IT Jobs in Nigeria 2020

IT Jobs in Nigeria

"NBA, thank you for disinviting Governor El Rufai" by Debo Onifade

The world has largely relied on IT in recent months to be able to sustain a good level of economic and government activities. According to several recruitment companies in Nigeria, enquiries about IT jobs in Nigeria have increased significantly in recent months. Also, recent graduates with some work experience in Lagos are beginning to show more interest in switching to  IT career in Nigeria because IT is one of the few industries that allowed many staff to work from home during COVID-19 lockdown.

Truth be told, the post-corona world will continue to practice significant social distancing and will allow many workers to work from home. This will continue to increase the need for technologies and will ultimately create additional job opportunities in the IT and telecom industries.

The top job websites in Nigeria are also focusing a lot on IT in recent times because even small companies are hiring IT specialists in order to enhance their operations through technology. Through better use of IT, financial, entertainment, and medical practices are growing their businesses around the world. In the same vein, Nigerian companies have significantly increased their use of IT in recent months and this will remain the norm for a long time. According to the #1 IT recruitment agency in Nigeria – Delon Jobs, despite the looming economic crisis, IT jobs in the next five years in Nigeria will likely double the amount of IT jobs created in Nigeria within the last five years. This is because though many companies will downsize a lot in terms of human resources, several of them will have to utilize more technology to get more work done. Relying more on technologies will enhance the need for IT specialists and employers will do more of IT recruitment in Nigeria than ever before.

Before I continue with my article, I like to answer a popular question in many people’s minds related to the highest paying IT jobs in Nigeria through a simple infographic estimate of the top 15 highest paying IT jobs in Nigeria, as estimated by Delon Jobs.

Highest Paying IT Jobs in Nigeria

If you have carefully gone through the infographic picture above on the top paying IT jobs in Nigeria, you would have learnt a little about fifteen out of the several fields of IT in Nigeria today.

IT Jobs in Lagos

As at June 2020, software development is currently the most sought-after category of jobs in the IT industry in Lagos. This is perhaps because there is a higher demand for them than any of the other high-paying IT jobs in Nigeria. Lagos employers are paying high salaries because there is scarcity of experienced software developers in the country. So whenever software developer jobs in Nigeria positions are posted on job portals, the positions do not get filled up quickly except the new employer is willing to pay a decent amount. This industry is therefore currently a seller’s market.

Top Job Website in Nigeria

If you visit the current #1 job website in Nigeria – that is focused a lot on IT jobs, you will always find different types of software developer positions that remain unfilled for many weeks. This clearly shows there is a growing demand which is not sufficiently matched with adequate supply at the moment. There are many types of jobs associated with software development. I will discuss a few of them as follows.

UI UX Designer Jobs in Nigeria

User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX) job is the first type I like to talk about. It is a very uncommon type of job in the software development industry in Nigeria because the industry is not currently putting a lot of value on it. It is however unfortunate that most companies end up spending more time and money fixing poorly created software because they did not devote adequate time on the initial UI/UX design before the development team started coding. No matter how gifted and experienced your software coding team is, they will always run into problems if the UI/UX was not perfectly done at the beginning.

UI/UX requires a lot of collaboration with the customer and the challenge is that some customers do not even want to exercise the required patience to go through this process. They always want the software developers to start coding quickly in order to get the product ready on time. But it is the responsibility of the software development company to explain in detail to the customer the need for proper UI/UX work before coding. I predict that there will be many new job opportunities for UI/UX designers in Nigeria in the next five years.

Quality Assurance Jobs in Nigeria

Quality Assurance (QA) engineers are also not often talked about in the Nigeria software development industry. Yet it is perhaps one of the major reasons why software products from the West tend to be less devoid of problems than local software products. Local software products in Nigeria will become much more successful when QA is taken more seriously. So if you are a recent engineering graduate that loves coding but do not really have the flair or skills in coding, QA is a good area to consider as there will be more jobs related to QA in the next few years.

Cyber Security Jobs in Nigeria

A cyber security engineer creates and executes secure network solution against cyber-attacks and hackers. It is a rapidly growing field in Nigeria’s financial sector, but there will be growing needs for cyber security engineers in government, oil & gas, online marketplace, as well as insurance in the next few years. Cyber security experts are still very few in Nigeria, but it is a good area to explore as a student or recent graduate. It will continue to be a high-paying job in Nigeria.

Software Developer Jobs in Nigeria

Software development today includes mobile app developers, web app developers, and desktop app developers. But because of the advent of cloud computing and massive growth of mobile technologies around the world, the need for mobile and web developers has increased. So people talk more about mobile and web development in many companies. But Nigerian companies continue to require inhouse software developers to help with several customization work on their off-the-shelf software, there will always be need for traditional core software developers in Nigeria for the next five years.

Cloud Engineer Jobs in Nigeria

Cloud and infrastructure engineers now work closely with software developers to handle the infrastructure end of development. Cloud engineers assess existing physical infrastructure of a business, or requirement, and determines solutions for moving different functions (e.g. database storage) to a cloud-based system. And they set up and maintain the system. They are like the link between software developers and the hardware infrastructure. Because of the huge cost of maintaining physical datacenter infrastructure in Nigeria (power supply, safety, etc), many Nigerian companies will embrace cloud computing more in the next five years. The challenge however is the internet bandwidth and reliability. If we get our internet reliable, more and more companies will trust the technology and it will create jobs for cloud engineers.

Data Engineer Jobs in Nigeria

Then we have the data engineers (sometimes called data scientists) who can venture in several sub-areas including big data specialists, artificial intelligence, etc. It is an emerging field in Nigeria, but I am concerned that the professionals in the sub-industry talk more about the processing side than acquisition. There is very little data available in Nigeria. We do not even know our population, real unemployment rate, etc. I predict much lower growth in this area over the next five years than the ones I described earlier.

Project Manager Jobs in Nigeria

Project managers, scrum masters, product managers, product owners, agile coach and software development managers are management or business-related roles associated with software development. They perform best when they have technical background but there are also many efficient managers without technical background. There have always been project managers in Nigeria, but the growth will come from the new agile frameworks. More companies will hire scrum masters, product owners and agile coaches over the next five years.

Network Engineer Jobs in Nigeria

Moving away from software development, we have network engineers that were the most sought-after engineers in the early 2000s. Companies used to pay a lot to hire top network specialists but that is not happening anymore. This is mainly because the supply has increased a lot and has matched demands or in fact exceeded regular demands.

Though these positions are no longer as glamorous as they were in the past, they will always be required in Nigeria. It is easier to become a network engineer than a software developer, so I encourage IT students to continue to include network engineering as a viable career option.

IT Support Engineer Jobs in Nigeria

This title is often used for IT professionals handling hardware support, basic server administration, small inhouse networks, UPS, and inverters, among others. It is perhaps the oldest IT role in Nigeria that is gradually fading away. These roles will continue to disappear within the next five years.

Engineering Jobs in Nigeria

The most related engineering jobs to IT is power engineers or electrical engineers in Nigeria. Companies require UPS, batteries, inverters, generators to maintain their IT infrastructure. IT specialists are not trained to handle these. So there will continue to be opportunities for electrical engineers in the IT industry over the next five years. Beyond IT, the expected growth in the power industry will create many jobs for electrical engineers in Nigeria for the next ten years or more.

Getting IT Jobs in Nigeria

So what is required to produce adequate number of IT specialists that will match the upcoming surge in IT jobs in Nigeria? The simple answer is that Nigeria has to produce more qualified people.

Acquiring IT skills and education used to very expensive and exclusive, but that is no longer the case. You do not need to go to a top public university or an expensive private university in order to become an expert in any IT field of your choice.

I was interviewing several people recently for a senior software engineer position, and the top two candidates were HND holders. Ordinarily, they would have been disqualified from the hiring process because the requirement was bachelor’s degree, but because we decided not to screen out HND holders, we found them. Every company providing top IT recruitment service in Nigeria will not screen IT candidates based on the university or polytechnic you attended because they know that does not play any role at this time. They focus on your skills and ability to adapt to the new employer’s work environment.

Internship Jobs in Nigeria

If you are interested in the IT industry as a student, you should spend time reading a lot about the different fields of IT, learn a lot about them, evaluate them in terms of job opportunities in Nigeria and your personal academic ability.

In order to determine what IT fields are hiring a lot in Nigeria at the moment, you can do some google research or regularly visit websites of the top IT recruitment and outsourcing companies in Nigeria to update yourself about the IT employment market. While searching for different types of IT jobs, you will see several different types of IT jobs, including some of the ones I described earlier. You should study all those job types and try to narrow down to your top three or five which you may end up building your career plan around in future.

I like to provide some advice to recent graduates of IT-related courses in Nigeria who have little skills in IT but strongly desire to find IT jobs in Nigeria. My first advice is to seek internship opportunity with companies at zero or little pay. I remember many years ago I worked at a newly formed company in Lekki. It was owned by some of Nigerian banks. There was an electrical engineering graduate who had looked for job for a few years without success. Suddenly he met the company’s IT manager and appealed for an internship position to give him a chance to learn. The IT manager initially declined, saying the company did not have a policy of hiring post-NYSC people as interns but after enormous persuasion from other people, he sought management approval and the engineer got the job. The man (the electrical engineering graduate) worked for a few years, learnt a lot, got confirmed as a full-time IT specialist and he is currently working in the UK as an IT specialist.

If you do not get an internship opportunity, you can start learning some skills by yourself. Once you determine one or two areas that you are mostly interested in, you should approach friends or family members who are specialists in those areas and plead for books, helpful information, and software. You can also appeal for practical lessons from them. I have deliberately mentioned friends and family because I anticipate that these will be people that would not mind providing free assistance to you.

The last example is good for people that can get training sponsorship. If you have a parent or guardian that can sponsor you for IT training, please take advantage of the opportunity and enroll yourself at good IT training institutes in Nigeria. Devout about six to twelve months to learn a lot and get fully prepared for the employment market. Once you have developed some good skills, you can then start looking for IT jobs in Nigeria.

Npower Jobs in Nigeria

Let us talk about government role a bit. At this corona period, government has been doing a lot to create jobs through the Npower program, but according to a tribune article which discusses how governments can reduce unemployment in Nigeria, the federal and state governments must create deliberate policy incentives to encourage companies to keep as many jobs as possible during this corona crisis.

The governments should also handle the recently approved N2.3 trillion stimulus put together by the Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC) assembled by President Muhammadu Buhari with the best possible transparency and integrity. The state governments also need to improve its COVID-19 palliative selection and distribution strategies across Nigeria.

As we talk about IT jobs in Nigeria, Npower jobs and government efforts to enhance employment across the country, it is important for students, Pre-NYSC, NYSC and recent graduates to also sharpen their job hunting skills in Nigeria in order to successfully compete for opportunities, whether it is private-driven or government-led. Read career interviews in Nigeria and attend job webinars dedicated to Nigerian students, Pre-NYSC, NYSC and recent graduates. Delon jobs organizes such events and you can watch some past episodes of their live webinar on finding jobs in Nigeria is available here on youtube.

Nigeria Jobs on Linkedin

I should not end this article without discussing how Nigerians can benefit from effective use of linkedin. Linkedin offers tremendous opportunities for job seekers to connect with employers, but many IT job seekers do not use it effectively. If you are an IT professional with great interests in working for a big Nigerian company called ABC, you should not wait until you find a linkedin job post from ABC before reaching out to people working in ABC. You should try to find connections from company ABC so that you already have friends there before a job opportunity comes up. Also, ensure you are following the company on linkedin so that you get their news posts on time.

Whenever you find an IT job posted on linkedin, check if you have any 1st level or 2nd level connection in the company to try to seek referral opportunities or ask important questions about the job opening before applying. Linkedin is a very powerful tool and you should take time to learn how to maximize its use in your search for good IT jobs in Nigeria. In recent years, the some job websites in Nigeria on linkedin post hundreds of new Nigeria jobs on linkedin every week, and that makes it easier for people to see diverse types of jobs while they remain on linkedin.

Online Jobs in Nigeria

Another category of jobs that will grow significantly in Nigeria within the next five years is online jobs in Nigeria. It requires basic IT knowledge and skills, but is not sub-industry of IT. Students, recent graduates and experienced workers should position themselves for many upcoming online jobs in Nigeria even after the end of COVID-19. If you are a student in Nigeria, you can watch a video that provides very good tutorial about how to get online jobs in Nigeria as a student.

Finally, having talked briefly about online jobs, I like to also talk about online stores in Nigeria before I end this article. This is basically the act of selling products and services online in Nigeria, through smartphones and basic technology skills. For example, one industry that has been growing a lot in recent years in Nigeria is fashion design. The corona crisis will continue to impact the industry negatively but professionals in the industry can use mobile apps or browsers on their phones to promote their fashion design for sale in Nigeria via a free ads website. Many Nigerians are already taking advantage of using several free classifieds in Nigeria to advertise their clothing sale online in Nigeria. In Lagos many people with little education are selling cheap cars in Nigeria online, while others even in highbrow areas are using classifieds to promote their cleaning services in Lekki, tiling services, plumbing, and so on.

Lastly, IT specialists who do not have full-time positions or are not interested in full-time jobs can pursue freelancing jobs through classifieds in Nigeria or foreign websites like upwork, toptal, and fiverr.

Debo Onifade

Engineer and Entrepreneur

August 23, 2020

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