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The World Economic Forum (WEF) says about 1 billion people will need to reskill by 2030 if they are going to remain relevant in the jobs market. In other words, about one in three adults living today may find very few people willing to employ them in about a decade– unless they learn the new skills in demand. That’s a frightening prospect in anyone’s books.
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Now, imagine what it’ll be like for your children; or the other children you know.

Why Expect Your Children to Do the Same Old Jobs?

Here’s a suggestion. When you write down your wish for your children’s future, don’t say you want them to be lawyers, accountants, or oil industry workers. Those jobs could be hardly worth the while in just a few years. Consider the oil industry, for instance. With the world shifting away from dependence on fossil fuels, you can be certain that it won’t be nearly as attractive in a decade. Salaries will have declined in real terms. The allure of that industry will wilt in the public eyes, even here in Nigeria. Hiring for roles in banking will fall or change, as the fintech revolution intensifies. The demand for accountants could shrink considerably as well. Doctors will still be around. But their roles will be somewhat different. They will have to learn how to work with tech-driven tools and assistants. In other words, the doctor of tomorrow will possess some skillsets different from what’s expected of them today. If you think these things aren’t going to happen, remember how civil servants tried to stick with typewriters instead of switching to computers, and how Nigerian banks initially rejected IT providers’ solutions. It’s just a matter of time.

The Jobs of Tomorrow

Anecdotal evidence suggests that Nigeria’s skill gap is even wider than the global average that the WEF mentions in its reports. If we dwell on today’s gap, we risk getting left behind by the rest of the world. That’s ‘we’ on an individual level, and as a country. Here’s the solution: When you think of your children’s future, don’t picture something similar to today. Imagine a radically different world. This should help you decide what to do with planning. Thankfully, we have a glimpse into that future. The World Economic Forum tells us that the bulk of tomorrow’s jobs will arise in these seven areas: Perhaps, not all of these segments will flourish in Nigeria within the timeframe we are considering. But broad fields like cloud computing, data and AI, and specialized project management will almost certainly see a boom. It all depends on what’s crucial for the predominant lifestyles in the world our children will live in.
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Just to give you an idea of how different tomorrow’s world will be, here are some likely careers your children could be considering when the time comes.

Smart Home Design

As smart homes become more common, there will be a growing need for professionals skilled in designing them. They will be working at the intersection of digital technology (especially IoT), architecture, and interior design.

Big Data Analyst

As people use more smart devices, they generate a lot of data about their habits, tastes, and lifestyles. This is a treasure trove for businesses and governments that want to tailor their services to suit these people. The vast amounts of data (big data) involved will have to be analyzed and made sense of by big data analysts.

Renewable Energy Technician

Nigeria is getting on the renewable energy train, with solar panels coming into use across the country. It was named one of the world’s top five markets for solar technology in 2019. This trend will continue over the next decade as the country begins to decentralize its power grid.

Drone-Powered Delivery Service Provider

Drone-powered delivery services are already testing out in various parts of the world. Amazon is currently developing Prime Air, its drone home delivery service. Barring any unforeseen drawbacks, this mode of ‘shipping’ packages to consumers will become popular in this decade.

AR/VR Developer

There are numerous potential applications for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (from entertainment to project planning and management). Don’t talk your children out of those VR headsets just yet. They may be the world’s next big virtual reality engineer.

How to Prepare Your Children for Tomorrow’s Jobs Market

This is how you can prepare your children for tomorrow’s jobs.
  1. Get them acquainted with the foundations of technology early on. Introduce them to code. They should do this, even if they aren’t interested in a career in tech. Soon enough, everyone will need to be tech literate.
  2.  If they show a flair for math or building things, get them involved with programs that enable them to sharpen their abilities in these areas. Let them see videos and other learning material that can stoke their passion for design, computation, or technical work (whichever they are interested in). STEM will be the backbone of tomorrow’s world.
  3. Encourage them to imbibe the four C’s: Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Communication skills. These will prove useful for the majority of roles available in tomorrow’s jobs market.
  4. Be deliberate about their development and progress through primary and secondary education. Note the subjects in which they perform strongly, and let them move in those directions. They should also take a personality test before choosing a career. It will help to reveal their personality type and enable them to decide what careers they should pursue based on this.
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This article was first published on 24th July 2020


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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