Top 10 Profitable Skills to Acquire that can sustain you without a job after School

Top 10 Profitable Skills to Acquire that can sustain you without a job after School

According to recent statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics, the labour force population (i.e those within the working-age population willing, able and actively looking for work) increased to 80.67 million from 79.9 million in the second quarter. The report stated that the number of unemployed persons increased by 555,311. These statistics grew even further by last quarter as lots of organizations packed up while others cut jobs.

All these notwithstanding, the country produces not less than 1.8 million graduates every year, who are willing to employ them, and how many can they employ?

These questions and statistics have prompted this write up; have you asked yourself, what are your chances of getting a job immediately after school? These days, the aspect of job satisfaction is no longer an issue, many will say, let’s get any job first.

Instead of thinking of who will employ you after school or how long it might take to land any job, I think you should consider acquiring a skill.

Skill acquisition is the best thing that can happen to an undergraduate before graduation in this current dispensation. The skill acquired could vary according to your interest but it can go a long way to sustaining you and your family after school.

In that regard, I have decided to share with The Total Entrepreneurs, Top 10 Profitable Skills to acquire that can sustain you without a job after school.

But before listing these top profitable skills, some of you may ask why should I acquire a skill when I am reading a professional course like Medicine, Engineering, Pharmacy, Accountancy or even Law, well, I want you to do a little survey within your neighbourhood or social media friends, ask whom among them read the above-mentioned courses, when they graduated, how many of them are currently employed, what kind of job are they employed in and how much they earn.

Many after graduation end up doing nothing or working with a law firm where they are paid 30k per month and same with medical doctors working with private clinics.

Another reason you need to acquire these skills is that, with the knowledge, you need little to no fund to startup So, the case of looking for funding will not arise until you have established yourself, made a name, and seeking to expand. With acquired skills, you can only be providing solutions or solving people’s problems. Are you with me? Now let’s get to business.

Top 10 Profitable Skills to acquire that can sustain you without a job after school:

  1. Fashion Design

The fashion industry does not know the meaning of recession. This industry grows yearly and as well the profit margins. If you are creative and the trendy type, you will make it in this industry. Also, in Africa, we are good at organizing/attending occasions in uniform and there is no week in Nigeria that people are not celebrating or mourning. When you are good at designing or sewing, you will be overwhelmed with job orders. A friend once said that if you can survive the disappointment of a Nigerian tailor, you can survive any disappointment. What this implies is that they hardly keep up with delivery date; this could be out of too much job order or just another lazy tailor (many of them are). So if you are good, creative, and keep up with the latest design in vogue as well as keep to time, then this industry is definitely a go for you.

  1. Makeup/Manicure/Pedicure

This is another industry that is profitable and does not require a degree to startup. All you need is acquire the skills, be good with colour and know how to pamper your customers and I bet you will never lack money if you are good at it. Many students, male and female alike are already in this niche. On a weekly basis, most females, professionals, and students wear new nails. They pamper their face to look good especially during ceremonies. It is worthy to note that males in this industry make it faster than there female counterparts if they know the skill very well, want to know the reason? Male touch up is definitely irresistible to most female clients who love to be pampered at all times.

  1. Hair Dressing/Barbing

Looking good is good business that every individual loves. Men always cut their hair to look smart and tidy, while the women folks dress their hair to look gorgeous. Many individuals cut/dress their hair on a weekly basis. If you can learn how to cut or dress men or ladies’ hair respectively, you can earn a steady income for yourself. This remains one of the most profitable and lucrative businesses that also does not require huge capital depending on how you want to start and location. I have an idea for people that wish to venture into this business. Because of the viability of the business, almost every street corner has a hairdressing salon or barbing shop. Once you acquire this skill, try to engage your customers in conversation while cutting their hair, this has been proven to bring repeat customers. Also location matters, you should look for a corner without a barber’s shop to set up yours or looking for developing areas to start.

  1. Photography

Remember the best moments

During my days in higher institutions, I was not the picture type but every day I pass the picture stands, the traffic flow remains intimidating. People love keeping memories and the best way to do this is through picture documenting. Go to ceremonies, eateries, school, and even funerals, etc photographers abound, both invited and uninvited. To get ahead in the photography business, you need to understand the art of digital photography, be creative, canvass your client’s work and give them great designs that will keep them coming back to you or referring you to their family and friends. Some photo studios will also engage you to just take pictures and get paid. Also, be up to date with new technologies to spice up your work and keep you ahead of your game. Contact BlueMoon Photography on how to learn the skill of Photography.

  1. Web Design

Web designing remains very lucrative and businesses now understand the need to showcase their products/services online. Acquiring this skill and being creative with your design can put food on your table. Once you learn how to design a website, go out there, make your research and look out for small businesses that are yet to have online presence, offer them an opportunity to have their business online at a limited cost, do a great job, have a professional website about your business and link back to your site indicating you designed the site, do this for few other businesses and showcase your works in your site, if you are good and have lovely designs, you will start getting job orders that can be paying your bills.

  1. Graphic Design

This is another profitable skill that can sustain an individual if he or she is good at it. Most acclaimed graphic designers even with the help of available software do messy jobs. Acquire this skill and you may not wish to work for anyone in your lifetime. Graphic designers are good at telling stories in images and texts. The best of comics are created by graphic designers. This skill can easily be outsourced and on a daily basis, novelists, writers, columnists, bloggers, magazines require the services of graphic designers to better buttress their stories.

  1. Baking

If you learn how to bake cake, make chin-chin, meat-pie, fish-rolls, etc, you could be earning a small but steady income to sustain you during and after school. But if you are very good at those, why not, you could work for big eateries and hotels that are willing to pay for your services. This business is stressful but if you are good at it, you could generate a moderate income that can sustain you. You could bake for your friends during their parties, and if your work is good, they could recommend you to their family and friends during their wedding and big ceremonies. You can also be baking chin-chin and pies to supply supermarkets, stores and school canteens on a daily basis. Contact Omabel Creations if you are interested in this type of business.

  1. Cobbler/ Bag Maker

Making foot wares and bags can be very profitable. Africans love wearing matching outfits, some fashionista’s could design/create foot wares to match with your outfit using your clothing material. You could learn this skill while in school and be making shoes and bags for your fellow students and friends. If you are creative and have interest in designing shoes and bags, you should consider acquiring this skill.

  1. Driving

Yes, you can drive for cash. Taxi industry is booming according to statistics by UBER. You can raise money and get a car that you could use for part-time taxi business. You could also register with taxi companies or have a relation/friend get you a car as a loan and I bet you, before 6 months, if you are diligent, you would have paid back. From a little unofficial personal survey I conducted in FCT, Abuja, and Enugu in Nigeria, taxis in Enugu makes an average of N4000 to N7000 daily while their counterparts in Abuja make even higher. A taxi man I met in Abuja who was formerly an automobile mechanic told me that he didn’t know how profitable the business was until one of his customers paid him N4,000 to please take him to the airport and on his way back, he got another passenger to town. He said he drove around town for roughly about 2 hours and spent a total of 3 hours driving that day but made N9,000 after all expenses. He is now a full-time taxi driver. If your car is still very neat and in good shape, you could also register as an Airport taxi and that is more money.

Read story of UBER driver in Nigeria and how much he makes.

  1. Cable TV Installer

This is another profitable skill that will cost you almost nothing to learn if you love Engineering or like playing with electronic tools. You can do this business on the side while you do other things. Cable TV Installation is not so hard to learn and you could meet with Satellite Cable companies or their distributors and ask them to refer you to mount cable for new customers, this way, you do not only install it that once but big chances are you will be maintaining it.



hottest business ideas for fresh graduates

This remains a profitable business if done right. Some Bloggers make as much as a six-figure income monthly, others make less or more. When you are knowledgeable enough in a particular niche, then you alone can decide what your earning potential could be. But for you to monetize well, you need to register your own domain name and host your own blog, that way, you will be limitless with options to monetize with, either through affiliate marketing, ad networks, or sale of e-materials. You can Learn How to Start a Money Making Blog Here.

Check out these blogging courses from Udemy


Skill is acquiring ability through training. You must not be passionate about something before you can make it in such area. All you need is put interest and you will forever be grateful you did. With acquired skills, you will not be looking for whom to employ you but people will be looking for you to help them solve their problem.

Let me know the skill you have interest on and I can help you with tips on how to venture into it.

This year will be a successful year to all dedicated entrepreneurs despite the challenges you’re currently facing. Never give up.

These online savings platforms with high interest rates might help you save for that future investment.


Francis Nwokike

Francis Nwokike is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Total Entrepreneurs. A Social Entrepreneur and experienced Disaster Manager. He loves researching and discussing business trends and providing startups with valuable insights into running a profitable business. He created TTE to share ideas and tips to help entrepreneurs run and grow their businesses.

55 Responses

  1. Mohammed Mukhtar Arome says:

    Good morning I want to learn a skill that I can make good money and be well establish

  2. Izuvhukwu says:

    Good day sir, am interested in learning web designer and phone repairs which one is more portable, am a fast learner by god grace

  3. Emmanuel Chinonye says:

    Pls sir I want to learn barbing…..pls how many months or year do you think is enough for it am a fast learner

  4. Samuel says:

    Thanks for this piece, am interested in barbing

    • Good, then go for it. But before writing your business plan, think of a location, visit the barbing saloon around the area, identify what you think is a gap or they’re not doing well. Identify the class of people in that area. Think of how you’ll fill that gap while targeting the class of residents. And so on.

  5. Ekemini says:

    I always looked forward to being a professional photographer, but don’t know what its equipment cost… Ranging from the camera to flashing light and laptop.


    Sir am delight to learn web designing but don’t know how to go about it. Please help me

  7. Chukwuma Franca says:

    Thanks so much, please how long does it take to learn Graphic design

  8. Salisplendid Sunday says:

    Hi Francis, tnx 4 dis piece.
    Am interested in shoe and bag making but cant find where to acquire the skill ( I mean a professional trainer) i base in Abuja precisely Nyanya. Pls how can i go about it. Tnx

    • Elizabeth says:

      Good morning Francis ,please is it possible to learn fashion design and also learn hairdresser, can I be able to hand the two
      Please am in Lagos can you help me located the biggest fashion design in Lagos I can learn from (thanks

      • Hello Elizabeth, it all depends on your ability. I cannot tell you what you can be able to handle. You know your capacity and your capability. Secondly, you do not stay in your house and expect to get every knowledge from the internet. Leave your comfort zone, go out there and make enquiries on the fashion design outlets in Lagos and what it takes to enroll.

        Sunday, you cannot tell me there are no professional shoemakers in Nyanya. Go out and ask around. Best regards.

  9. Okoyo rose says:

    Can I learn graphic design while in school studying medicine?
    I mean Will I be able to manage the time to concentrate on both equally?

    • Hi Okoyo, it largely depends on you. Graphic design is no so daunting if you are a fast learner. Also, this is what you should be doing on the side as a student. Your priority remains your MBBS. I believe as a student you still make out time to hang out? So, why not.

  10. Dickosn ocean k says:

    Please’ I will like to have ur number so that you can brief me more sir and I find ur post exceptionally good

  11. Naomi essien says:

    HI Francis i can braid but not all hair styles and would like to learn more but dont have money to start.thanks

    • Oladoke Kehinde says:

      Web design is one that I think anyone can learn easily and fast aside most other skill, Programming being the hardest to learn (maybe that applies to me only)

      Thanks for this wonderful piece sir

  12. IFEANYI CHUKWU says:

    God will bless you for me sir, I really really enjoyed your ideas here. I’m thinking about setting up my own vocational center in my own town because I have some computer skills, and I’m a type who likes teaching a lot. Sir, I need your advice regarding this idea of mine, and also good areas that are going to suit the business please sir.

    • Hi Ifeanyi, glad you found value in this article.

      Setting up a vocational centre is a very good idea.

      Since you’re passionate about teaching, I have a strong feeling you’ll excel in that area.

      However, I will advise you to first make sure you’re well informed in the niche you’re venturing into, create a plan for your centre, situate your centre in a strategic location, draw your curriculum, have a good marketing plan, and be sure the skills you’ll be teaching your students can also be monetized especially within your town or surrounding towns.

      You can site your centre close to a popular secondary school, however, this is not a guarantee that you’ll be getting students. That is where your marketing strategies have to come into play. You’ll need to craft a very catchy flyer, stating what interested persons will be learning from your centre, the duration and opportunities they’ll get from acquiring those skills. You may also use the local churches to promote your centre.

      Also, make sure the learning environment is very conducive and appealing.

      If you need more advise, you may chat us up on whatsapp.

      All the best.

  13. Emmanuel Oluwasegun says:

    I just can’t figure out which skills am good at..
    Is there any help?

  14. Ada says:

    Good afternoon,I really found this write up on skill acquisition very helpful and I’m beginning to give it a second thought. I’ve always envisioned myself with the white collar job even though its not forth coming. I have a flair for fashion designing and baking ,is it possible to run both skills ?

  15. Modest says:

    I want to learn something outstanding apart from these ones u mentioned… Any help?

  16. Ochuba says:

    Hello. Thanks for the list of skills listed above. Well am interested in the cable TV installation. Please how do I go about it

    • Hi Ochuba, that is easy. You have two options;

      1. Visit a cable company near you and apply to be professionally trained by their Engineers after which they will certify you to be their installer.
      2. Locate a local installer near you, make him friend and open up on your interest in learning how to install cable Tv or pay him to teach you. Afterward, you can visit cable vendors and drop your contact with them should a buyer need an installer.

      I tell you, either way, you’ll not regret acquiring the skill because, when you start working, it will be fun and you’ll be earning money almost on a daily basis either installing new cables or helping users fix issues that arise from change of signal due to bad weather or users moving to new apartments.

      All the best.

  17. Awup Bebum says:

    So glad I came across this. I need your advice on this; I desire to learn driving but my challenge is I don’t easily get conversant with roads. How do I overcome this challenge?

  18. Destiny says:

    Good morning, am interested in fashion designing and baking… I don’t have enough money for school so I’m thinking of getting a skill than doing nothing.

    • Hi Destiny, fashion designing is very lucrative. While school is important, acquiring a skill is even more important. This is because, with a skill, you can train yourself in school in the future. The reality of today shows that skills make way for people than conventional education. Wish you the best.

  19. MacBest says:

    Nice one .. keep it up.
    I am interested in graphics designing and photography.. how do I go about it?

    • Look out for agencies/schools tutoring in that niche around you and enroll. 2020 shouldn’t be a year of too much procrastinating or enquiring, it should be your year of taking actions.

      • Nonye says:

        Am really Glad I came across this…
        Have been really thinking of what to do since I Graduated..
        Have had a lot of skills on my mind,,,like going into photography,makeup,fashion desigh..cos I find all of them interesting..nd this really has kept me wondering…if I really know wat I want in life..nd i must really scares me,time they say waits for nobody,…
        But with wat have seen here today..,have made my decision..
        Fashion design it is..
        So what do u tink Francis?

        • Whatever decision you take from the above-listed niche mentioned, I will say it is ok, however, how well and how successful you will be with your skill is totally up to you.

          I counsel individuals on how best to utilize their skills.

          It is one thing to acquire a skill and it is another thing to know how to properly monetize same in a competitive environment. That is exactly the same reason you find two individuals doing the same business but find out while one is doing well, the other is not.

          That being said, Fashion design is a very lucrative business and if you are good at what you are doing, you’ll always have money coming to you from that skill.


  20. strive paul says:

    keep up the good work,

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  22. Protocol says:

    Awesome post I must say.

  23. Chinedu Udo says:

    Please l am interested in web design and graphic design. l stay in the east, Umuahia/Okigwe,though l can move. Link me up on how to go about it and a good trainer.

    • Hi Chinedu, you can find good web design trainers around you. Just Google “Web design trainers in Umuahia/Okigwe” and reach out to them. Make sure you see their previous work and if possible, speak with their former students to be sure you’ll get what you are paying for.

  24. Etta Mercy says:

    Am interested in sewing ,makeup,and baking

  25. Anwara John says:

    Is it possible to learn multiple skills at a time?… or should i just focus on one?

  26. Anwara John Okechukwu says:

    Bro.. i wish to learn haircut and to learn it extremely well, the people in my state dont know anything and i wish to be the first to make outstanding haircuts

    How long do you think will take me to learn it and be exceptional at it

    Because i’m actually an undergraduate with little time for this… but i really want to learn this skill before i leave school and to learn it very well while still going to school.

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