The constant rise in the number of African college graduates year in, year out has exerted much pressure on the already dwindling labor markets of many nations. As a result of the lack of equally increasing job opportunities, the high unemployment and underemployment rate in Africa is understandable.
Rather than panic or submit to the ill-fate of unemployment, graduates have been seeking gainful employment in a number of diverse and slightly unconventional ways, aside pursuing their courses of study. Hence, Face2Face Africa has compiled a list of five top jobs for the recent college graduate.
Photography or Makeup artistry
Professional photographers and makeup artists are now very common today. The idea of being a “photographer” has now been completely redefined, especially since the advent of Instagram and other social media platforms. Photography is now not only a very lucrative business, but one that is also fairly easy to break into as long as the required expertise is available. As Africans love to have various colorful events and display it for all to see, they almost always want it covered.
Makeup artistry is also a very popular source of income today. With proper training, a comprehensive makeup kit and good client relationship-building skills, many have adopted as a somewhat stable source of income as well as a way to express their creativity and style.
Agriculture is one of the most profitable sources of income in Africa. This is attributable to the vast distribution of arable land and the growing African population in need of basic necessities.
It is also highly underutilized. Many shy away from it because of the perception that agriculture is a job for the “uncivilized.” On the contrary, agriculture – be it fishery, crop farming or animal rearing – has proven to be not only quite rewarding but also quite easy to break into, at least on a small scale.
Recent college graduates could start on a smaller scale with very little capital and gather as much knowledge as required in order to harness the full potential that it provides, especially if they intend to continue in the industry for the long term. Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa, is a wonderful example of the full potential that lies in venturing into the agricultural industry.
As a vast number of businesses continue to join the online community, there has been a growing need for web designers and developers. These jobs have become a prominent source of income for so many graduates. The beauty of them is that the work can be done from the comfort of your home.
A simple course on web design and related topics is enough to learn the basic concepts. Clients are easily sought through referrals and even social media, with fees charged based on personal discretion and clientele portfolio. While this may not be a long-term career path, it is a sustainable source of finance and a very lucrative employment opportunity.
Sales and Marketing
Buying and selling, popularly referred to as “business” in general, is another very common route for the recent graduate. Although it is rare for a recent graduate to have enough capital to establish proper trading ventures, a number of graduates seek financial help from friends and family to set up businesses.
For those lacking access to sufficient capital, various manufacturing outlets constantly employ graduates who are willing to market their products for them on negotiated wage rates or salaries. Other forms of marketing include affiliate marketing and network Marketing.
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products, thus, earning a piece of the profit for each sale made. Affiliate marketing is usually online. Network marketing on the other hand, is a method of marketing that utilizes independent representatives to reach potential customers. The organization compensates participants primarily for recruiting others rather than for selling the company’s products or services, so even if one is not comfortable with the idea of selling products, encouraging others to do so would just do the trick.
While teaching is not often first on the list of career paths a fresh graduate looks into, it has proven nonetheless to be a prominent source of income. A college graduate having studied a particular course is well-equipped to secure a teaching job in a private or public educational institution. Conducting private tutoring services for pupils in need of after-school lessons is another way to fight off the stigma of unemployment. The number of schools in Africa has been sporadically increasing over the years and as such, securing employment would be fairly easier than for the white-collar jobs.
Lecturing in tertiary institutions is another very good job opportunity. Recent college graduates can also secure employment in tertiary institutions as research assistants and trainees. These positions not only allow graduates to increase their knowledge in specific areas of study; they also pay better than some white-collar jobs and offer increased room for growth and job security, which are very important necessities today.