Recently, there has been a great perspective-flipping in the minds of many Nigerian students, especially those attending federal- or state-owned tertiary institutions. After an unnecessary extra-year caused by a hesitant government to the needs and demands of its academics, and the sudden global swerve into the digital, space many of us have had to go back to our tables to renew our goals. Renewing our goals in this case does not mean rejecting them (it’s never in us to do such); however, it is carving our goals around the rising opportunities.
Fuelled by zero confidence in the provisions of the Nigerian system, mixed with a high dose of survivor mentality, the Nigerian student is clinging to the stems that hold the future for him. Gone are the days when students had to finish their four- or five-year courses before they could pursue or acquire other degrees or certifications. Now, things can be sped up, thanks to platforms like Coursera, Udemy, Edx, amongst many other accredited online learning platforms. These online learning platforms give students the privilege of learning any field of study or skillset from basics to the professional stage within a short period of time, at a convenient pace, while also spending little to no funds. With this eye-catching opportunity, many a student can be well knowledgeable in their current course of study, and likewise get certified in other fields.
Multiple streams of income are a necessity for living a comfortable life in Nigeria. It affects everyone, students inclusive. Much more present in the society today is the need to be financially independent as early as possible. Students who are interested in legitimate businesses are learning and getting involved in forex trading, copywriting, real estate, and entrepreneurship as a means to earn amidst the economic situation in the country.
The days of part-time studying in tandem with working is now a luxury to students. Nowadays, students are plunging into digital opportunities as a side hustle or even as the road to their career path. Digital opportunities such as freelance writing, digital marketing, coding, etc. are very lucrative and serve as an effective work-study scheme. Mastery of the in-demand digital skills aforementioned places such one in the international market. Such student is able to work, earn and build a relationship with international clients that could last him beyond his stay in the university.
The pandemic, nationwide lockdown, and recent industrial strike action of the Academic Staff University Union were an eye-opener to the Nigerian students on how well the present Nigerian government myopically belittles the future of the youth. It was also a blessing in disguise, as it has enabled many to maximise the opportunities around them, not relying on any system to do so, in order to make better their future.