Opinion: How to work in Nigeria’s tech companies even if you don’t know code

by Paul Eze

Black woman office

Nigeria’s tech scene is certainly looking more exciting and it will only be a matter of time before they become the hippest and most exciting places to work.

Nigeria’s business space is certainly witnessing a burst in growing tech companies. For the purposes of this write up tech companies are companies who do a very significant amount of the operations via the internet and offer products and services primarily through the internet (web and mobile).

While the tech industry remains an infant one trying to grow new teeth there have been reasonable growth in viable internet based businesses and the pointers how that there can only be one direction – growth.

For years it was fashionable for graduates and career individuals to seek work primarily in the oil & gas, telecom and financial services sector along with a few manufacturing giants. These days tech companies are emerging as the new places of appeal to work. True, only a few might be offering something near the mouth watering salaries some of the earlier mentioned sectors pay but the fact remains that the trends of the time and the increasing revenues pulled in by these new kids on the block make it a desirable goal for many people to land jobs there.

Some of the more prominent startups and tech companies like Iroko Partners, Wakanow etc have been recruiting in dozens over the past one year and paying good money too. However getting a job in these companies always requires some sort of digital and technical expertise.

So what if you can’t tell the difference between a line of PHP code and a phrase written in Arabic? How can you get to work in Iroko Partners, Wakanow, Dealsdey, Jumia, Konga, Kuluya etc?

Startups and Tech Companies Are Almost Like Brick and Mortar Businesses in Many Aspects: They Need to Reach & Engage Users/Customers, Manage Data, Work With Media and Do Several Other Non-Technical Stuff

You can take advantage of the fact that tech companies like the ones mentioned do not operate on mars. They have mostly the same challenges many offline businesses have and many of the work involved are non-tech related. To work in Iroko Partners for instance there are stuff you should be able to do even if you can code, design or manage digital data.

Here are areas you can land a job in Tech Companies in Nigeria and Live the Dream (depending on your passion)

Community Management/Social Engagement

If you are passionate about social media and can find your way around most of the new and prevailing social engagement platforms a tech company will actually be the best place to work. From managing discussions around the brand to monitoring the brand value on social platforms there are several emerging job descriptions for people interested in working for tech startups viz; Community Manager, Social Media Specialist etc.

The work of these people is to increase the brand awareness for tech startups in the social sphere of the internet, increase user engagements and discussions around the brand and sometime drive sales via the social platforms. And you can bet tech startups and companies need people who can do this well.

Customer Service/Support

At Ngcareers we get probably hundreds of calls and emails from users each month and many more enquiries and questions via social platforms like Twitter. Good customer service is even more important for tech companies than it is for other businesses. As the competition gets fiercer and every sub-sector of the online industry gets choked with startups struggling for market share tech companies will need more and more to handle user enquiries and complaints with speed and efficiency. Online bad news spread faster and tech companies will invest more on customer service and support

Content Marketing

For tech companies marketing is no longer what it used to be. Winning companies realize the importance of putting out great content as a way to draw in the funnel of prospective users/customers who get to the site when searching for solutions to their various needs and problems. Startups will require more and more content specialists who can craft very valuable content (articles, videos, audios, pictures etc) around their core business proposition and by so doing attract s large funnel of prospective customers/users. Skills in blogging, content creation and distribution, viral marketing etc will give you an edge here.

PR and Marketing

PR and Marketing has never been more important than now. Tech companies realize the importance of information and will need persons who understand how both the tech and mainstream media work and can utilize them to push further the company brand.

And then the good old marketing skills ain’t dead yet. If you can always increase exposure, pull in more customers and subsequently more revenue naira you can be sure to always find work in tech startups.

Business Development

Many tech startups have products and services that will require that profitable deals be closed to pull in needed income for the company. At Ngcareers we were always struggling to pull in revenue to enable us expand our operations as fast as we could and a couple of content licensing deals have helped us on our way. Deals are a needed lifeline for most tech companies especially for those that have an enterprise angle to the products and services offerings. Square’s deal with Starbucks that enables customers of the giant retailer make payments with their square mobile gadget is a case that illustrates the importance of deals to startups.

Nigeria’s tech scene is certainly looking more exciting and it will only be a matter of time before they become the hippest and most exciting places to work.

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Paul Eze is the Co-founder of Ngcareers an emerging job search and career site that connects employers & recruiters with thousands of professionals and career individuals. You can connect with him here.

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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