The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, in partnership with Coursera have called for applications from interested Nigerians to apply for the Cohort 3 of Coursera courses.
This, Mrs Umar said, was in line with the agency’s drive to implement the President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda to create one million digital jobs in the Information Technology sector.
She recalled that NITDA and Coursera on Oct. 19, 2022, launched a partnership to help combat high rates of youth unemployment, which stood at 19.6 per cent in 2021.
She also said that the duo at the time, intended to train 8,000 Nigerian learners annually in a cohort of 4,000 learners each for the total of 24,000 in three years.
“Coursera provides NITDA’s selected learners with access to world-class educational contents from top universities and industry leaders, including Yale, Meta, Google and IBM.
“Coursera will support the Nigerian government in improving the technical capabilities of the country’s youths and develop IT talent,” she said.
According to her, partnering with Coursera will give Nigerian learners access to Coursera’s Professional Certificates portfolio.
She added that the certificate portfolio were designed to empower learners to gain the skills necessary to pass an industry certification examination or launch a career in a specific field, such as IT support within three months.
“Coursera’s 32 Professional Certificates are explicitly designed to facilitate entry into high-growth careers, including Data Analytics (Google), Social Media Marketing (Meta) and Software Developer (IBM).
“These roles are due to enhance an increasing share of the Nigerian labour market, which expects three million digital jobs to be created in the next four years,” Umar stated.
She said that the Cohort 3 skills would focus on the 3 Million Tech Talent, 3MTT, initiative of the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy.
Some of the courses participants were expected to undertake included Software Development, UI/UX Design, Data Analysis & Visualisations, Quality Assurance, Product Management, Data Science, Animation, AI/Machine Learning, Cyber Security and Cloud Computing.
Mrs Umar said that beneficiaries of the first and second Cohorts ranged from students, government workers, entrepreneurs and academics.
“In the two Cohorts, there were 43,745 enrolments in different courses with learners completing 16,374 courses which indicates that each learner enrolled an average of five courses.
“The distribution of skills developed based on three domains are Computer Science 31.83 per cent, Business 35.73 per cent, and Data Science 32.44 per cent.
“The feedback from learners with an average rating of 4.8/5.0 signifies Nigerians enthusiasm in digital up-skilling on the Coursera Platform,” she said.
According to Mrs Umar, a recent study by the Business Insider Africa has found that Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s highest year-on-year average growth rate for people enrolling for professional courses, with Nigeria ranking third globally.
Mrs Umar added that the applications were open from Jan. 24, while the programme would begin on Feb. 10.
Coursera was launched in 2012 by two Stanford Computer Science professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, with a mission to provide universal access to world-class learning.
It is now one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, with 107 million registered learners as of June 30, 2022.