Develop soft skills beyond university certificates – job seekers told

2022 TechJobFair
Speakers at the 2022 TechJobFair and other officials

Speakers at the 2022 TechJobFair have advised the teeming youth and job seekers to expand their horizons by developing excellent communication skills and the right attitude to work.

The speakers argued that employers have gotten to a point where a certificate alone does not guarantee employability, as certain behavioural characteristics are also required.

They therefore advised that job seekers should develop skills in communication, problem-solving, project management, analytical skills and the ability to be resourceful.

Chief Human Resource Officer of MTN Ghana, Amma Benneh-Amponsah,  stressed that adjusting one’s understanding and communicating to the end-user’s benefit is highly crucial, especially in the technological working space.

“People want to know what you are bringing on board and the difference you can make beyond the certification. Interestingly, this is an industry that is moving extremely quickly – and that comes with a particular skill-set to cope.

“It can be frustrating, but you need to learn to adapt; you need to learn to be a lot more agile in how you approach things. You need this for survival in this industry, because without it you will be irrelevant. Just like the African proverb “by crawling, a child learns to stand”, you need to be ready to do something different; you need to try and involve yourself and be ready for the workspace to survive,” she said.

She added that with the increase of remote and global work opportunities, the ability to communicate and work with people of all cultures is also essential.

Ms. Benneh-Amponsah emphasised the need to understand the purpose of the organisation one wishes to work with, and show actions to improve situations as well as  think on their  feet and make informed decisions in diverse cases.

“Competition is high, the space is evolving quickly, ICT is expanding significantly – and you need specialised skills to thrive in that environment. The certificate is just a validation that you have some training. That is why employers are now looking beyond the certificate. Often, we hear things like there are no jobs, and then you see a lot of jobs advertised.

“This means there is obviously some sort of job mismatch – meaning applicants will have to start looking for exactly what these companies are looking for,” President at Academic City University College,  Prof. McBagonluri, has reiterated.

He noted that beyond the role of academia in preparing candidates for jobs after graduating, companies must open their doors for students to do internships to groom them for the job market.

For her part, CEO of Jobberman Ghana,  Hilda Nimo-Tieko, advised that given the high demand for information technology jobs, job seekers must be competitive by equipping themselves with soft skills.

“Looking at the job trends from January 2021, IT telecom jobs were among the popular jobs on the Jobberman platforms. And the industries with high demands of IT professionals include the banking sector which was looking for a lot of IT, as well as insurance, hospitality, healthcare, education, E-commerce and others,” she noted.

She added that in the current world of work, no matter the industry, technology is the bedrock capable of improving work output and boosting productivity; hence, every organisation must adopt it for growth.

Tech Job Fair (TJF)

Tech Job Fair (TJF) is an annual event that brings together industry players, educators, students, government, and job seekers to understand the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) job roles.

The job fair exhibits current ICT-related job openings in various industries and helps other stakeholders understand the ICT skills needs of employers. It also forms part of the broader agenda to ensure an enabling environment is created for young people to access decent jobs so they benefit from the digital transformation agenda of Ghana.

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