6 Digital Skills That Can Make Students Instantly Employable in 2024

by Alimot Akinsanya
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Happy students learning digital skills on their computer

Living a sustainable life without a consistent source of income – a job or business – is challenging, especially as a student in Nigeria with little or no sponsorship. But you can level up and become more employable by acquiring digital skills.

Businesses have moved from analogue operations to digitizing their operations and processes.  As a result, students can improve themselves with specialized skills to help them stand out.

Thankfully, this post will reveal 6 digital skills you should have as a student to make you employable. At the end of the post, you will have enough information to put you above your colleagues and set you on the path to winning your first job.

What are Digital Skills?

Before we go into the skills, let’s look at the meaning of digital skills.

UNESCO defines digital skills as “a range of abilities to use digital devices, communication applications, and networks to access and manage information. They enable people to create and share digital content, communicate and collaborate, and solve problems for effective and creative self-fulfillment in life, learning, work, and social activities.”

Digital skills are essential for businesses across industries that want to communicate effectively with their target audience, generate leads, increase revenue, and raise brand awareness. Therefore, companies need individuals who can communicate effectively and use digital tools.

They are essential for students as they prepare for the workforce. Due to the increasing reliance on technology in businesses, employers value candidates with digital expertise over those without. Students who learn these skills not only make themselves employable but also gain the ability to innovate and contribute meaningfully to the digital economy.

Top Digital Skills to Learn in 2024

So, let’s go into the top 6 digital skills for students in Nigeria.

  1. Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing involves promoting products or services using digital channels such as social media, email, and search engines.

Most businesses use digital marketing to reach their target audience, showcasing its widespread adoption and effectiveness. Across the globe, digital ad spending is expected to grow to $667 Billion in 2024, reflecting its significant role in business growth and customer engagement.

In digital marketing, you will learn Content Creation (including content writing), Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising, and analytics tools.

Businesses need these skills to effectively reach their target audience in the digital space and drive more sales. Hence, they are willing to hire professionals to contribute to or handle their digital marketing efforts, and that can be you.

Here are some free and paid resources to get started with digital marketing:

  • The Complete Digital Marketing Course at Udemy.
  • Foundation of Digital Marketing and E-commerce
  • Google Digital Marketing and E-commerce

This on-page SEO guide is also a great resource that will teach you about Search engine optimization and help you on your journey in digital marketing, especially as a content writer or creator.

  1. Social Media Management

Social Media Management skills help manage and use social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter) for marketing and communication purposes. However, it also goes beyond this. It involves understanding established relationships between brands and their consumers and identifying how to improve these relationships through social media.

HubSpot reports that 73% of marketers believe their efforts through social media marketing have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business. Social media platforms have over 4.2 billion active users worldwide, making them essential for companies to connect with their audience and build brand loyalty.

Understanding, using, and managing social media is a core digital skill that will make you valuable and employable for different brands. Again, it goes beyond posting or sharing an X (formerly Twitter) or Instagram update. You will need to learn the intricacies of each social media platform and understand content strategy, community management, social analytics, and advertising techniques. These skills are valuable for building a brand presence and engaging customers online.

Social Media marketing courses that can help in this journey are:

  • HubSpot’s Social Media Certification
  • PPC University by wordStream
  • Northwestern University’s Social Media Specialization on Coursera
  • Online Advertising & Social Media at edXData Analytics
  1. Data Analytics

Data Analytics focuses on analyzing and interpreting data to derive actionable insights for decision-making. Data is very useful for business growth, and depending on how it is used, a business can make or mar it.

According to Forbes, organizations that leverage data analytics are 23 times more likely to acquire customers and seven times more likely to retain them. The global business analytics market is expected to grow from $67.92 billion in 2019 to $103.65 billion by 2025, highlighting the critical role of data-driven decision-making.

So, businesses are looking for individuals with data analytics experience to help drive business growth and success, make data-driven decisions, and improve performance.

You can begin your journey by learning data visualization and statistical analysis and how to use tools like Excel, Python, and Tableau. You will also need to learn what and how to collect data. Data analytics courses that can help you get started include:

  • Introduction to Data Analytics, Google Data Analytics, and Data Analysis with Python, all on Coursera.
  • Alison’s Basics of Data Analysis with Excel
  • Free Data Analytics Courses at Great Learning

Join our community to get access to digital skills courses, updates, trends, and other insights for your journey

  1. UI/UX Design

UI/UX Design refers to creating user-friendly interfaces and experiences for digital products and services.

Adobe’s 2023 Digital Trends report reveals that businesses prioritize improving their digital customer experience to stay competitive. 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience, emphasizing the importance of UI/UX design in driving user satisfaction and engagement.

UI/UX Design skills are essential for enhancing user satisfaction and driving engagement with digital platforms. Therefore, most companies want to outshine their competition to be easily found online.

You can learn about design principles, prototyping, wireframing, and usability testing. With experience and knowledge in UI/UX design, you will have valuable and employable skills to set you up for a career in any industry.

Some popular UI/UX Design courses that will come in handy are:

  • Figma UI/UX Essentials
  • Motion Design with Figma: Animations, Motion Graphics, UI/UX
  • Google UX Design Professional Certificate
  • IBM UX Design
  1. Coding and Programming

Coding and Programming involve:

  • Writing instructions for computers to perform specific tasks.
  • Enabling the development of websites.
  • Applications.
  • Software solutions.

Coding and programming enable businesses to innovate and stay competitive in the digital age. Therefore, there’s a high demand for skilled coders in various industries, including tech, finance, healthcare, and e-commerce.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 26% growth in employment for software developers from 2020 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations. The global coding bootcamp market is expected to reach $889.37 million by 2026, highlighting the growing demand for coding skills in the tech industry.

Hence, you can give yourself a competitive edge by learning programming languages like Python, Java, HTML/CSS, and JavaScript. You can develop websites, applications, and software solutions catering to diverse technological needs. Learning coding and programming will allow you to build custom software solutions to streamline operations, improve customer experiences, and create new revenue streams.

The knowledge and understanding you will gain from this skill will help you communicate effectively with technical teams and make informed decisions about technology investments.

Here are some of the best online coding and programming courses:

  • Princeton University’s Programming with a Purpose
  • Coding for Everyone by the University of California
  • IBM Full Stack Software Developer
  • CareerFoundry Full-Stack Web Development Program
  • App Academy Online Software Engineering Immersive

Read Also: Top in-demand skills in Nigeria.

  1. Strategy and Planning

Strategy and Planning in the context of digital skills refers to the ability to develop long-term plans and make informed decisions to achieve business objectives. It uses digital tools and technologies and encompasses various aspects, including market analysis, goal setting, resource allocation, and risk management.

Solid strategy and planning skills are crucial for businesses to stay ahead of competitors. It helps them identify opportunities and potential threats in the market early. As a result, they can ensure optimal utilization of resources such as budget, time, and workforce, leading to improved efficiency.

Employers value candidates who can think strategically and contribute to the growth of their businesses. Therefore, you can develop strong strategy and planning abilities to enable you to attract job opportunities across various industries.

Acquiring strategy and planning skills is not rocket science. You can begin by understanding business concepts such as marketing, finance, operations, and organizational behaviour. You must also stay updated with emerging technologies and their impact on business operations. You must also develop soft skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and leadership.

There are several other sites where you can learn digital skills, too. Take different courses and combine the ideas to make you indispensable. Learning continuously from different platforms is a tip for gaining comprehensive knowledge about a particular skill.

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You have seen the top digital skills that can make you employable as a student in Nigeria. By acquiring these skills, you can make yourself more valuable and attract high-quality jobs that will pay you consistently, whether you choose digital marketing, social media, data analytics, UI/UX design, coding and programming, or strategy and Planning.

These skills align with current industry demands and will empower you to thrive in a digitally-driven world by driving innovation and creating value. However, it would help if you were dedicated to learning to master the art and be truly valuable.

Feel free to comment on your favourite skill and how soon you plan to start learning. You can also ask questions about any help you need with these skills.

Edited by Dare Tolani

About Author

Avatar of Alimot Akinsanya
Alimot Akinsanya
Alimot Akinsanya is an experienced content writer. She creates high-quality, compelling, engaging, relatable, and research-backed long-form content for individuals and businesses. She believes in the power of words to communicate effectively with audiences.

She is a devoted lover of personal development, mental health, self-awareness, and social inclusion. 

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