A recent survey conducted by GetBundi, a prominent online education technology platform, has unveiled a stark reality for Nigeria’s graduates.
More than 85% of the country’s graduates lack fundamental digital skills, rendering them ill-prepared to seize valuable job opportunities that demand modern proficiency.
This revelation, disclosed by Osita Oparaugo, the CEO of GetBundi, underscores a significant digital skills gap that has been closely tied to Nigeria’s persistently high unemployment rate.
The absence of these crucial digital competencies stands as a prominent factor impeding the employment prospects of yearly graduates from tertiary institutions.
According to Oparaugo, the lack of practical digital skills has been a consistent barrier preventing graduates from securing employment within the competitive labor market.
Oparaugo’s statement on Sunday, August 28, 2023, illuminated this growing issue.
The findings of a 2023 survey conducted by GetBundi, in collaboration with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and Digital Skill Education Technology Company, further highlighted the deficiency.
Out of 100 National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members surveyed, only 19 possessed any semblance of digital skills.
Even among this group, the skills were predominantly limited to basic Microsoft Excel proficiency and rudimentary knowledge.
A mere seven respondents exhibited basic understanding in programming, machine learning, and data science; notably, all had pursued their studies outside Nigeria.
The survey also revealed a disconcerting trend in the participants’ engagement with technology.
While the majority maintained active social media accounts on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, their practical understanding of digital skills remained abysmally low.
Additionally, 15 respondents held certificates in various science-based fields, yet struggled to demonstrate practical expertise when tested in their respective domains.
This critical issue, which coincides with the current digital skills-centric global landscape, is indicative of a larger problem. While the young individuals are not solely at fault, the education system shoulders significant responsibility.
Oparaugo emphasized the outdated nature of many Nigerian universities’ curricula, which fail to adequately address the practical aspects of contemporary digital skills.
The result is a deficiency in practical digital skills that would otherwise empower the youth for gainful employment and self-sufficiency.
As the digital divide continues to widen, urgent reforms in the education system are imperative to equip Nigeria’s graduates with the competencies required to excel in the rapidly evolving digital world.
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