Best Paying Jobs in Nigeria That Don’t Need Your University Degree

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Written by Seun Oyediran

top paying jobs without a degree

Are you seeking the best-paying job but not quite sure if you qualify? You will be happy to hear that many best-paying jobs in Nigeria are interested more in your skillset and experience; not your university degree.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy, with a GDP of just under $450 billion. Projections show that Nigeria has the potential to grow at more than 7 percent annually in the coming decade. How do you think that can be made possible? When a greater proportion of our young population is involved in best paying jobs in Nigeria and contributing meaningfully to our economy. 

Why don’t many high-paying jobs require specific university degrees?

This is the first question that comes to mind. Why would a job pay well but not require a specific university degree? 

Let’s first understand the labor market scenario in Nigeria. 

It is a well-known fact that the demand for a skilled workforce is outpacing the supply of workers with university degrees. In the last three decades, the Nigerian population has become more educated. But while we might have the most educated population ever, these degrees aren’t necessarily giving people the practical work skills they need.

According to the World Bank Document, Nigeria: Skills for Competitiveness and Employabilitythere is a mismatch between the supply and demand of skills among university graduates in the Nigerian labor market. Many graduates lack workplace readiness and soft skills such as time management, creative thinking, and general communication. 

Additional years spent in university might not translate into skills and thus into higher productivity and earnings. A study reported that the highest return is for people with tertiary education

The way technology is progressing and disrupting the world, the future of work won’t be about degrees; it’ll be about skills. With the need for skills and experience for a job, the degree requirements have taken a back seat. With the changing times, employers seek employees with relevant experience and risk-taking ability. 

For instance, you can become a graphic designer without going down the usual degree route. A degree is not equal to excellent graphic designing skills. There are so many successful graphic designers who are not professionally certified. It’s their creativity, vision, and artistic skills that push them ahead. You need to invest in two things: constantly learning and building your portfolio. With the right attitude and discipline, you can learn through online tutorials, short courses, classic books, training videos, and boot camps to guide yourself into the graphic designing profession. New graphic designing tools emerge, and you need to keep pace by learning on the job. 

Looking for a highly paid job in Nigeria but do not have a university degree? A highly paid job in Nigeria is all about your CV. Let’s create a winning CV with the No.1 CV Maker in Nigeria at Reventify to get a job in Nigeria.

University Degree doesn’t mean low skill. 

Historically, university degrees were considered as stamps of knowledge and skills. But times have changed. Rapidly advancing technologies have created an environment where what you learn in college becomes obsolete within a decade. Most of the mundane tasks are taken over by computers, and you need to be doing higher-value work. 

Yes, we know a lot of jobs demand hard skills, however, as you progress in your career, there’ll be a lot more emphasis on having soft skills – the ability to write, listen, and communicate effectively that never go out of date. 

While some jobs require an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or another kind of credential, many well-paying positions do not require a post-secondary degree. Some of these roles require completion of a certificate program, vocational training, or apprenticeship, and others will provide on-the-job training.

In 2017, PwC began a pilot program allowing high school graduates to begin working as accountants and risk management consultants. In August 2018, a jobs website Glassdoor listed 15 companies that no longer require a degree including tech giants like Apple, IBM, and Google. The same website also mentioned that increasingly there are many companies offering well-paying jobs to those with non-traditional education or a high-school diploma. 

The below job ad on the PwC website for non-graduates is proof that having a university degree is not sacrosanct to get a high-paying job.  

Do you know the portion of non-college-educated employees at Google has grown over time? 

Then, there is the gig economy, which is growing much faster in the face of the current pandemic crisis worldwide. Freelancers are prevalent in a range of sectors, from writers and artists to science and engineering technicians.

You need to possess in-demand skills more than a degree. To gain technical skills, you can enroll in online programs such as e-learning sites like Coursera or Udemy.

List of Top Paying jobs Without a Degree in Nigeria

  1. Software engineering – To become a software engineer, you don’t need to do a degree course. You can get training and start working as a software engineer within a few months. Looking at the current growth in IT sector, the future is bright for software engineers. Companies are actively searching for talented software engineers to fill their open job roles. According to PayScale, the average salary for a software engineer is Naira 2,934, 412. Check software engineering online courses at Coursera and Codeacademy. There are many other free online courses to learn coding, and programming languages like Python, C++. 

  1. Digital marketer – Digital marketing is an evolving career path. The digital marketing career involves many niche jobs. There are various digital marketing roles like online content developer, social media marketing, brand management, content marketing, inbound marketing, SEO specialist, web designer, professional blogger, email marketer, SEO analytics specialist, and UI/UX specialist. The starting salary of a digital marketing manager in Nigeria may be as low as Naira 180,000 per month but after few years of experience they can earn over Naira 350,000 per month. 

  1. Data scientist – Data scientists use mathematics and programming to collect, clean, and explain data. They use mathematical and statistical models to acquire data and then convert it into actionable insights. They employ machine learning, artificial intelligence, and analytical tools along with solid interpersonal skills to do this. According to Salary Explorer, the salaries of a data scientist in Nigeria range from 168,000 NGN to 481,000 NGN per month. While it is common for data scientists to have a degree, a degree is becoming less of a requirement for data scientist jobs. For most companies, it is more important to demonstrate your skills and experience, rather than a specific degree. There are several data science and artificial intelligence bootcamps and certification courses like Datalab to get hands-on experience in gaining the right skills. 

  1. Brand influencer – Influencer marketing is a marketing tactic adopted by most companies these days. Most brands are leveraging the power of social media influencers to market and promote their brand products and services. Ever heard of Ademola Ogundele? He is a writer, blogger and founder CEO of NotJustOk, a popular music website with a mission to spread Nigerian music around the globe. Another famous brand influencers are Nosa & Folly who visit restaurants around Lagos, eat their food and write reviews. Check out the Top 1000 Instagram Influencers in Nigeria in 2021. Choose your niche and the social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok). Write and create posts to build an audience. Brands pay $10-$100 per Instagram post to nano-influencers with 1000-10,000 followers. This may increase upto $10,000 per post for mega influencers with 1,000,000+ followers. 

  1. Actor – Nollywood has experienced notable growth in recent years, especially with the success of movies streaming of Netflix and YouTube. Average Nigerian movie stars earn between N100,000 to N500,000 per role, while the big names in the industry earn between N1 million to N5 million. If you think you are talented and have some background in acting, then do give acting profession a try. Create an acting portfolio with all the relevant work done so far and join a talent agency. A talent agency has the right connections and information about the upcoming acting opportunities in Nollywood. You may also attend acting classes to hone your acting skills. Be active on social media and build your personal brand. 

  1. Sales Rep – As sales is the core of every business, it’s bit natural that there are a plethora of sales jobs. Sales representative (in short sales rep) is a person who demonstrates and sells a product to a government agency or a private company, instead of selling directly to consumers. For example, sales rep of pharmaceutical companies selling products to doctors. You don’t need any specific degree. If you have the right attitude to sell, strong communication skills, and patience, you can easily become a sales rep. The average salary of a sales rep in Nigeria is around 217,000 NGN per month. Typically, salaries range from 99,700 NGN to 344,000 NGN.

  1. Real Estate Agent – You don’t need a college degree to become a real estate agent. Real estate is considered to be a lucrative and highly profitable career. You need strong persuasion and negotiation skills. Start with working for a real estate agency to gain experience and understand the industry. It will help improve your communication skills and you will learn how to build a strong network with brokers, sellers, buyers, and real estate companies. You will also have more information on things happening in the real estate sector. You may choose to work independently or associate with a real estate company. The average salary of a real estate agent in Nigeria is 294,000 NGN. 

  1. Personal Trainer – This is a brilliant career for those interested in exercising and promoting healthier lifestyle. Transform your passion for exercise into a rewarding career for yourself. There is no need for a college degree. You need to enroll with a reputable training provider to receive personal trainer qualification training and first aid certification. Personal trainers typically earns around 250, 000 NGN per month. 

Formal education will make you a living. 

Self-education will make you a fortune.”

 – Jim Rohn

Developing the required skill set for such jobs

A skill set is a combination of your abilities, qualities, and experiences that you can apply to perform a task. Each person has a unique skill set depending on individual interests, personality traits, and technical knowledge. 

First, determine your current skills. Spend time answering the following questions: 

  • What do you enjoy? For example, interacting with people, solving problems, writing, etc. 
  • Are you complimented for any specific ability? For example, ability to solve problems, resolving conflicts, etc. 
  •  Do you have any past accomplishments? It could be anything big or small. For example, you completed a community project, volunteering, or won an award. 
  • What skills helped you deliver results? 

Next, you must expand your skillset to take advantage of the opportunities. Here are several ways you can develop the required skills for top-paying jobs without a degree: 

  • Set goals for yourself – Once you’ve decided what you want to do, you need to set specific goals with timelines to achieve them. 
  • Learn from online resources – There are free online training programs, YouTube videos, e-books, and blogs. Dedicate few hours every day to acquire as much knowledge as possible. 
  • Practice your skills – List down the technical skills you’ll require. It could be the ability to use some digital tools or subject knowledge. 
  • Freelance (if possible) – Register on online portals to get freelance jobs. Some popular freelancing portals are Freelancer.comUpwork.com, and Fiverr.com
  • Find a mentor – Look online for experts in your chosen field. Connect with them. You may find their email ids, subscribe to personal blogs or follow social media profiles. 
  • Review related job descriptions – This will give you an idea of what skills are required. You can use this to evaluate your own skillset. Look for opportunities in your network to acquire the necessary skill set to transition into that position. 
  • Join a professional association in your field – There are many professional associations on local, state, national, and international levels. This will help you connect with like-minded professionals, gain resources and expert knowledge to enhance your skillset. 
  • Work hard – There is no limit to what you can achieve when you work hard. 

When you come across a job that seems like an ideal fit for, don’t put it aside if the “education qualification” section says “degree desired.” Some hiring managers fill this section because it is the “norm.” 

Finding Best Paying Jobs in Nigeria

However, if you can prove that you have the skills needed for the job, some employers won’t hesitate to hire you even if you lack a formal university degree. 

Here’s what you can do to find high paying jobs

  1. Analyze the job listings – If the job description degree is desired or recommended, the hiring manager is open to considering an applicant without a degree. Analyze the skills and knowledge required. Ask yourself do you have those particular skills or experiences. If yes, go ahead with full confidence. 

  1. Step up your education – Even if you cannot get a university degree, you can go for short certificate programs and online courses. You can add these in the education section of your resume. 

  1. Show you are a good fit – Match the skills listed in your resume to the job listing. Connect your knowledge, skills, and experiences to the job description. For example, suppose the job listing says applicants need to have “experience in social media marketing”. In that case, you might mention in your resume the social media marketing projects that you’ve handled in the past. 

  1. Networking – It is always good to know people from your industry and profession. For example, if you are a web developer, attend professional events in your region. Connect with professionals on LinkedIn, and stay active and visible by sharing relevant industry news or opinions. If you come across a job opening, see if any of your connections is willing to write you a recommendation.

  1. Focus on “haves” and not “not haves” – In your cover letter, highlight how your skills and experiences are the perfect fit for the job. Avoid focusing on your lack of a university degree. Explain how you can add value and be a success in the position. 


Times have changed. People without a university degree are entering high-paying jobs like web developers, graphic designing, hair stylists, personal trainers, etc. Of course, there are professions like doctors and engineers which ask for a formal qualification. But, several best-paying jobs are willing to hire those with no university degree. 

So, don’t waste your time and energy feeling sorry for not having a university degree. Take control. Utilize technology to boost your skillset and direct your career. 

Interested in a well-paying job in Nigeria but do not have a university degree? The key to getting a high-paying job in Nigeria is your CV.  Make a winning CV with the No.1 CV Maker in Nigeria at Reventify to land your dream job in Nigeria.

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