Everyone wants to learn a tech skill. It is the new wisdom. Pretty soon, people without tech skills will become the new illiterates. They will find it difficult to cope with the new reality. For every job, there is a tech skill for it – and limitless opportunity. However, young people in Nigeria are making the same mistake their fathers made. They blindly choose a tech skill to learn. Just like my friend, Tony.
Tony, 27, graduated 3 years ago. He studied Chemistry and always regretted that choice.
‘It would have been better if I studied Chemistry Education’ – he laments. ‘Nigeria doesn’t value our course, and without a Bachelor in Education, it is difficult to get a real teaching job.’
For 3 years, he has not found a job that matches his academic qualification. He has worked in a hotel, served as a procurement officer in a plastic company, and there was a time he took a teaching job. None of these jobs paid him enough to cover his transport fares and there was no hope of getting an actual job.
Believing that he must ‘Tech-up’, Tony saved some money and invested in Tech education. He heard that there are jobs for Python Programmers and paid to gain the skill. At the end of the 4 months, he felt the same way about Python Programming Language as he felt about BSC in Chemistry.
Just like Tony, most Nigerians are repeating the same mistake we made while choosing University degree courses. We want to be doctors and lawyers. We do not consider our personalities before taking a decision. Once we believe there is a demand for a skill, we all run into it.
According to Stanley Anigbogu, ‘Nigerians have the intention of learning a skill before knowing what to do with it. In the western world, you identify what to do with a skill before learning it. You should always think about the problem to be solved first before finding a solution.’
Every tech skill has its potential and market. Following the crowd will only lead to a waste of resources and time. Therefore, before choosing a Tech Skill to Learn, ask yourself this: What do I need this skill for?