Looking for technology skills you need to succeed in the marketplace today? After School Africa brings you the top 20 technology skills you need today and where to learn these skills for free or at affordable fees.
Over the last 100 years, the world has witnessed a revolutionary transformation and turnaround in the way things are done. This was largely through the technological advancement that was witnessed over time in every facet of human endeavor.
The future and the world we live in now is solely at the mercy of Technology. The truth of the matter is that Technology has played a key role in the turnaround of events in this century. This means Technology needs to be embraced more and we need to leverage the power of Tech as a tool to advance our lives in the future both at an individual and collective level.
Technology has influenced so many aspects of our lives already and it is expedient that we prepare and position ourselves for the future by learning new skills that will be relevant to the future.
The business world is one key area that has been influenced drastically by Tech. Over the past few decades, the process and ways of working changed compared to years past.
Whew, so in essence, the power of technology cannot be overemphasized. Technology has made the world a smaller place and even more accessible.
Table of Contents
The Future of Jobs
Technology is already here. With the widespread advancement witnessed in technology and automation, certain jobs will be obsolete shortly. For example, Robots are used to build cars and even pack online orders. This means that the number of human beings needed in that area will reduce drastically unless we upskill. Chatbots have also been developed over time to help with credit card balances. This also means that humans might not be needed in the banking sector shortly.
Over 50% of the jobs we see today will shrink. They will not necessarily disappear but they will seem irrelevant as a result of the exploits of Artificial intelligence and machine Learning. Those who will stand the test of time are those who leverage the power of tech and re-position themselves for this change. We are now in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
We are now at the core of a fourth one that affects how technology is integrating into our lives as a whole. The emergence of Nanotechnology, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence are key components of this fourth revolution. There will be so many opportunities for those with tech skills related to Robotics, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence. The good news however is that the jobs of the future will require little academic achievement and more creativity/problem-solving skills. A fifteen-year-old today can expect to have up to 17 different jobs in five different industries.
Current Change in the Job Market
A lot of people’s perception of technology needs to change because it will be a major driver for future jobs. Let us take a walk toward the change that occurred in the job market over 20 years. Between the years 2000-2010, the top jobs include:
- Computer system and network administrators
- Computer software engineering and applications
- Healthcare professions
- Genetic counsellors
- Training specialists
- Government positions
Technological advancement placed a demand on people to learn new skills that are tech-related. The demand for most of the jobs listed above slashed drastically.
A lot happened in the job market between 2015-2019. The emergence of digital technologies birthed many hi-tech jobs such as
- Product designers
- Brand designers
- Software developers
- Social media managers (content creators)
- Cybersecurity engineers/analysts
- Data engineers/analysts
- Virtual assistants
- Uber drivers
These jobs were not in existence decades ago but became the top hi-tech jobs in our modern times. From the foregoing analysis, you will agree with me that in the next 10 years, the job market will also witness a rapid transformation, and only those who will take advantage of the drivers of the future (Data, codified money, Robots, and Humanoids will stand the test of time
Tabular representation of job trends
Below is a tabular representation of the current job trends in the labor market
|Organizational Development Specialist
|People and Culture Specialist
|Managing Directors and CEOs
|Data Analysts and Scientists
|Business Services and Administrators
|General Manager Operational Manager
|Artificial intelligence, Machine Learning Specialist
|Accounting, Book Keeping Payroll Clerks
|University and Higher Education Teachers
|News and street Vendors’ Lawyers
|News and street Vendors Lawyers
|Human Resource Specialists
|Sales and Marketing Professionals
|Business services and Administration managers
It is no longer news again that the season of automation apocalypse is closer than we ever imagined. So many people are afraid thinking that automation will lead them to joblessness and this is not the case. The only set of people who will suffer are those who lack the required skills for the new set of roles that will emerge.
Experts in the field of futuristic analysis while trying to analyze the effects Robots and Technology will have on future jobs disclosed that the set of jobs that will be affected are jobs at the routine level. Jobs like Telemarketing and Tax Preparation fall into this category. Tasks associated with the legal profession such as legal assistants, law, and paralegals will be computerized in the next 20 years.
Jobs That Will Stand the Test of Time
One of the top futurists in the world, Henry Ford, classified the jobs that will stand the test of time into three basic categories.
The first category involves jobs that require “Human Creativity”
This requires potent human intelligence such as being a scientist, or artist and innovating new business models and strategies. Currently, when it comes to Creativity, Humans are the best at it. However, I doubt if this fact will still be valid in some 20 years’ time. There are currently computers that can paint original artworks like a human. The power of technology cannot be underestimated you know.
The second category of jobs that will stand the test of time
are those that require people’s skill, that is, jobs that involve interacting with people such as nurses, teachers, etc
The third category
This will be human jobs that are unpredictable such as plumbers that will be needed to go to different locations to fix pipes. Others include repairers, installers, healthcare social workers, and recreational therapists. etc
The role technology plays in changing the working world cannot be underestimated. I believe personally that the 2020s will be characterized by so much redeployment of skills. The theory of the indispensability of human beings has been proven wrong by the rate at which machines replace humans in different job categories doing tasks we never imagined could be done.
Jobs of the Future
With the turnaround of events in the job market, one cannot say exactly what the future holds. The best one can do is a scientific and educated guess based on current and past trends. This will further position one to prepare for future jobs. One thing to note is that change will keep happening no matter what. All the ends of the earth will experience environmental, cultural, economic, social, and technological changes. A large host of these changes can be predicted (like climate change) while many can’t be predicted. Many changes will arise without prior warning or notice and this will lead to much more discoveries for the betterment of humanity at large.
Talking about the future of jobs will require a level of understanding and an interplay of various factors that come into play. It is a fact already that many of the jobs of the future will spring forth from the present-day technological and scientific advances.
A large host of today’s jobs will still be in existence in the future but in a more refined form as they will be caught up by the revolutionary change that will sweep across the job market. Many of the jobs will transition into something entirely new
Below are some careers and jobs that may be the drivers of the future:
1. Solar Technicians
Shortly, the source of power supply will shift from electricity to solar energy. Solar energy will be the major source of power and as such there will be a high demand for Solar Energy Experts
2. Nursing Profession
Shortly, the number of aged persons will increase exponentially. As such there will be a high demand of Registered Nurses to take care of these aged persons. Registered Nurses cannot get out of their jobs. There will always be a demand for their skill
3. Software Developers
Mobile app and software developers will be in high demand also shortly. Without these software developers, automation, robotics, computers, and mobile devices will be useless. It is the sole responsibility of these developers to come up with sophisticated commands that run the hardware. Mobile App management will be one of the best careers shortly. You might want to consider going into this area
5. Data Analyst
Data will be one of the major drivers of the future. The smooth running of every sector is dependent on the quality and quantity of data at their disposal. There is so much data collection can do. It can help organizations build their email list and come up with products that their audience needs. Shortly, professional data analysts will be in high demand as firms will need their services in interpreting past and current trends and forecast future possibilities
6. Digital Content Creators and Writers
Soon, a large chunk of the products that will be available are purely digital products. Website owners will need engaging content that will draw the required amount of traffic to their site which will eventually translate to sales. Content Creators will be in hot demand
7. Information Security Analysts
The world will experience an outbreak of cyberattacks soon due to the transition of the world to an era of Information Technology. Almost all activities will be computer-dependent as such it will be a breeding ground for hackers. The activities of the unscrupulous elements will skyrocket and they will serve as a threat to many databases. This will be a big threat to the cyber world unless there are analysts and specialists in the area of Cybersecurity to help protect the networks and IT systems of government agencies and organizations. Cybersecurity Specialists will be in high demand soon. This will be one of the top jobs of the future.
8. Biomedical Engineer
This is one of the best careers to get into if you want to live a life of impact in the years to come. Biomedical Engineers are to come up with top-notch research and development geared at providing artificial organs, medical devices, biological implants, and a host of activities. It has been estimated that over 20,000 jobs will be available in this field over the next decades and beyond.
9. Mechanical Engineering Specialist
If your focus is on development in the technological space, then this is one career you should consider going into. Mechanical engineering technicians are responsible for testing and designing automation equipment, robots, energy devices, and 3-D printing machines. Between 2019-2030, about 300,000 jobs will be available in this area. Mechanical Engineering Specialists will be in high demand.
10. Electronics Engineering Specialists
Electronics Engineering Specialists will also be in high demand like mechanical engineering specialists. They evaluate, test, and design technologies. These specialists will take advantage of the latest technologies to build more complex electronic circuits that will stand the test of time. They are responsible for developing better computers, handheld medical devices, communication gadgets, and even self-driving cars. From 2019-2030, there will be a need for over 70,000 computer hardware engineers, 100,000 electronic engineers, and over 200, 000 electronic engineering technicians.
11. Blockchain Developers
Codified money(cryptocurrency) is one of the major drivers of the future. In the years to come the cryptocurrency called Bitcoin will gain more ground. Blockchain Technology is responsible for distributing a cryptographic ledger that has the potency of making economic transactions faster decentralized and more private. Major world giants will accept Bitcoin as an official medium of transaction and Blockchain developers will be in high demand.
12. Personal Privacy Advisor
As the world is going Global and digital, it will get to a point where there will be difficulty in maintaining our privacy. It will become more complex because augmented reality technologies and facial recognition will be the order of the day. It will get to a point where it will be somewhat difficult to go out without everyone automatically knowing certain vital information about your age, marital status, and personal details. Therefore specialists who can help people protect their privacy will be in high demand helping them to benefit from social media and other technologies without missing out on any available opportunity.
13. Robotics Service Technicians
In the years to come, there will be robots almost everywhere (in schools, homes, public places, on the street, just everywhere). These sophisticated robots will be needed to make activities more efficient aiding in activities such as cleaning, lawn maintenance, cooking, and washing. Being machines, they might not work to the degree to which they ought to. As such there will be a need for Robot service technicians to repair or reprogram robots that go haywire or cease to function. Robot technicians will be a household name just like plumbers, electricians, and skilled trade persons.
14. Nanotech Engineers
Innovations have been developed from manipulating matter at the molecular level. Futurists have predicted that shortly, self-replicating nanostructures will be used in the construction of nanorobots that will be inserted into the immune system of humans to boast in fighting against foreign diseases. As this technology gains ascendency, there will be a need for specialists in the area of Nanotechnology engineering to ensure that this innovation doesn’t pose a threat to the healthy well-being of humans. It has been estimated that there will be a need for over 100,000 Nano technicians and engineers between 2019-2030.
From the foregoing analysis, we see that there are so many opportunities in the future. The only set of people who will benefit from these privileges and opportunities are those who are willing to study some more and learn these relevant skills that will make them qualified and highly sought after. In the coming years, only those who are Valuable will be relevant.
SCHOLARSHIPS TO STUDY TECHNOLOGY DEGREES
One of the biggest challenges that most people face in life is the lack of adequate financial resources to pursue their dream course. To study some technological courses, one will have to apply to international universities abroad as most National universities are not accredited to take courses in line with Robotic engineering. This can be a limiting factor.
But the good news is that there are a lot of scholarships available nowadays for persons who desire to study tech-related courses.
Are you passionate about studying technology-related courses but don’t have the finances? You have no cause to worry. There are many scholarship opportunities out there, I will discuss a few here and give you a link to many others
1. Klagenfurt University of Technology Masters Scholarships in Austria
The positive development of the regional labor market in the ICT sector has resulted in an increasing demand for skilled professionals.
The University of Klagenfurt is responding to this demand by training highly qualified specialists in the ICT sector and awarding the University of Klagenfurt Technology Scholarships, which aim at
- increasing the number of highly qualified ICT professionals,
- enhancing diversity in the Federal State of Carinthia and at the University of Klagenfurt,
- increasing the number of international students at the University of Klagenfurt, and
- promoting the University of Klagenfurt’s internationalization efforts.
In cooperation with the Carinthian Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Austrian Industries, scholarship holders will be supported in finding a paid internship in the first year of their Master’s degree program. Scholarship holders shall be enabled to finance the second year of their Master’s degree program with a paid internship, which is part of the curriculum. For more details about this scholarship click here
2. David Oyedepo Foundation Scholarships for African Students
The David Oyedepo Foundation offers full-tuition scholarships for African Students who have a sound academic background to study at Landmark University and Covenant University for Undergraduate courses. The scholarship is a full package as it covers accommodation, books, and other major expenses. The scholarship aims to help develop leadership characteristics in the candidates so that they will be agents of change in the ward. Successful candidates will have the privilege of either studying at Covenant University or Landmark University in Nigeria
The courses covered by the scholarship include Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information And Communication Technology, Petroleum Engineering, and Biotechnology. Candidates can apply for any of the courses listed above as special preference is given to Technology based courses.
Candidates from the following countries can apply: Chad, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Ghana, South Africa, Egypt, Mali, Tanzania, Togo, Sudan, Rwanda, Lesotho, Libya, Liberia, Kenya, Gambia. The scholarship is for a maximum of 5 years. For more details about this scholarship click here
3. Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship 2020 for Female Undergraduate Students in STEM Fields
To bring more gender diversity to the technology industry, Adobe is pleased to invite applications to the Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship. The Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship recognizes outstanding undergraduate female students anywhere in the world who are studying computer science.
This scholarship is intended for students studying computer science, computer engineering, or related technical fields.
4. Hack Reactor Coding Scholarship USA
If you are passionate about coding and wish to work in the information technology world, then this is for you. The Hack Reactor is a coding school that has raised over 10,000 experts scattered all over the world. The school aims to raise software engineers who are willing to herald the technology revolution that is sweeping over the ages to come. They believe in a more sophisticated and equipped workforce technologically speaking. This scholarship is for all categories of individuals. For more information about this scholarship click here
The Top 20 Tech Skills You Need Today
Below are 20 top skills you need to consider learning to position yourself for a life of relevance and maximum satisfaction in the years to come.
1. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
This is a very important driver of the future. This is a hot tech skill that will be the core foundation of future jobs. Researchers reveal that artificial intelligence will be used for automation and it will eliminate over 70 million jobs by 2040. The potential application of this skill ranges from programming, development, testing, maintenance, and support.
Courses on artificial intelligence
2. MACHINE LEARNING
Machine learning is a combination of math, data science, and software engineering. It is an extensive skill that needs to be learned. It is a subset of Artificial intelligence and it involves computers using algorithms and data to make predictions without necessarily being programmed to do so.
This skill is a major driver of the future as its application is in advanced technologies such as robotics and self-driving cars. Research has shown that the demand for machine learning experts will increase by 70% by the end of 2020. An average AI Researcher earns nothing less than one million dollars annually while a machine learning Engineer makes nothing less than $200,000 annually.
Courses on Machine Learning
There are many resources available and courses online that you can take. Examples include:
- MACHINE LEARNING(COUSERA)
- MACHINE LEARNING A-Z(UDEMY)
- PYTHON FOR DATA SCIENCE AND MACHINE LEARNING BOOTCAMP(UDEMY)
3. Data Science/Data Analyst
This is another major skill of the future that needs to be learned. In the years to come, the world will be driven by pure data, and data scientists and analysts will be in high demand. Data science involves extracting trends, patterns, information, and insights from data using principles of machine learning and algorithms. Data scientists will be needed in industries such as banking and finance, the healthcare sector, government agencies, ministries, etc. The least a data scientist makes in a year is $250, 000
COURSES ON DATA SCIENCE
- PYTHON FOR DATA SCIENCE AND MACHINE LEARNING(UDEMY)
- DATA SCIENCE A-Z(YOUTUBE)
- INTRODUCTION TO DATA SCIENCE(METIS)
- CS109 DATA SCIENCE(HARVARD)
- DATA SCIENCE SPECIALIZATION(COURSERA)
4. MOBILE AND SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT SKILLS
This is another top skill that will be a major driver for the future. They are solely responsible for constructing, installing, designing, maintaining, and testing major systems for software, web, and mobiles. The normal trend now is that all world organizations and companies are developing mobile apps. The rate at which mobile apps are developed is increasing exponentially daily. An average developer will earn nothing less than $200,000 in a year.
COURSES ON MOBILE/SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT
- Mobile Design and Development(Coursera)
- Full Stack Web Design and Mobile Development(Coursera)
- Java Developer(Udacity)
- Android App Development Course(Tonex)
Experts in this field are needed especially in these times when the activities of hackers are on a high rampage. Between 2019 and 2025 over 100,000 cybersecurity experts will be needed to stop these hackers from hacking the database of organizations and stealing personal information of customers. Anyone who learns this skill will be highly sought after soon. An average cybersecurity expert earns nothing less than $100,000 annually.
COURSES ON CYBERSECURITY
6. Augmented Reality (AR)/ Virtual Reality (VR)
This is one major area that enhances the betterment of nature and humanity as a whole. Recent students reveal that experts in this field are not much and in 2020 the demand for VR/AR experts will increase exponentially by 30%. Learning this skill does not require much. A basic foundational knowledge of programming and coding is required.
Courses on Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
7. BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY
This is another major driver of the future. The world is tending towards a cashless economy and cryptocurrency is the world’s future currency. Experts in this field will be in high demand from 2020 and beyond. A recent online jobs magazine revealed that blockchain-related jobs are the second world’s fastest-growing jobs.
COURSES ON BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY
8. WEB DEVELOPMENT
The world of web development is one of the fastest growing in the 21st century. The demand for web developers will increase by 70% from 2020-2040. One of the fastest ways to learn web development is by joining a coding boot camp.
COURSES ON WEB DEVELOPMENT
9. CLOUD COMPUTING
This is one of the topmost IT skills that will be in high demand from 2019 as all computer workloads will be done by the cloud. The demand for cloud computing experts will increase exponentially. Learning this skill does not require much, taking some of the online courses listed below will give you an edge.
COURSES ON CLOUD COMPUTING
- INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD COMPUTING(UDEMY)
- CLOUD COMPUTING CONCEPTS(UDEMY)
- BECOMING A CLOUD EXPERT(UDEMY)
10. DIGITAL MARKETING
This is another top-notch tech skill that is in hot demand. There is a radical shift taking place in the world of digital marketing. Digital marketing experts are needed now and then to come up with new ideas, innovations, concepts, and strategies to market new products and increase the visibility of companies online.
COURSES ON DIGITAL MARKETING
11. NEW DEVELOPMENT LANGUAGE EXPERT
Learning any development language such as Python, C++, or Java will make you a valuable and desirable person in the years to come. Learning a coding language is a big jackpot for you as there is a high demand for coding language experts. Coding is a major driver of the future and anyone with this skill can never run out of jobs.
COURSES ON CODING LANGUAGE
12. DEVOPS ENGINEER
DevOps engineers use scripting skills such as Maven, Ruby, Ant, Bash, and Python to streamline and automate systems and processes already in existence. They are also responsible for maintaining and building tools for operations, deployment, and monitoring systems. This is one of the rare skills that will become more pronounced in the future, As the world is tending towards automation, there will be a high demand for DevOps Engineers
COURSES ON DEVOPS
13. SOLUTIONS ARCHITECT
This requires engineering and software architectural design skills to manage cumbersome processes making use of technology to handle and analyze business problems. Solution architects will be in high demand between 2019-2030. Take this average and learn the requisite skills that will position you toward becoming a professional solutions architect
Courses on Solutions Architect
14. Systems Engineer
This uses network hardware and operating systems combined with basic fundamental coding to modify computer systems for organizations, parastatals, and agencies. Requires system analysis and design skills coupled with business, mathematical, and communication skills.
Courses on System Engineers
15. UX DESIGNER
COURSES ON UX DESIGN
16. SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR
They make use of VMware skills to provide technical support for both soft and hardware issues. Additionally, they are responsible for configuring and operating client-based computer operating systems, responding to security issues, and monitoring systems. They maintain and secure data backups and monitor and upgrade systems. They are also responsible for installing and Testing new system hardware.
COURSES ON SYSTEM ADMINISTRATION
17. APPLICATION ENGINEER
This uses coding and software skills to gather sales information and customer input information to test, design, redesign, implement, and test complex software programs, software, and applications based on the needs of the user. The job duties of an application engineer include designing, developing, testing, and upgrading existing software and also providing technical support to users.
COURSES ON APPLICATION ENGINEERING
- ANDROID APPLICATION ENGINEER CERTIFICATION PRACTICE(UDEMY)
- CERTIFIED SECURE WEB APPLICATION ENGINEER(UDEMY)
18. DATA ENGINEER
This uses statistical analysis, predictive modeling, text analysis experience skills, and knowledge of Hadoop-based technologies to build systems that handle cumbersome data. They are involved in designing, developing, building, testing, and maintaining architectures (databases and large-scale data processing units and systems). They help find ways of developing high-performance algorithms for data usage.
COURSES ON DATA ENGINEERING
19. PRODUCT MANAGEMENT
They make use of software development and web technology skills to develop products from scratch. Also, they are involved in conducting market research to identify new prospects for the future in terms of products. They are also responsible for setting the pricing system to be used and developing the marketing strategies to be adopted.
COURSES ON PRODUCT MANAGEMENT
20. JAVA DEVELOPER
This uses Java development skills and knowledge of ORM and SQL Technologies to create user info systems by developing and designing low-latency applications and high-volume applications. They are also solely responsible for determining and defining the needs of the users and developing and implementing possible solutions to the problem.
COURSES ON JAVA DEVELOPMENT