Don’t be stupid when learning

Career experts have touted information technology, alternative energy, logistics and sports as some areas that need workers.

Notwithstanding, it should be a mix of areas that you can handle and are interested in pursuing.

One Jamaican, who is currently pursuing a human development and food security masters in Italy, was strategic in her decision. She told Sunday Finance that, in addition to doing what she loved, she took into account the types of skills that are in demand.

“There are a number of degrees I could have pursued, but considering the extremely competitive nature of the labour market and the scarcity of opportunities, I chose that programme,” she said.

Digital Jam 2.0 showed that the future is online. Whatever you are doing there must be a digital base, said Gerrard McDaniel, communication consultant at the Jamaica Country Office of the World Bank .

It’s all about digital because you have to remain in your country and work across geographic borders, he said.

The Washington-based multilateral announced that Digital Jam 2.0 — a digital job and market fair — has created employment for over 4,000 young people on online platforms. It has also established funds to support start-ups in the app economy and the commercialization of apps.

Even those eyeing jobs in civil service must opt to get skills that allow them to use the digital space.

“Civil servants will have to be tech savvy, governments are moving to digitize much of the work that is done,” McDaniel said. “We will need people who can do the job in a tech savvy way.”

Angela de Freitas, general manager of Choices Career Advice, agrees.

Practically every area of business is becoming computerized, she said, adding that there’s a need for programmers and the general know-how to use technology.

Technology is also linked to other industries such as alternative energy and food security. So there will be a need for people with knowledge about how to tackle issues such as food production and energy management.

There’s also going to be a need for the technology to get the job done after the theories have been applied.

Acquiring knowledge never gets old. According to McDaniel, the education field is recession-proof. It then means that there will be need for people to train those who want to learn.

“We will always need educators,” McDaniel said. “Though they aren’t always high paying, a job is there.”

Jobs that have to do with content creation are also ideal.

Many businesses need to advertise on the Internet. Additionally, de Freitas said there are bloggers because of the need to present information in a short and crisp manner.

“So people should be gearing up to know how to do that, and know what it takes to add a creative touch to presenting information,” she advised.

Then comes the subject of logistics — the management of the flow of resources between the point of origin and the point of consumption.

With the boom in online shopping, people no longer expect their packages to take weeks and months to move across international borders, McDaniel noted.

On top of that, there is a general need to move things from one point to another, be it for businesses or for personal use.

“Things must move faster and in an efficient way”, he said.

Even Usain Bolt can be factored into your career choice.

“Our athletes are doing so well, it has shown the many areas that need skilled people to work,” de Freitas said.

With a lot of intensity over the past decade, sports has become more viable with opportunities that have not been taken up, she said. It then means that the athletes will need physical therapists, managers, psychologists as well as public relations agencies.

What’s more is that, as the world becomes one global village, multilingual folks are needed. Spanish, Chinese, French, German are among the languages, aside from English, that are critical in doing business.

“STEM” career- science, technology, engineering and math will also be important. It’s countries that put an emphasis on those areas that are on the rise. India and China are examples of countries that have realized significant economic growth through their focus on STEM, McDaniel said.


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