10 SKILLS AND CERTIFICATIONS YOU NEED AS A FRESH GRADUATE.
If you’re a fresh graduate in Nigeria, then it is crucial to know that there are certain skills and certifications you will need( depending on your own professional field) to help you stand out and give you an edge over other candidates in your career. Whether you’re launching a career as an engineer, programmer, artist, educationist, finance person, or just about anything else, there are certain business skills that every professional must have to be successful and excel in their chosen fields of industry. In a world of so many opportunities and choices, one of the issues fresh graduates who want to advance their education face is ‘which way?’ Is it getting a Masters degree which gives you an in-depth knowledge of a specialization of your first degree, Or a professional certificate, which gives you the edge in career and makes you seen as professional. Well, the hard fact is that, just having a Masters degree now in Nigeria is not enough. You will need to acquire as much skills and certifications as you can to up your game in the scheme of things. So whether you’re gunning for a job, or your first big raise, this list of professional skills and certifications can help you seal the deal.
1. Negotiation skills. Every fresh graduate needs to have essential negotiating skills, it will come in handy in many professional situations, especially when it’s time to ask for a raise or secure a great job offer. You will also need your negotiation skills in entering and closing perfect business deals. Having good negotiation skills sets you apart and makes you very valuable to your organisation. Becoming a good negotiator early out in your career is important, since most salary increase are predicated on earlier salaries. Negotiation skills can also help you barter for other job perks and benefits such as signing bonus, flexible work schedule or relocating assistance and allowance. So how can you develop these skills? To lay a good groundwork for salary negotiations, you will need to arm yourself with ample data. Find out how much, on average does someone with your education skills and years of experience gets paid in your industry. Find out from your network, ask your mentors about salary expectations and research online to determine exactly how much you’re worth.
2. Technology skills. Another very important skill to arm yourself with as a fresh Nigerian graduate is technology skills. Note that, having only a solid profiency of Microsoft office certainly isn’t enough to impress. Go online and find out about other technology skills you need to covet to give you a better edge over other candidates and also make you indispensable to a potential employer. Irrespective of your own unique profession, you can learn how to code by getting certified in Google Analytics and also learn more about the basics of SEO and SEM marketing. Doing an in-depth study of digital marketing is sure to set you apart, so seek to enroll for any course in digital marketing. Ninety percent of the world is now on the internet, so to help set you apart and make you a valuable asset to your organisation, take digital marketing seriously.
3. Soft skills. Also very important: Do not ignore your soft skills. Although you may otherwise feel that your ability to carry out specialized job requirements is sufficient to land you a job, you will need to also keep in mind that having soft skills are relevant across all professions. So don’t ignore soft skill as they are just as essential as any other business skill. Team work, people skills, effective common action, leadership skills, planning, task performance, and so on, are soft skills that are not only vital in many work places, but they also mean you will stay around much longer too. This is the reason why many prospective employers always look for these skills in their prospective candidates. They may be soft, but they certainly have the power to land you your dream job. So take them seriously. If you don’t have certain soft skills, work on building them early. There are so many y online courses and training you could sign up for to effectively train you on developing great soft skills. So start out immediately.
4. Public speaking skills. If you’re a fresh graduate and you think you don’t need excellent public speaking skills. Think again. Your public speaking are crucial to establishing yourself as a competent, likable, and approachable individual,( and no employer wants to work with an employee who is not approachable and likable). To effectively move up your professional rung with ease, guess you can’t avoid having effective public speaking skills. So, whether you are in front of a large audience, or you are simply addressing a small team in front of you, your ability to communicate your message and your vision clearly is critical. ‘ Use presentations at team meetings to sharpen your public speaking skills. Tend to get pre – presentation jitters? Just remember that you’re the one in control of what you say, how you say it, and how your audience receive the information. So make sure you ask your boss for feedback so that you can improve for future presentations. To get practice outside the office, consider joining public speaking workshops and debating clubs.’ This was culled from Career Center _ Tips and advice.
There are so many online courses and trainings on public speaking you need to sign up for, if your public speaking skills isn’t very impressive. So get started.
5. Certified Business Professional( CBP). The Certified Business Professional program is an international industry credential that validates and develops the business professional. A typical candidate is a professional in pursuit of excellence and is committed to exceeding and surpassing all standards for the business professional. The CBP program establishes a foundation – level industry neutral certification for business professionals, enabling employers and the candidate to have a platform to develop the CBP for targeted positions within corporations. The Certified Business Professional certification is very relevant across many industries, so it is highly recommended for fresh graduates. The program has a total of four different certifications which are all very easy to acquire. To get more information about how to enroll for any of these courses, check online for the official website of New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, Nigeria and then enroll to get started.
6. Health, Safety, and Environment Certification(HSE). Another very important certification fresh graduates, particularly those in the sciences and social sciences should cover is Health, Safety and Environment(HSE). Recently in Nigeria, most jobs, especially in the oil and gas sector, require that you are an Health, Safety and Environment expert. So if you’re a fresh graduate from the sciences, it may prove essential for you to get an HSE certification. Do your research well, go online and look out for sites that offer HSE courses and training. You can check out sites like Coursera and register. So what are you waiting for? Get enrolled and start taking courses.
7. AutoCad. Fresh graduates who are proficient in AutoCAD also stand a chance of landing better jobs than others. Now, depending on your own unique combination of certifications with an AutoCAD certification, you are sure to land better jobs. So it is recommended that fresh graduates in the sciences( though not necessary) get ample AutoCAD training. So many institutions out there offer Autocad training, so, if you’re up for it, why not get enrolled and begin training immediately? You should also check for online sites that offer courses and training in AutoCAD certification. Do well to make good use of this opportunity, especially if you’re a Mechanical Engineer graduate or even a Computer Science graduate. Autocad certifications is highly recommended and required for these fields, so get started. Other certifications like this to consider are; PDMS, PDS, MicroStation, Caesaril, Autopipe, PvElite, and so on. All these certifications will place you a notch higher above your peers, and improve your chances of getting a relevant engineering job. You can also start learning the basics of Finite Element Analysis( FEA).
8. Project Management(PMP). Another important certification that can’t be overlooked is Project Management(PMP). PMP is very common now in Nigeria, although most fresh graduates are not really aware of this. It is recommended that every fresh graduate, regardless of your discipline, get project management certified. It doesn’t even cost much, all you need to do is enroll in any institution that offers the course and get started. You don’t want to go in for an interview, only to discover that you would have had the job, but for the absence of this certification. So, make good use of this information and acquire a PMP certification. Most project management courses take between one month to three months, which is good, because, you get to spend a very short amount of on the course, while reaping huge benefits. Go online and find out institutions and sites that offer project management certifications,so check it out.
9. Analytical skills. Your analytical skills as a fresh graduate is what sells you. Employers mostly seek after analytical skills in potential employees. And it is usually tested in the job aptitude exams. Your analytical skills demonstrate your problem – solving ability and this is thoroughly tested during interview sessions. Fresh graduates need to improve on their analytical skills, as it an essential skill highlighted highly sought after by companies and this is why you are likely to find many fresh graduates with good grades and marketable course who flunk job tests simply because they possess poor analytical and mathematical skills.
10. CCNA. CCNA stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate. And is the first of many certifications offered by Cisco. Cisco technologies are the dominant network technologies operating in Nigeria today. If you’re a graduate of Computer Science/ Engineering, or related courses( though not necessary), you need to get CCNA certified. CCNA experts are in high demand in banks, government t agencies, oil and gas industries, telecoms, you name it.
These are but a few skills and certifications fresh graduates should have, there still are a lot of other skills and certifications you should seek to have to make you exceptional in your field. You only need to do more research, ask questions, speak with a mentor or a career consultant. Good luck dear graduate.
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