The Fourth Industrial Revolution has begun, developments in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Nanotechnology, 5G, 3D printing and Internet of Things, VR/AR and more, are fast evolving around the world.
Africa is not left behind, the technology industry in Africa is fast becoming one of the most lucrative industries for job seekers. The industry has presented an opportunity for people to work for companies and earn good money in return. While unemployment in Nigeria may be considerably high, the technology industry is facing a shortage of talent and is constantly looking for talent across board.
According to Funlola Oshodi, the Lead Consultant at HR Aid Consults, a firm that hires and manages talent for tech startups in Nigeria, says finding developers is a difficult task. “The very good developers, those with great technical and soft skills, are difficult to find,” Oshodi said. (Techcabal,2019)
A recent report by Passion Incubator showed that the technology sector is currently the single biggest employer of labour of talent with post-secondary education. See chart below on the distribution. As the world continues to progress further into the Digital age, this trend is expected to continue.
This presents a golden opportunity for people to get into the Technology field today regardless of your first study discipline. Technology roles usually involve critical thinking, problem-solving and reducing complex ideas and processes into efficient, bite-sized pieces. These skills are not degree-specific and there is a myriad of starter courses and training schools focused on equipping talents to start a career in Technology.
However, it could also be confusing…. Should you learn a programing language or go in for tech certification? Which of the career paths from database administrator to network engineer to Data scientist should you take?
So, what do you need to do to kick start your career?
1. Research and explore job roles
The quickest way to learn about the industry is by learning from those already in the industry (friends, advisors, mentors) and the numerous resources available online on top roles and skills needed. Tech websites, publications, job websites, industry-organisation meetings and podcasts are very helpful in finding out which career path seems best for you.
2. Attend a course
Now that you have a clearer picture of where your interests lie. Whether it be a programmer, Data scientist, UI/UX Designer or a network engineer there is a course for you (online or in person). If your interest lies in becoming a programmer, you may want to learn a basic language like HTML, the language used to display Web pages, which programmers, technical writers, and information architects, and many others in the tech field need to know and see how that goes. You can also attend some technical courses here or training centers in Lagos and Ibadan here.
3.Securing a job or gig
Some training schools already offer opportunities to work with companies as interns or graduates on completion of the program. Alternatively, to gain some initial experience, freelancing is another way to offer your services to someone in your circle of friends who requires some work done. This would allow you build an online presence and a solid portfolio of your work.
In summary, there has not been a better time to get into tech and you can start today!
“Our policy (at Facebook) is literally to hire as many talented engineers as we can find, The whole limit in the system is that there aren’t enough people who are trained and have these skills today.” – Mark Zuckerberg CEO Facebook