In case you were wondering, “hard skills”, according to investopedia, are specific and teachable skills that can be measured and defined – writing, typing, mathematical skills are some examples of “hard skills”.
For the average Nigerian youth getting into and surviving university can be extra-ordinarily tedious. Securing a job in Nigeria (without connections and payments to “Ogas @ the top”) is like jumping out of an air plane without safety gear.
Personally, i took JAMB twice…TWICE ni!! i scored 258 and 232 in 2011 and 2013 respectively and luckily i got admitted to study communication arts in UniUyo. But this is a story for another day.
Lets assume you want to get a job in Nigeria. You have the revered degree(s) which automatically qualifies you for a position in an organisation, right? WRONG!!.
Sensible employers of labour are looking for employees that bring valuable and useful skills to the organisation. Here are top 5 “hard skills” Nigeria’s youth should acquire to better position themselves for employment (and business if entrepreneurship is your chosen path):
- Microsoft (MS) Office Tools: Word, PowerPoint (PPT), Excel, Access are essentials in daily office and business life. MS Word is useful for letter, memos, cover letters, and other text related work. MS PPT is mostly used in offices and businesses to show dynamic presentations using text, graphics and animation. MS Access and Excel are information management tools which enables analysis, storage and representation of large data.
- Typing: Mehn! this is important. An individual with awesome typing skills, will have an advantage in the labor market. Nigeria is still in the “A4 age” which means paper, typing and printing are still in vogue. In case you are in doubt, walk in to the nearest office that has chairs, desks and a BOOKSHELF – notice the heaps of papers? well, someone had to type them. Learn how to improve your typing speed, there are schools across Nigeria that specialise in teaching people “how to type”. If you prefer free online teaching check out this link for free online typing lessons.
- Mathematics and Numeracy: We live in a world were numeracy knowledge is gradually gaining prominence. It is always a good idea to know basic and logical math. Enough said. Practice free online numeracy aptitude tests here.
- Foreign Languages: This is our reality as Nigerians, Nigeria’s neighbours are French speaking our West African counterparts speak Portuguese (Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Principe and Guinea Bissau) and Spanish (Equatorial Guinea) and considering the Chinese influence in Nigeria it may make sense to learn Mandarin. Learn languages for free here.
Acquiring these skills will position you ahead of competition. Often meritocracy is not the criteria applied in recruitment in Nigeria, especially for the average Nigerian boy and girl without connections or money, but we need to keep improving our skill-set to ensure we stand a chance at least.
We should never give up.
blog927 for WatsPopin Nigeria.