There is an increasing need to have Nigerian youths set their attention towards developing skills that will position them for the career of the future using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as leverage.
This was the position of stakeholders that gathered for the ICT Career Fair organized in Lagos by eBusiness Life Communication Limited, recently.
According to stakeholders, careers of the future rest on ICT and Nigerian youths should start developing themselves, using all available ICT tools to position themselves to be locally relevant and globally competitive.
In his message to the students, Asst. Chief Technical Officer, NITDA, Mr. Johnson Adedayo, who represented the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, urged the students to develop their talents using the available ICT Hubs in Nigeria, especially the NITDA-Partnered Hubs.
He told them to develop skills in coding, using search engines, and to avail themselves of the scholarships offered by the Agency in developing their skills.
Also, while making his presentation, Deputy Manager, Research, Training & Business Development, Digital Bridge Institute, Ikenna Ogbanufe asked the students to tap into DBI’s available resources to sharpen their skills.
These include the E-learning/Online Courses, Vocational Training/National Occupational Standards, DBI Certification Programmes, Hands-on and Laboratory-Based Telecom Courses, DBI Technology Apprenticeship Programme (TAP) and DBI Coding Academy Programme, among others.
According to Mrs. Idoreyin Imiyoho, who represented the Director-General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim, developing skills from a young age will help the students to grow up being experts in their chosen career. She encouraged the students to be determined in pursuing their passion.
Also speaking at the event, the Guest Speaker and Chief Executive Officer of foremost IT Training Institute, New Horizons, Mr. Tim Akano encouraged the students to be inquisitive and search out answers using technology tools. He charged them to “seek, create and add value to humanity using technology.”
In his remark, Executive Secretary of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) Mr. Ajibola Olude who represented the Association’s President, Mr. Olusola Teniola noted that there is a deficit in ICT Career development in Nigeria that needs to be plugged. He implored the students to study ICT-related courses to boost the country’s chances in the global economy.
He said ATCON is ready to partner with both private and public sector organisations to boost the chances of Nigerian youth development in ICT schemes.
According to him, collaboration is what will engender growth in further sharpen the skillset of students.
In her address, convener of the Fair and Chief Executive Officer of eBusiness Life, Mrs. Ufuoma Emuophedaro highlighted the need to groom young Nigerians to be technologically aware.
She observed: “Any professional job we can think of today has a strong tech component. Technology has become a critical tool in fields as diverse as art, history, archaeology, law, primary teaching, to mention but a few. As such, tech qualifications will give an advantage in a competitive job market, earn a high salary and give career mobility.”
Mrs. Emuophedaro further noted that it is estimated that within the next 10 years, there will be more than two million technology jobs that cannot be filled because of a lack of qualified ICT specialists.
She harped on the need for students to start from the basics to develop their knowledge for technology. “Even beyond careers, it is increasingly critical to encourage young people today to take STEM programs and develop the kind of business, entrepreneurial and complex problem-solving skills that are required in today’s world. By becoming fluent in information and communication technology, young people will learn to use the essential tools of the 21st century for whatever career they choose.”
She further explained the relevance of the chosen theme for this year’s event: “The theme of this Fair: “ICT Career: Laying The Blocks For The Future,” was chosen because we see that Nigeria is lagging behind most countries in technology development and considering the fact that the world is now a global village, our children, the future of this great nation, need to be brought to par with their peers in other climes so they can compete favourably with them.”
The Career Fair brought together students from different schools from both public and private across Lagos State.
The highlight of the event was the Panel Discussion by students as they discussed who should influence their career decision in a topic, “Choosing a Career Path: Who Decides – Students, Parents, Educators or Environment?”
At the end of the panel discussion, the students agreed that despite their being key in the decision-making process, contributions from other parents and other stakeholders are relevant to shaping their career.