We live in a digital world, but we’re fairly analog creatures.
Digital skills are defined as a range of abilities to use digital devices, communication applications, and networks to access and manage information. They enable people to create and share digital content, communicate and collaborate, and solve problems for effective and creative self-fulfillment in life, learning, work, and social activities at large. (UNESCO, 2018)
In the 21st century, the world is in a digital age and almost everything and every sector is being digitized. We are gradually moving to a time where technology is taking over work from man. In the workplace today, a lot of jobs are being automated and this requires digitals skills to achieve.
How much are we enlightened in this area as Nigerians? How much knowledge do we have of this subject matter? There is a massive need for digital skills these days in Nigeria. Lots of companies require these skills and we are short of people with digitals skills. We need to build these gaps by enlightening and encouraging Nigerian youths to learn digitals skills, these are going to have a lot of positive effects on the individual and the nation’s economy.
4 Reasons why we need digitals skills in Nigeria
1. It helps solve the problem of unemployment.
According to an article by Palladum, 55% of the youth population in Nigeria are either underemployed or unemployed in large part due to a mismatch between the job market and the skills youth are trained in. (Whitney Van Schyndel & Marlou Ryik – July 14, 2020)
Digital skills are needed nowadays to get good and paying jobs. A youth with digitals skills is at an advantage of getting a job over a youth without a skill.
2. Poverty eradication.
Lots of Nigerians make up to a million naira working from home with the help of digital skills. It has been proved that with just one digital skill one can be self-employed and work remotely. These skills are needed across the globe. You can be in Nigeria and serve people in other countries. We only need more people to learn how this works and we will be on our way to reduce poverty in this nation.
3. Job creation.
Some individuals have been able to create jobs from their digital skills, some have made so much money and established companies in other sectors that provide jobs for people.
4. Business growth.
Digitals skills have helped a lot of companies and individuals to grow their business as they are able to reach out to many customers and potential customers using digital media.
HOW TO ACQUIRE DIGITALS
Getting a digital skill is easy in today’s world because you can even get one for free. There are lots of learning platforms that offer free courses and videos. One who is interested can start with this but much in-depth knowledge is required to keep you at the edge as a professional in your chosen field and this will come with some financial commitment.
To start with you need 3 things to look out for when learning a digital skill.
1. Demand: What is the market demand for a skill? Is there a problem that you are trying to find a solution to? You need to ask yourself these questions. There are lots of digitals skills out there. You can’t just pick one and start learning, you need to know how relevant this skill is in the market.
2. Income: How much can you make from this skill if you work for an organization and as a freelancer? The money aspect of this skill is also important so you shouldn’t scrap it because aside from that you want to contribute to the development of your nation, you are also learning it to make money. You should go for skills that have a high income
3. Competition: How competitive are the digitals skills you are looking to learn? There are some skills that are already crowded, you will make money but you will need to be at the top of your game to break through with this skill. As a beginner, it might be a little difficult to break into the market with a highly competitive skill. So, you need to look out for a digital skill with less competition.
4. Your ability and interest. I want to also add that we all have different intellectual abilities, this can also be a determining factor in choosing a digital skill. Your interest also matters. The more interest you have the likelihood to get better at these skills.
Some digital skills you can consider includes:
1. Web and App Development: Web development is a process of using a variety of coding languages used in building and maintaining a website to make it look great and work perfectly. Web development skills are high in demand worldwide especially in Nigeria as every individual business and company is seeking to have an online presence. It is also well-paid too making it a great career option. This skill is easy to get, you don’t need to go to the university to be a web developer. You don’t even need a relevant certificate from any university before you can become a web developer.
2. Social media management: People spend a lot of time building their businesses on social media. You can make a lot of money helping busy businesses and brands manage their social media presence. We have a number of social media platforms that are used in promoting businesses and brands. For example are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Instagram. You need little knowledge to start earning as a social media manager. There are other related skills you need to work efficiently as a social media manager such as content creation skills, basic graphic design skills, and so on.
3. Digital Marketing: Digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps. Using these online media channels, digital marketing is the method by which companies endorse goods, services, and brands (marketo.com). Digital marketing skills include: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social Media Marketing, Pay-Per-Click, and Social Media Advertising, Email Marketing, etc.
4. Data Science and Data Analytics: This skill is highly relevant in Nigeria today and very few people are already taking advantage of it.
5. Graphics design; Lots of individuals and corporate organizations need graphics for promotion and product development. This is a high-paying skill in Nigeria today.
6. Video editing: You can earn money by creating videos and editing for people or organizations. It is benign said that the future of online media is video, people are drawn to what they can see.