“Money bag” is what comes to mind whenever Nigerians hear that you’re a tech bro, a gender-neutral term for anyone who works in the tech industry.
And this assumption isn’t far-fetched. Indeed ranks the technology industry as one of the highest-paying industries globally. In 2021 alone, African tech startups raised $4.7 billion, meaning more money to hire and retain talent.
For this reason, getting a tech job often translates to an income and lifestyle upgrade, especially if you have never worked in the industry before. So, we asked 5 Nigerian tech bros to share how working in tech changed their lives.
“I managed to buy a car and build my own house after landing a job in tech.” — Tayo, 23
Presently, I work full-time as a learning and development officer at a fintech company. On the side, I create content for tech startups, summing up my total earnings to at least ₦200,000 monthly. While this might seem small compared to what some of my colleagues earn, it’s an upgrade for me as my monthly income prior to joining tech was ₦50,000. My increased income has allowed me to buy a car, get married and build my own house.
“My salary as a front-end engineer made it possible for me to save up for a master’s degree abroad.” — Mustapha, 30
I work as a front-end engineer, earning $1000+ monthly. Before this, I was a designer, barely earning ₦50k. With my income change, I’ve managed to save up for a master’s degree abroad. I also take care of my parents comfortably. I believe I can earn more, though. So I’m still searching for more opportunities to earn in FX while improving my skills on the side.
“Getting a tech job helped me pay off my debts.” — Dolapo, 28
Today, I’m a product manager at an agritech startup. I earn ₦350,000 monthly, a major increase from my past, when I earned ₦35,000 as a lawyer and ₦80,000 as an admin officer. This increase changed my life, as it allowed me to pay off my debt and break up with loan apps. I also get to spoil my siblings and have at least two investments.
“Working in tech has allowed me to live comfortably.” — Kelvin, 35
I work as a designer and service delivery lead. Every month, I take home over ₦1.5 million, allowing me to afford a comfortable lifestyle for me and my family. I have also grown fatter [Laughs].
When I look back, I realise I’ve come a long way, as I once earned ₦120,000 as a full-time laboratory scientist. I’m not where I want to be financially, but I’m grateful regardless. I’m also upskilling myself and getting certified in hopes that I land product manager roles.
How to land a job in tech
Do these stories inspire you to join the tech industry?
Follow the tips below to increase your chances of securing a tech job even with zero experience:
- Look for a tech skill related to your current industry or hobby. It’s easier to break into the tech industry when you show you’re familiar with the industry, or at least the skills relevant to it. For example, if you currently work in the finance industry, fintech could be a natural fit, or you could apply for a role in a tech company’s accounting department.
- Define your existing soft skills and how they’ll help you in tech. When hiring, tech companies look out for soft skills, like communication, emotional intelligence, and attention to detail. So before you start your transition, audit your current soft skillset, identify the ones that need improvement and make necessary changes.
- Edit your LinkedIn profile to showcase your new direction. Since 94% of recruiters report using LinkedIn to find candidates, refine your existing LinkedIn profile by focusing on your transferable skills and demonstrating your desire to transition.
- Take an internship. Internships are an important path to gathering enough work experience, positioning you as the right fit for your desired tech roles. So reach out to the people in your network for internship opportunities, apply on job boards and write pitches to companies if possible.
- Volunteer. Volunteering is similar to internships, as it helps you acquire relevant experience and skills. But the difference is it takes fewer hours and is unpaid. You can do it on weekends to make things easier for yourself.
- Freelance. Freelancing is a great way to learn, gain experience, build connections and earn as you transition. Start offering freelance services related to the tech job you desire.
- Get certified. Certifications signal credibility and the desire to learn. Identify the certifications relevant to your desired skill and acquire as much as possible. Don’t forget to showcase your skills while acquiring these certifications, though. Beyond papers, show you can deliver.
- Build a project. You don’t have to limit yourself to working for others, whether by volunteering, freelancing or interning. Challenge yourself by building projects that align with your interests. This positions you as someone with a “can-do” spirit — a trait tech startups love.
- Network. The “It’s who you know” phrase rings true when job searching in the tech industry. You land your dream job faster with the right network of people. So make it a mission to build meaningful connections. Attend meetups, career fairs and talk to people about your passion. People can only help you when they know what you need.