Digital skilling drive key in securing the youths' future

There is a growing number of developers with no university degrees. [File, Standard]

Africa is the new Silicon Valley, and more African tech talent is being included in the global economy.

The youth, therefore, need to embrace a growth mindset and invest their time in becoming learners in all things. If they then apply that mindset to constant learning about the global shifts, world issues and how technology can play a role in resolving these, then they will make a difference in the world.

According to the 2021 global survey done by Stackoverflow among software developers across the world, there is a growing number of developers with no university degrees who have focused on acquiring software development skills.

The survey also indicates that 53 per cent of developers wrote their first lines of code between the ages of 11 and 17 years. In Kenya, we need to ask ourselves what path we are creating for this young and curious demographic in our market.

Unfortunately, most software development skills are acquired at the university level, but hundreds of thousands of young people each year miss out on admission to institutions of higher learning.

What becomes of them? For example, out of 747,161 candidates who sat the 2020/2021 Kenya Secondary Certificate of Education (KCSE) examinations, only 122,831 were allotted university slots.

Some 88,724 others were assigned to technical colleges.

Although these year's university placement statistics are yet to be released, the gap is likely to surpass 830,000. With digital skills becoming key in the workplace and business, young people who do not make it to university or college and have an interest in developing coding skills can take advantage of the numerous platforms by entities such as Microsoft to acquire the needed skills.

Encouragingly, some initiatives are already reaching out to schools to provide their students with the skills needed to succeed in the workplace. Microsoft, for example, has collaborated with both the State and the private sector to improve access to digital skills training across Africa.

The initiatives range from coding classes for young children and teaching basic computer skills.