Even though internet connectivity poses a serious challenge, many educational institutions are exploring ways to take learning online and find more students.
According to a report released by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), more than 230 million jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa will require digital skills by 2030, resulting in almost 650 million training opportunities.
This report, titled ‘Digital Skills in Sub-Saharan Africa: Spotlight on Ghana’, estimates that the size of training opportunities is worth as high as USD 130 billion, including nearly USD 4 billion in Ghana alone.
It also suggests that short courses, typically three to 12 months long, with a mix of instructional methods geared toward practical learning rather than theoretical understanding, will be ideal to harness this opportunity.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, online learning has taken a centre stage among Ghanaian students. As lockdowns forced schools, universities, and companies to work remotely, the usage of online learning also peaked. Various platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, Lynda, Udacity, Edx have tied-up with top universities such as Stanford and Harvard to offer a wide range of courses, right from photography to engineering. IT-related courses are especially popular in the region and many students in the continent have already signed up for and completed these courses.
While these platforms serve students across the world, there are local online learning platforms such as ‘JobFactory’ by NIIT Ghana that specifically cater to students in Ghana. ‘JobFactory’ offers programmes like Python programming, graphic designing, database, Blockchain and Crypto, that are popular in Ghana’s IT sector.
These online courses offer quality higher education at a fraction of the cost compared to land-based classrooms. They can be accessed from anywhere and completed at a stress-free pace.
They can be updated as often as necessary and they cater to students of various learning types.
The biggest problem to their growth appears in infrastructure. Online education providers still look for government support to tackle issues like lack of ample access to tech facilities, sufficient Internet connection etc that obstruct the training potential offered by virtual learning. Internet penetration in Ghana is currently at 35 per cent and mobile penetration at 67 percent.
Ghana has a significant digital skill gap problem. It means that recruiters struggle to find qualified IT professionals even though there is an anticipated increase in demand for such skills.
As the IFC report points out, employers in Ghana have already cited undersupply of digital talent as an obstacle in recruitment. The future digital workforce of Ghana and other sub-Saharan countries need digital skills training programs to bridge the demand-supply skill gap and ensure employers can hire locally, train their workforce in skills aligned with their industry needs and help employees keep pace with new technology in their industries.
To be a part of the digital workforce of the future, polish your tech skills with a reputed online learning provider like ‘JobFactory’ (https://www.niitghana.com/jobfactory/).
Enroll easily, make discounted payments and complete your courses from the comforts of home.