussion that possessing tech skills is imperative for any graduate in the nation.

Ladipo said ambitious graduates need to proactively position themselves in the tech industry, considering the sector’s exponential growth. In the dynamic realm of the digital era, individuals aiming for success and adaptability in their professional career must prioritize obtaining relevant skills, he pointed out. Likewise, the Director of Content at Moniepoint Inc, Obinna Okerekeocha highlighted the vastness of the digital Economy and the multitude of opportunities available for generating income through the creation of innovative and valuable content.

Nigeria among nations of the least skills proficiency globally.

A recent study conducted by GetBundi, an online educational tech firm, reveals a staggering statistic: over 100 million youths in Nigeria lack the vital digital skills required to thrive in the modern job market. Coursera’s Global Skills Report 2023 further solidify this concerning finding, ranking Nigeria among the nations with the least skill proficiency globally. Even before now, numerous industry specialists have noted the necessity for students and graduates to possess digital skills. Digital Illiteracy has been pinpointed as a prevailing factor behind the unemployment dilemma faced by numerous tertiary institutions graduates in the country.

In an effort to provide digital learning, the Nigerian government has recently launched a program with the purpose of equipping its citizens with technological skills. This program, which is part of the ambitious Renewed Hope agenda, is aimed at training 3 Million Technical Talents (3MTT) by 2025. The ultimate goal is to bolster Nigeria’s technical expertise, ensuring it becomes a dominant force in the digital economy and even transforms into a net exporter of skilled talent. NITDA, alongside various stakeholders such as fellows, training providers, partners, and placement organizations, teamed up for the initial phase of the program’s implementation.

Related Article: 85% of graduates lack digital skill – survey 

The introduction of 3MTT would also have a positive impact on the digital economy and play a crucial role in generating job opportunities for trainers. Enthusiasts with a keen interest in particular skills will be selected and funding will be provided for the cost of their training with training providers accepted into the programme. The first phase of the initiative will focus on these twelve (12) technical skills namely; Software Development, UI/UX Design, Data Analysis & Visualisation, Quality Assurance, Product Management, Data Science, Animation, AI/Machine Learning, Cybersecurity, Game Development, Cloud Computing, and DevOps.


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