The study by Coursera, a United States-based training and skills company, shows that the region has been experiencing exponential enrolment growth for professional certificate courses, growing at an average of 80% in the past few years.
According to the report, University World News reported that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has enrolled 142,000 learners, behind the United States with 1.3 million and India with 654,000 enrolments. The report also noted that Africans are most likely to invest in technology skills like web development and user experience and data science skills like geo-visualisation or data visualisation software.
Apart from Nigeria, other countries in the region have also recorded significant growth in enrolment figures. Cameroon, for example, leads in enrolling for technology courses, while those from Zambia lead in seeking studies in data science skills.
Sub-Saharan Africa sees highest average growth in enrolment for professional courses
The report finds that Nigerians posted a “competitive” score in entrepreneurship of 51% in business courses, but performed poorly in strategy and operations courses, scoring an average of 13%, 22% in finance, and 25% in leadership and management. Nigerians also did not post impressive scores in technology and data science.
Compared to learners in other countries, South Africans achieved “competitive scores in business skills across the board”, except in finance, human resources and communication, in which they scored below 50%.
South Africans were found to be fond of business skills courses such as audit, investment management, innovation, and risk management, as well as technology skills like network architecture and computer programming.
The study noted that Sub-Saharan Africa could become the next digital skills learning hub, and regional leaders must prioritise investments in technology and data science skills. The high enrolment figures in the region reveal a growing interest in professional development and upskilling, which is essential for personal growth and career advancement.