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How to get high-paying tech jobs in Nigeria.

Wole Ogunlade
May 3, 2017 · 5 min read

Labour Day is a National annual holiday to celebrate the achievements of workers. In US & Canada it is marked every September, while most countries including our dear Nigeria celebrate it on May 1st every year. We popularly call it Workers’ day.

This year’s workers’ day celebration was a good time to reflect on the 2016 report of the best 100 companies to work in Nigeria. The report shows a fair state of job employment in Nigeria even though the numbers of companies surveyed for the report is small.

However, one thing that is striking about the report is that Tech companies are now one of the most interesting places to work in Nigeria because the top 10 companies to work for in Nigeria are all tech related or are driving their growth by tech. To set a clear expectation, a tech job does not have to be primarily in conventional startup company.

Tech is the new oil.

This interesting tweet from Emma Okoye sums up the excitement about Tech.

Emeka Okoye’s Twitter timeline

The increase in the demand for people with top-level tech skills means they will get paid more competitive salary.

How Much Are “Highly Paid” People Earning Nowadays?

Even though not everyone chose their work because of the paycheck, salary is still the biggest job satisfaction metric for most employees.

From the survey, only 10.1% of workforce surveyed earn as much as N300,000 per month. I can expect that the people earning this “fat” salary will be happier than most average Nigerians :)

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How do you get this kind of high-paying job?

(Do you remember the days that Bank employees earned way more than their counterparts in other industries? That is about to happen in tech, and you can prepare to be one of the top earners if you have the right skills).

My goal is to share with you how you can join that league or even surpass any salary amount of your dream. I will also share a road map based on my personal experience of being pitched for various roles by local startups.

1. Know the skills that are in demand.

The skillset of the 21st century worker is completely different from 10 years ago. You need more that your university certificate to get a job. Find out relevant skills you need for your job. For example in the software world, there will be more demand for skills in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning and software programming languages.

To improve your learning, you can take the expensive approach by going for MBA or Masters course. Another approach is to invest in online courses to improve specific areas of competence. You can find several of those courses online.

2. Approach Job search differently.

One of my online mentors has a programme on getting your dream job. It is the most advanced training that I know about the subject. According to his methodology, I learnt that most high paying jobs are not advertised. To get them you need a different approach from randomly submitting your CVs. He advised compiling a list of the companies you want to work for (your dream company) and the roles you want to play there (your dream roles).

After doing the above, you should go online and search for people currently occupying that role and politely ask them for a coffee meeting where you can pick their brains (this meeting is not to ask for a job yet; he called it informational interview). The ultimate goal of this strategy and others that he shared is that you can get good jobs by expanding your network. (This is an account of someone that used the strategy to get a job)

3. Have an expert status.

An expert status shifts the hiring process in a 180 degrees to your favour.

An expert status is when your employer sees you as the “saviour” his business needs and wants to woo you to his side with an offer. In this case, you end up interviewing employers you want to work with. This has happened to me in 3 roles and I actually got a preliminary job offer with salary pre-negotiated to the N400k bracket (plus equity shares)

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How can you build such expert status?

  1. Understand how to improve employer’s revenues: Become an authority on a subject that matters to the business growth of your target employers. (Do your research to find out how they generate revenue and master the skills relevant for improving it)
  2. Share your knowledge, become synonymous with your field: You need third-party endorsement for your expert status. Get it by sharing your knowledge so you become associated with that knowledge area.
  3. Speak at event: I wrote a hack for growing your startup with event. The formula can also be applied to job hunting. If you are currently a student, you should get involved in entrepreneurship-focused extra-curricular activities like Google ambassadors, GDG, Junior Chamber, AISEC etc so that you can connect with mentor networks that you can tap into upon graduation.
  4. Get validations: Get certifications from global companies to show that you have a superior knowledge as an expert. Programmes like Hubspot Inbound certification provides you a badge you can stick on your social media pages as a sign of accomplishment. Also, you can apply for recognitions like Google Developer Experts programme and Andela fellowships etc
  5. Leverage LinkedIn: LinkedIn might not be as popular Facebook, but it will connect you with your future job. Invest in building a solid profile on LinkedIn and you might easily receive job pitches like this from HR leads of well-funded companies.
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7. Build a portfolio of work: Never show up for interview without your portfolio of work. You might be surprised to know that the Nigerian that designed America’s best car got his job on the basis of his design portfolio, and not his University degree.

How do you build a portfolio if you don’t have a prior job? Start with side projects of your own, take freelance jobs or volunteer to gain experience. Remember that those investment will pay for itself when you get a high paying job of your dreams.


Learn to approach things differently and you can get high paying tech jobs using these strategies. In addition to the above, you can also use the strategies freelancers in Nigeria use to get high paying jobs abroad.

How did you get your tech dream job? You can also share your experience in the comment below

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