NYSC service year is the dream of an average Nigerian student. 

It’s a time of freedom from boring lectures and difficult examinations. 

It’s a time of liberty from intense supervision and unpleasant instructions.

It’s a time of binge fun, unrestricted pleasure and unguarded enjoyment.

It’s a time of wholesome independence.

In a nutshell, the NYSC service year is one year you have to yourself before life comes at you full force, and you must make major decisions. 

However, it is worthy of note that one year can set the pace for the rest of your life.

That one year could be a time for intense personal and professional development.

It could be the one year you get to learn all the competencies you were not opportune to be taught at home and in school.

Here are 12 Skills Corps Members can maximise their service year to learn

1. Digital/Tech Skills

It’s no news that technology is the new oil money. 

One interesting fact about this new money is that you don’t need to spend years in the four walls of a university to become a professional.

All you need is your smartphone/laptop, data and a small token for the course. Admittedly, data service might not be as good as you’d like, but has it stopped you from posting your ‘slay’ pictures?

Some in-demand digital/tech skills you can learn include;

  • Digital marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Web development
  • Mobile development
  • Software development
  • Graphics design
  • Video editing
  • UI/UX
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Machine learning
  • Data science
  • IoT
  • Etc


2. Financial Literacy

There is no better time to learn to become tactful with money than now. Now is the best time to learn how to create a budget and adhere strictly to it. Learn how to save at least 10 per cent of your monthly income. 

There is no better time to kick-start your financial journey than now.

If it takes signing up for financial skills courses, do that. 

Make out time to study the world of finance and investments. 

Learn how to trade stock, forex, crypto and other investment opportunities.


3. Reading and writing

I know you are shocked.

Reading may not appear to be much of a skill to you. But you must be a lifelong learner to stay afloat, and reading is essential to learning.

There is so much to learn, even after your degree. Your service year could be an opportunity to finally read up on some of the concepts you have always craved. It’s time to catch up on new trends changing our world like Blockchain technology, metaverse, virtual and augmented reality, etc.

What about writing?

In this time and age, you need to know how to articulate words on paper to be relevant. 

You need it at work to prepare reports and to further your education because you must write academic articles, thesis etc.

You even need it in social media to write tweets, posts and articles that will establish you as an authority in your field.

The good thing is that you don’t need much to start; you just need a journal to record your daily experiences. Then, you can proceed to more advanced writing if you wish.

Nothing builds your conceptual ability, articulation, vocabulary and worldview as reading and writing skills.


4. Communication/Social Skills

Many brilliant and innovative ideas are yet to see the light of the day because the owners have not learnt the essential communication skill.

You need communication skills in all facets of life; at work to make presentations, at home with your spouse or siblings, in your relationship with your girlfriend/boyfriend, in your business to sell your market or attract an investor.

You can start learning by seizing every opportunity to air your opinion, answer a question or make a contribution.

Try walking up to other corps members to initiate a conversation. 

Take it a notch higher by making public speaking presentations at events, seminars, and even religious programs.


5. Business/Entrepreneurial Skills

NYSC service year is an opportunity to trade the difficult terrain of entrepreneurship. It is a time to venture into those business ideas that you’ve always had.

You could succeed or fail. But one thing is certain; you will learn more from running a business than from a thousand business masterclasses.

However, that is not to play down the importance of business masterclasses, summits and courses. 


By all means, enrol into a business school, sign up for a business course, read books on business and join a community of young entrepreneurs.


6. Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are people’s abilities to lead and deliver projects, encourage initiatives, build a sense of common purpose, and empower others.

From the definition above, it is stark clear that you need leadership skills whether you consider yourself a leader or not.

If you are posted to a school, you are a leader to your students. Even if you are serving in an organisation or company, you may be given a project that requires leadership skills to execute effectively.

At some point in life, you will be called upon to lead something at work, at home, in your religious gathering, among friends and colleagues. 

What better time to learn leadership skills than now?


7. Salesmanship/Negotiation Skills

Whether you want to be an entrepreneur or work a 9-5 job, you need negotiation and salesmanship to market yourself and sell your idea. 

Funny enough, these are skills every corps member should have before reporting to their PPA, as it will enable them to understand and sell their value to their PPA and negotiate better pay and working conditions.

Learn how to sell your business idea and negotiate a better offer.

Learn how to sell your worth in a company and negotiate a better pay package.


8. Networking/Relationship Skills

A wise man once said, “if you bought everything you have with your money, you are poor.”

Some of the best things in life are bought with relationships or connections.

As a young graduate, you must learn relationship and networking skills to move up the corporate ladder.

You need to learn how to cultivate strategic relationships with professionals in your field and build a strong professional network that you can rely on for support, recommendation and advice.


9. Basic Etiquettes

A little background story…

Two corps members – male and female – went to an eatery to flex their allawee small. They ordered fried rice and chicken. 

The female corps member struggled with the fork and knife till the fried chicken landed on the floor.

What an embarrassment!

Negligence of etiquette might constitute a public embarrassment or, worst-case scenario, career suicide in the future if you don’t learn them now.

Leverage your service year to learn some of these things; learn how to eat a 3-course meal with the correct cutleries, be punctual to meetings, and hold the door or chair for a lady – add your own.

Some basic etiquettes include; social etiquette, business etiquette, workplace etiquette, communication etiquette, and table etiquette.

Find out where you are lacking, and invest time and resources to learn them.


10. Personal Grooming

Grooming and hygiene standards are not gender-specific, and they do not need wearing pricey human hair or fashionable clothing or caking your face with cosmetics.

Personal grooming is a self-care practice that people have to maintain their physical appearance and public persona.

I don’t think anybody on earth was born with body or mouth odour. These offensive realities come as a result of dirtiness.

Sadly, cosmetics have helped in masking some of these offensive realities. For example, a guy may decide to go out without taking a bath; he’ll just bathe himself with cologne and smell nice. However, immediately he becomes sweaty, and everyone around him witnesses the foul play.

Going for service connotes that you are now a ‘big boy or a big girl.’ 

Own the title.

Develop a personal self-care routine to care for your body.

  • Take your bath regularly, at least twice a day
  • Brush twice daily
  • Use deodorants on a clean body
  • Use cosmetics modestly to enhance your beauty.
  • Wash and sterilise your underwear regularly
  • Wear clean and ironed clothes
  • Add your own


11. Housekeeping

Housekeeping is the management of duties and chores involved in the running of a household, such as cleaning, cooking, home maintenance, shopping, and bill payment. These tasks may be performed by household members or by other persons hired.

Many young people don’t know basic housekeeping, especially those who grew up with house helps.

Leverage your service year to learn basic housekeeping; cooking various dishes, washing and ironing, cleaning and organising your house, doing the dishes, taking care of your bills etc.


12. Driving

Driving is one of the most useful practical skills. It brings independence and social and career opportunities. It allows you to go where you want and when you want. Driving can come in handy when you are in a dangerous place.

Learning to drive and getting a driver’s license is something you should do during your service year if you don’t already know how to drive, and it will serve you for a lifetime.

What we do at DO

To get the best out of your NYSC year, join a network that supports graduates that have been deployed under the National Youth Service Corps by connecting them with access to the support that enables them to navigate the entire NYSC process, from Call up letters, to travel, PPA, Allawee, Security, CDS etc. In return, they are expected to commit to taking action to drive sustainable development in their community.

Sign up with us TODAY.

Click here to join us now.