Some careers and emerging technologies in the 21st century


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A few days ago, Sunshine Secondary School staged their Annual Career Day.

The high schools in-attendance included: Moi High School Kabarak, Moi Educational Centre, Brookhouse School, Ongata Academy and Langatta Barracks.

In addition, the great event had representatives from around 19 public and private universities.

Various study-abroad agencies were also in the area like bacteria: to sensitise students to see beyond the sea, and think of exploring infinite spectra of educational opportunities in other countries and continents.

As career counsellors, Career Department at Sunshine Secondary School, which is spear-headed by Mr. Bitok, cordially invited us to talk about Careers and Emerging Technologies in the 21st Century.

Our dream team at the Penman Programmes included: Masinde, Mungai, Muinde and I – Ochieng’.

Somewhat, rapid advancement in technology continue to re-shape industries thereby, creating proliferation of new career opportunities.

Somehow, keeping abreast with these emerging trends in technology is essential in matters relevance in these times and climes.

In a heroic book titled Beyond Intelligence, Dr. Wale Akinyemi posits: “the Stone Age did not end because the world ran out of stones.

But the Stone Age ended because the level of thinking had out-paced the use of stones.”

Meaning, in common career guidance in secondary schools, it is important to talk about traditional courses such as Medicine, Engineering, Architecture, Law, Teaching, Journalism, inter alia.

Then, there is the essence and exigence of talking about the puissant impact of technology in career choices.

When you read a heroic book titled Good to Great, you stand to understand that technology cannot replace all workers in the labour market.

Instead, technology is just an accelerator.

Therefore, we should never think that things like Chat GTP will replace writers or robots will replace all workers in industries.

After all, machines are in full control of human beings.

Without digressing, in our career talk, we spoke about emerging trends such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), Robotics Process Automation (RPA), Data Science and Analytics, Cyber Security, Block Chain, Renewable Energy and Counselling Psychology.

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are revolutionising this fast-paced world.

There is a seismic shift in industries across board, including healthcare, finance and transportation.

AI and ML encompasses development of algorithms, working on natural language processing and building intelligence systems.

The career openings in this special sphere include: AI Engineer, AI Ethicist, Data Scientist, Machine Learning Specialist, et cetera.

  1. Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things (IoT) connects devices and enhances data sharing across networks. IoT has an impressive impact on sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing and many more.

It is important to note that social sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter – have an impressive impact on how people in business handle network, marketing, sales and more.

Meaning knowing how to handle social media is important in this dispensation. Job opportunities in IoT include: IoT Architect, IoT Consultant, IoT Developer and such.

  1. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

Somehow, almost any person with a smartphone can access Augmented Reality (AR). This makes it more efficient Virtual Reality (VR) as a branding and gaming tool.

AR changes the boring world into a colourful, visual one. How? By projecting virtual pictures and characters through a phone’s camera or video viewer.

Virtual Reality (VR) lifts these same components to lofty levels. How? By producing an entirely computer-generated simulation of an alternate world.

These immersive simulations can create almost any visual or place imaginable for the player using special equipment such as computers, sensors, headsets, and gloves.

Augmented Reality (AR) uses real world setting while Virtual Reality (VR) is virtual. AR users can control their presence in the real world.

While the system controls the VR users. It is possible to access AR using smartphone, while it is easier to access VR using headset device.

AR enhances both the virtual and real world, while VR only enhances a fictional reality.

Likewise, AR and VR is changing industries such as gaming, entertainment and education. AR and VR have exciting potential in the future of gaming, marketing, e-commerce and education.

Somewhat, both technologies are known for their enriched experience that brings together a virtual world and the real one with enhanced, 3-D visuals.

People venturing into this field can be AR/VR Developers, Experience Designer, Content Creators, Graphic Designers, Software Maintainers, Project Managers, Software Engineers and Developers.

  1. Robotics Process Automation (RPA)

RPA is a form of business process automation, which anchors on software robots or Artificial Intelligence (AI) agents. Software Robotics is also Robotics Process Automation (RPA).

Job openings in this sphere include: Robotics Engineer, Automation Specialist, Robotics Process Automation (RPA) Engineer.

  1. Data Science and Analytics

Both fields focus on working with data to gain insightful information. Data Science delves deep into usage of data to build models that can predict future outcomes.

Data Analytics focuses more on analyzing the past data in order to inform decisions in the present.

With the exponential growth of data, professionals who can analyse and extract bright-eyed insights from it are in high demand. Experts in this sphere work with statistical models, data visualization tools and predictive analytics techniques: to make data-driven decisions in solving perplexing problems.

Career opportunities include: Data Scientist, Data Analyst, Business Intelligence Analyst, et cetera.

  1. Cyber Security

Cyber Security is the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks and data.

This protection helps in warding off any sort of malicious attack. Information Technology Security and Electronic Information Technology is the moniker for Cyber Security.

The work revolves around safeguarding organisation networks and systems. Experts therein conduct vulnerability assessments.

They also implement security measures to protect cyber invasions. Professionals in this area include Ethical Hacker, Cyber Security Analyst and Security Consultant.

  1. Blockchain

Blockchain is a type of shared database that differs from a typical database in the way it stores information.

Ideally, block chains store data in blocks linked together via cryptography. Blockchain can stash different types of information, but the most common use of transactions is in ledgers.

Therefore, block chain is a decentralized, distributed and public digital ledger that records transactions across copious computers without alteration of all subsequent blocks and the consensus of networks.

Work in this world involves developing blockchain applications, enhancement of security and implementing distributed ledger systems.

Block chain technology has come in handy in various sectors such as finance, supply chain management and healthcare.

Professionals in this area include Blockchain Consultant, Blockchain Architect.

  1. Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy is energy derived from natural sources replenished at a higher rate than their consumption.

Sunlight and wind, for example, are sources going through constant replenishment.

Fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – on the other hand, are non-renewable resources that take several years to form.

Burning of fossil fuels produces energy, causing harmful greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide.

Burning renewable energy creates far lower emissions than burning fossil fuels. Transitioning from fossil fuels, which currently accounts for the lion’s share of emissions, to renewable energy is key to addressing climate crisis. Some sources of renewable energy include solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, hydro-power, ocean energy and bio-energy.

Some career opportunities include being a Solar Energy Engineer, Wind Energy Technician and Sustainability Consultant.

  1. Counselling Psychology

With increased rates of distress (acute stress), depression and suicides, experts in the sphere of mental health issues are in high demand.

This is where Counseling Psychology comes in strongly. Counselling Psychology is a generalist health service specialty in professional psychology that uses a broad range of culturally-informed and culturally-sensitive practices: to help people improve their wellbeing, prevent and alleviate distress, maladjustment, resolve crises and enhance optimal performance.

Ideally, Counselling Psychologists focus on normative developmental and health issues.

They also focus on challenges people face, as well as systematic challenges such as prejudice and discrimination manifesting in groups, places of work, organisations, institutions and communities.

There are five areas in psychology: Firstly, is Counselling Psychology itself, which deals in talking to people on how to deal with everyday problems in different settings, such as at home, place of work or community.

Secondly, there is the Clinical Psychology, which deals in assessment, diagnosis, treatment, treatment and prevention of mental disorders as well as personal issues. Thirdly, is Development Psychology, which focuses on studying the psychological, cognitive and social development that takes place throughout life.

Then, there is Social Psychology, which examines people’s interactions with others, and with the social environment.

They work in organisational consultation, marketing research, system design or other applied psychological fields. Lastly, we have Forensic Psychology, which entails use of psychological principles in the legal and criminal justice systems to help judges, lawyers and other legal professionals: to understand psychological findings of a particular case.

By Victor Ochieng’

© Victor Ochieng’

The writer rolls out career talks and training programmes. 0704420232

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