Nigerian graduate

Every Nigerian Youth Service Corp (NYSC) member at the point of passing out must have wondered, “After now, what next?” Some would know, while others have no clue. But it is almost always inevitable that finding a job will be on the list of what next and the job hunt will definitely be geared towards your abilities and know-how.

As a result of the unpleasant unemployment situation faced by youths in Nigeria however, getting a good job might prove to be extremely difficult.

According to a Brookings situation analysis, several factors have been noted to be responsible for the case of youth unemployment in Nigeria; “There is a high population growth rate—3.5 percent per-annum — which accompanies an already large national population of over 167 million people.

In addition, deficient school curricula and poor teacher training have contributed to the failure of educational institutions to provide their students the appropriate skills to make them employable.”

Having considered these factors, it is safe to say that a large percentage of Nigerian youths graduate the university without acquiring skills that might be needed to carry out various activities efficiently, thereby, making them unemployable.

It is therefore of utmost importance for Nigerian students and graduates to develop themselves in various areas as well as basic skills in order to increase their chances of getting employed.

7 Employability Skills

empoyability skills

There is not a single job that does not have certain requirements, even if just one. For every career sector, specific skills, knowledge and abilities need to be acquired for work to be done effectively. However, there are several general skills and competencies which EVERY NIGERIAN GRADUATE MUST HAVE in order to increase chances of employability.

1. Technical literacy

young girl operating computer
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In today’s technology oriented society, it is actually almost impossible to find university graduates who do not know how to use a computer. Basic knowledge on how to operate certain software and hardware is always a requirement for most white-collar jobs, however, job candidates with strong computer skills stand a better chance of getting hired. Although employers expect to provide training on job-specific software, they also expect candidates to be proficient with basic computer skills.

2. Communication

This broadly applies to written, listening and oral communication. Every employer wants their employee to have the ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently. As a Nigerian graduate in the job market, you must be concise, clear and focused, have the ability to tailor your message for the audience involved, and listening to the view of others.

3. Social Market Awareness

Digital Information World’s 2017 social media user survey reveals that 97% of online adults between the ages of 16-64 visit or use a social network frequently, 32% of that group being between the ages of 18-29 (Pew Research Centre). This research shows that a large percentage of active social media users are young people, therefore, they are more likely to understand the social market. Employers nowadays realize this, and often expect young applicants to have, if not profound, at least a good understanding and insight on the operations of social media as a tool for marketing.

4. Teamwork

team work construction
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The importance of being a team player is always stressed in work environments. No company would want to hire an individualist who cannot work with others. This is because every individual have certain unique skills which will be required for a task, and the cooperative effort of these individuals must be made to achieve the common goal of a company.

5. People skills

Although this may fall under communication, possessing the ability to interact and relate effectively with others is a special ability on its own. British Dictionary defines People Skills as “the ability to communicate effectively with people in a friendly way, especially in business.” In business, it is “a connection among people in a humane level to achieve productivity.” (Wikipedia) Being able to relate positively with others tells of an interesting character, one which is likely to attract the attention of people, and most importantly, preserve healthy customer relationship. Displaying such a skill earns you points right from an interview session.

6. Analytical skills

Employers are always in search of people who have the ability to take logical as well as creative approaches to identifying problems, solving problems and resolving issues. As a job candidate, you will be expected to able to effectively analyze both simple and complex problems by making sensible decisions given the available information.

7. Open-mindedness

Welcome to the real outside world, where anything is possible and changes occur on a daily basis. In order for one to be able to adapt to new environments, learn new skills and approaches, interact with new people and try new ways of doing things, one must keep an open-mind and be flexible to change, which is constant in the world of business.

Final thought:

A lot is usually expected from fresh university graduates looking for jobs (white-collar most especially). This may seem unlikely considering the fact that they probably will have little or no experience in the job market, but they are most times seen by employers as fresh out of the academic world, pumped up with knowledge and enthusiastic about working.

Although job related-skills must be acquired along the line, the above basic skills are sure to keep a Nigerian graduate armed and ready for an impressive interview at any time.


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About The Author

Amanda Onoabhagbe is a Content Marketer at Backdesk Innovative Solutions, Abuja. She has a passion for researching history and sharing information, using the most creative tools and her professional abilities in writing and public speaking. She is a performance artist as well as an events entertainment service provider, and can not get over her fascination of the world of literature and the arts.

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