When I was a young boy growing up under the care of my parents, if you had asked me what I would love to do as an adult, there was no way that I could ever have mentioned blogging as a possibility. Why? It didn’t exist. While mobile technology existed, it was a far cry from what we have today. I keep telling people in my circle that I went through both secondary school and university – a journey of 13 years – without much changing in how anything was done. Then, all of a sudden, Information Communications Technology (ICT) shows up and the picture changes.
Now, we experience huge culture changes in a relatively smaller number of years. This is what has also led to new job opportunities that never before existed. Three years ago, there were almost no Social Media Managers parts. Now, schools offer courses and businesses are hiring. I have already mentioned blogging. I remember how the informal sector here in Nigeria was hugely impacted when GSM mobile technology arrived, creating jobs that had never existed. The amount of jobs created from selling airtime via recharge cards alone was huge!
We have opportunities springing up especially in digital media, communications and PR, marketing and more. One of the traits of the new reality is a shift from a focus on certificates to a focus on skills. What you are able to do is now infinitely more important than what certificate you have from schooling. In a country where our educational system is light years behind the world’s advancements, ICT is a vital bridging tool that almost anyone can use to get up to speed and develop new skills.
The entry barrier for many of these new opportunities is fairly low. You can learn the skills by yourself if you can pick things on your own fairly well. You often do not need more than a laptop, a smartphone and an internet connection too. Perhaps also a domain name and web hosting subscription. But it is relatively easier and cheaper to get going creating a revenue channel than it used to be.
Of course, there is no easy road to success and a lot of hard work and perseverance is required to overcome the challenges of earning an income from whatever you do. Still, it is a plus that it is relatively easier and cheaper to get started. At the end of the day, the critical issue is getting started.
The culture changes continue and no-one knows for sure what jobs we will be talking about this time next year. The changes are sometimes that fast-paced. The question is, What are you as an individual going to do to take advantage of these new patterns that we see? What ICT tools will you be taking advantage of going forward? Your call.