Ugochukwu Nkwocha, Founder/CEO 9jacodekids Academy

By Ugochukwu Nkwocha

The world is always progressing. As humans we are very curious and adventurous and this has led to so many discoveries, and advancements in technology. From cathode-ray television sets, to flat screen TVs to curved LED TVs and 3D TVs. From analogue landline phones to pocket sized mobile phones to touchscreen smart phones to bendable phones. We are making lots of progress.

This progress isn’t limited to the kind of devices and gadgets we use but also in the kind of jobs we do.

Many years ago in Nigeria, the only way to recharge your mobile phone was to buy a physical recharge card from shops or roadside vendors. Today most people can’t remember the last time they even saw a recharge card vendor as USSD codes and mobile banking platforms have made it possible and more convenient to recharge directly from your bank account. Thousands of jobs and businesses have been lost from this alone.

Another popular example is the typewriter and the typing pool. Big companies used to have large typing pools where hundreds of typists were employed and paid well to type documents. The noise of typewriters clicking away would fill these typing pools as professional typists churned out hundreds of documents daily. These typists built a career out of this and took pride in how many words they could type per minute. Today, all that is gone as personal computers and laptops have allowed people to type their own documents.

No matter how bad we may feel about it, the truth remains that technology has brought progress and convenience which we gladly embrace. 

As parents with growing kids who need to make career choices, it’s important we are aware of what new and exciting careers and jobs exist out there so that our kids aren’t limited to the LAME courses (pun intended) – Law, Architecture, Accounting, Medicine, Engineering. Knowing the opportunities that exist will enable our kids to choose careers that are relevant now and in the future.

We live in a technology-driven society so erring on the side of technology in making career choices can hardly be a wrong choice no matter the profession. I have outlined a number of areas I consider important.

1. Artificial Intelligence: In recent times, AI is touted as the next big thing and rightly so. Artificial Intelligence is used 

  • to power smartphone apps that can for example suggest the closest restaurant to have lunch.

  • in transportation to control driverless/autonomous cars 

  • In education to provide personalized tutoring by analysing students’ learning patterns 

  • In banking and finance to organize operations and even predict trends in the stock market.

  • in medicine to detect cancer much faster and accurately than clinicians

  • in e-commerce as online customer service agents

  • to power robots that can perform a wide range of functions like cooking, cleaning homes, taking care of elderly people etc.

The uses of AI are not limited to the above examples. Exploring a career in Artificial Intelligence will definitely hold a lot of promise for our young ones.

2. Robotics Engineers: Robotics as a field has been around for decades but current technological breakthroughs in areas like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Machine learning, cloud computing etc has increased demand for robotics in industries such as consumer electronics, food and beverage, agriculture, construction, health, and automobile etc. A career in robotics promises to be lucrative as robots make life easier, are more efficient, can work 24/7, and companies are looking to use them to increase productivity and reduce cost.

3. Software Developers: The need for more software developers to create more software is on the increase as software continues to control of  most of the technology that drives our society. Statistics show that for every single software developer, there are 5 jobs that could be filled. This is a lucrative career opportunity for young people because the need for software isn’t going down anytime soon if ever.

4. Data Scientists: Data is the new oil. As we live and work in cyberspace more and more, we generate lots of data that companies like Facebook, Google and many more have a keen interest in. The need for data scientists that will extract and analyse information and insight from these data is on the increase. In fact research shows that there has been a 344% increase in demand for data scientists since 2013.

5. Virtual World Designer: A virtual world is a computer-based simulated environment where users can create a personal avatar, and simultaneously and independently explore the virtual world, participate in its activities and communicate with others. With virtual reality architects can walk clients through their designs before they have been built, supplying vital opportunities for feedback and alteration. In 2017, Walmart partnered with Virtual Reality creator Strivr, to prepare employees for its Black Friday sales. Immersing employees in a lifelike environment of long queues and crowds is the perfect way to prepare them for events which are not an everyday occurrence. It also removes the need to disturb normal business operations for training purposes.

6. 3D printing specialist: 3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. All kinds of machine parts, product prototypes and even full-sized houses are being 3D-printed. A 3D specialist job is to create the digital files that will be used by the 3D printer to generate the objects.

There are many more emerging career opportunities beyond the ones I have listed. In all, the most important thing is to ensure your kids have a solid foundation in technology and learning to code is one of the best ways to accomplish that.

Check out the various courses that 9jacodekids Academy offers for kids of different ages to find one suitable for your child.

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