The Digital Technology Era: Staying Ahead of the Curve

I recall as far back as the late 90’s during the advent of the internet, I was a student in the University at that time. My first email address was Remember “onebox”? Nobody hears much about them lately. Today, virtually everyone with an email address uses either  a gmail or yahoo. This is a classic example of the cliche: “if you are not informed you will be deformed. Adapt, or you go extinct“. I will talk about this a little more later. Again, I remember the first mobile phone I bought, a Sony Ericsson and then a Nokia. These days they are no longer popular, with the iPhone and android dominating the market, another example of the power of innovation and disruption. So, in essence, you need to continue to study the market, understand the trend, develop yourself and adapt to remain relevant. This in my opinion is the simple formula for success in today’s fast-changing world.

Now back to my first email sending and receiving experience. I can still vividly remember the first email I sent back then and the joy I felt getting a response almost instantaneously. I had written to a University in Canada to inquire about admission into one of their programs and in less than 4 hours, I got a personal response to my email from the admissions officer. Wow! I thought to myself “how was this possible – the speed at which information flew?” No more writing and posting of letters through the post office, which would take weeks and sometimes months to be delivered and then get a response. Technology has been one of the best things to have impacted this generation. The advantages are numerous – speed, scale, efficiency, cost simplification and many more. Yes, cost. Initial cost of acquisition could be high, but in the long run, I have found it to cheaper and better.

Some people will argue that there are two sides to technology – the good and bad. The same applies in almost every aspect of life. Light and darkness, day and night, sun and rain, name it. As we begin a new decade, it becomes even more imperative that you develop and hone your technology skills no matter what sphere you operate. For those in the business and career space, this is an absolute must as most routine jobs are fast disappearing. Sometime last year, I was invited to speak on “Global Revolution and the Future of Work” at an annual alumni convention. The preparation for the talk was an eye-opener for me as I had to do some deep research on the latest technological trends like AI, robotics, data science, next-gen genomics and so on. According to McKinsey “up to 375 million workers may need to change their occupational category by 2030, and the digital work could contribute $2.7 trillion to the global GDP by 2025” The question then is what are you doing to make yourself marketable and ready to tap into this abundance that is coming?

Thankfully, the how and where has been made possible by easier, cheaper and in some cases free access to resources for personal development and education. I have begun already to tap into this, and I encourage you to do same. Below are links to some websites you can further explore.

  1. Coursera
  2. Udemy
  3. Edx
  4. Udacity
  5. Khan Academy
  6. Edureka

Finally, I encourage you to continue to pay particular attention to trends and innovations in industry, identify gaps in your skill set and experience, take conscious steps to develop yourself, volunteer where possible and keep a positive attitude.


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