People still underestimate the importance of having a useful skill in this part of the world. Yet it’s one of the most valuable currencies in the 21st century.
Indeed, getting a university degree is still important (don’t listen to those people saying ‘school na scam’).
However, ensure that you have a good and lucrative skill alongside your certificate. After all, if your certificate can’t get you a good job, your ‘sabificate’ (talent) will always bail you out.
I stand to be corrected. Most Nigerian graduates lack skills that will help them in real life.
Don’t you believe it?
How would you explain a situation when a computer science student doesn’t know how to build a website, write elementary coding, etc.
But it’s not their fault. Our educational system is designed to make students cram bookish definitions and regurgitate them during examinations.
Let me tell the ugly truth. Nobody cares if you are a first-class or distinction graduate anymore.
What people are concerned about is your skill. That thing you think you know as a first-class student that makes you unique, a search on Google will reveal it in a few seconds.
If you are a Jambite reading this article, you can do things differently.
While you wait for Post UTME activities, you can learn a skill that could help you throughout your life.
Instead of spending your day at home seeing the latest movies. You can actually use the time to learn something more creative that will make you financially independent on campus.
So, in this article, I will share with you some smart skills every Jambite should learn before gaining admission.
21 Smart Skills to Learn Before Gaining Admission
If you take these skills seriously, you will become financially independent on campus.
I understand that not everybody is tech-savvy. So, the list contains a blend of tech and regular skills.
Writing is one of the most frequently demanded skills on the internet right now.
If you are a good writer, there are several earning opportunities for you.
I know what you are thinking… How do you learn how to write, right?
Well, it’s simple, start by having a genuine interest in learning.
Once you made up your mind to become a writer, start watching tutorial videos online.
There are a lot of resources that can teach how to write on YouTube.
Just be focused on learning and don’t think about the earning initially. If you do, it could discourage you.
While you watch the tutorial videos on how to write, ensure that you put in much practice.
The easiest way to improve your writing skill is to practice every day.
You can start by writing articles based on what’s happening in your environment.
However, whenever you write an article or story, give it to experienced people to read.
They will point out areas you need to improve on and guide you properly.
How to Earn From Writing
Once you are a writer, there are several activities you can engage in to make money for yourself.
You can either become a Freelancer, a blogger, and a host of many other things.
If you are good at writing short, emotionally appealing stories, you can write eBooks and sell on amazon.
I know a few exceptional writers who are making real money online. Interestingly, one of them is still a student.
#2. Web Development
Web development is another smart skill you can learn as a jambite before gaining admission. It involves the building and maintenance of websites.
For every website that looks great, works fast, and provides seamless users’ experience, there’s always a web developer behind the scene.
There are a lot of earning opportunities available for you as a developer – both offline and online. If you are good at what you do, you will be completely independent while in school.
Most web developers are self-taught. Meaning they taught themselves how to build beautiful websites. So, you can easily teach yourself web development. And if you are consistent about it, you could become an expert within a year.
It’s simple, watch web development videos on YouTube. And ensure you put whatever you learn to practice after every lesson.
Some of the best website and mobile app developers out there are self-taught. You could be one of them.
It’s simple; all you need is a laptop, steady internet connection, and your commitment.
How to Monetize Your Web Development Skill
Learning how to design websites and mobile apps is one thing: monetizing the skill is another thing. I know of web developers with exceptional skills, yet they don’t know how to monetize them. Here are some easy ways to monetize your web development skill;
Freelancing websites are platforms that bring sellers (people with skills to offer) and buyers (people looking for the services of a particular skill) together.
You can sign up as a freelancer in any of freelancing websites and start selling your web design skills. Some of the most popular freelancing websites are; Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancers, etc.
Most freelancing websites are a bit competitive these days (Especially Fiverr). It takes serious commitment, hard work, and patience to start earning big on these platforms.
However, it’s a bit easier to start getting jobs on Upwork. It has fewer freelancers and more buyers. And clients on Upwork tend to pay better.
BUT Upwork doesn’t accept freelancers easily like other platforms. The platform rejects 4 out of every 10 freelancers that apply.
However, if you are genuinely interested in registering your business on Upwork, I can help. Just indicate by typing “Yes” in the comment section of this article and drop your email address. I will send you an ebook that will guide you to open an Upwork account.
Referrals from Friends and Family
Let your friends and family members know that you are a website developer. Referrals from them could go a long way to boost awareness about your skills.
Develop Personal Apps and Upload them to Mobile Download Platforms
Depending on how impressive your skills are as a developer, you can develop personal apps and upload them to mobile download platforms like App store and play store.
All you have to do is to be creative with your designs. Ensure that the app you are developing can solve a particular problem people are facing.
#3. Graphic Design
Graphic design is another frequently demanded skill you can learn before you gain admission.
Ordinarily, when someone mentions graphic design, what probably comes to your mind are: artistic advertisements, attention-grabbing websites, and nicely designed book cover.
Of course, you are right, but the term graphic design is an umbrella term for several other things like; poster designed, infographics, product labels, business cards, website layouts, etc.
In a nutshell, graphic designs involve planning and projecting ideas and experience with visual and textual content.
Like web and mobile app development, you can also teach yourself graphic. All you need to do is watch graphic design tutorial videos on YouTube and practice after every lesson.
You can start monetizing your graphic design skill once you become an expert. Register your skill on freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, etc. and start selling your expertise.
If you can hone your graphic design skills before gaining admission into the university, you will be self-dependent. You won’t be like every other broke student on campus.
If you have a good relationship with people on campus, you can be designing fellowship flyers, campaign posters, etc.
But you need commitment, focus, and dedication to teaching yourself graphic design.
Check Out: 9 Amazing Jobs that Make a Lot of Money
#4. Basic Computer skills
Times have changed, and technology is the new normal. So, it would help if you have basic computer skills before going to the university.
Every job these days requires a basic understanding of computer. Sometimes, your computer skills (both intermediate and advance) can serve as an added advantage when searching for jobs.
I got my first job in a reputable company in Lagos because of my computer skills. Several people applied for the jobs as usual. But 7 candidates were left after a series of interviews and tests.
The last 7 candidates, including myself, were all great fits for the job. We had the educational qualifications, grade requirement, and skill set. And the company needed only four.
The HR manager (a lady) brought 7 laptops to us in the conference room. And gave us each two pages document to type.
Ordinarily, my typing skill is awesome, and I finished in less than 15 minutes. She (the HR manager) was impressed and told me then and there that I’m hired.
So, learn some basic computer skills like the use of Microsoft office words, Excel, PowerPoint, typing, etc.
#5. Computer Repairs
Let me start by clarifying a common misconception. You must not study computer science or computer engineering before you can repair faulty computers.
It’s a skill you can learn from experienced computer technicians. If you are passionate about learning this skill, you can become a professional within one year.
As a student on campus, you can earn a steady income from the skills. You can be fixing your friends, coursemates, lecturers, and even your school’s computer.
BUT computer repairs isn’t a skill you can teach yourself. So, it’s advisable to learn under the tutelage of an experienced repairer. That way, you can learn the skill and understand it better.
#6. Phone Repairs
Like computer repairs, learning how to repair phones is another skill with high earning potential on campus.
Everybody uses a phone on campus (from simple to sophisticated ones). Being a phone repair technician, you can easily have a small table and chair in front of your hostel where you can repair phones for people.
With you can learn this skill very well, you would become one of the biggest boys on campus in no time.
Again, you can’t learn how to repair phones on YouTube tutorial videos. You should learn under an experienced person who understands how to repair phones and other gadgets.
If you are serious about it, you will become an expert within 6 months. However, you have to be consistent with training. That’s the easiest way you can learn the skill fast.
Yeah, I know it’s not a tech-related skill. But it has a high earning potential on campus. Most ladies invest heavily in their looks on campus (especially those who render special services to senior citizens).
If you learn this skill before going to university, you will be earning steadily every weekend.
Interestingly, hairstyling isn’t too difficult to learn. You can learn the basic knowledge within one year.
#8. Nail Technician
Have you ever noticed that most big hairstyling shops have nail technicians attached to them? Oh! A nail technician refers to anybody who specialises in fixing manicures and pedicures.
The skill is one of the frequently demanded styling skills on campus. It takes less than 6 months to perfect this skill.
Once you are admitted, let your friends know that you are a nail technician. If possible, approach some of the big hairstyling shops on your campus and ask if they need a nail technician.
#9. Makeup Artist/Headgears and Gele Maker
Makeup is another great skill you should learn before going to university. The earning opportunities for a makeup artist is endless.
If you think this is something you will be interested in, start learning it now before gaining admission. The skill goes together with Headgears and gele making.
Photography is another great skill you can learn. Unlike what most people think, photography is still in vogue. And to be an outstanding photographer, you need to learn the skill.
Some of the skills you will learn as a photographer are; creativity, technical photography skills, patience and concentration, strong networking skills, team working skills, etc.
#11. Interior Decor
Interior decor is one of the most lucrative skills on campus. Your job as an interior decorator is to determine the look and feels of your clients’ home. You will help them select decorative elements like paints, textiles, furniture, and wallpaper.
Look for someone who can teach you interior decor skills (even if it requires you to pay), and you will become an expert in no time.
Ensure that the person you are learning from is always busy with other interior decor tasks. Because the more jobs your teacher has, the better you will become.
Vlogging is another amazing skill that could earn you money. It’s a tech-based skill with high earning potentials. Some youngsters like you make as high as $10,000 a month from YouTube.
It doesn’t require any particular skill. All you need do is to create a YouTube channel and start uploading content.
If you are knowledgeable in a particular area like relationships, tech, or everyday hacks, you can make a video of yourself teaching some of those hacks. And upload it on YouTube.
YouTube will pay you based on the number of views your video has. In other words, the higher the views, the more you earn.
BUT it could take months sometimes a year of committed effort before you start getting results from your channel.
While you wait for your YouTube to grow, you can also create an account with TikTok. Although they aren’t commercializing the app yet, it has excellent potential. And if you build your followers on the platform, it would be beneficial to you in the future.
#13. Fashion Designing
Fashion designing is a trending skill that could help you make money on campus. Try to learn from fashion designing skills from an experienced and professional person who can teach you the nitty-gritty of the profession within a short time.
Try to have an Instagram account where you can showcase some of the beautiful dresses you have made. In no time, you will build your followers on the platform and start getting jobs.
Similarly, you can advertise your Fashion designing skills to your friends and close associates by wearing the beautiful clothes you sew yourself. This is an indirect way of advertising your skills.
Sometimes, those who saw you wearing nicely designed clothes may ask you to create the same style for them. And within a short time of consistency and focus, you can become one of the most famous fashion designers on campus.
#14. Shoe Making
Shoemaking is another exceptional skill with great potential. Interestingly, you could become an expert in making different types and styles of shoes in less than six months.
Ensure you learn under someone creative in coming up with different styles of shoes. Be committed to the learning process and ask questions to clarify issues you don’t know.
Once you have perfected your shoemaking skill, start by designing some nice styles for yourself. And when people see you wearing them, there’s a high chance that they will pay you to design theirs.
Similarly, you can also open an Instagram page and start posting beautiful and attention-grabbing shoe styles that you know you can design.
Again, try to come up with creative capture. Something like “with just N5000, your leg will be crowned with this beautiful pair of shoes”.
I know what you may be thinking, painters always look dirty. I agree with you; they are dirty while they are doing their job.
But they earn far better than some guys who dress corporately and wait for their monthly take home.
While I was serving, I met a guy who was doing a white-collar job during the week. And goes to site on weekends to handle painting projects.
Many people thought he was over laboring himself. But he was comfortable and seldom had money issues.
There you go – the 15 smart skills every jambite should learn before gaining admission. If you can learn any of these skills before going to university, you will hardly go broke.
The skills will always help you to weather the storm of unemployment after graduation.