There are some things that you will read and your eyes will open to reality that's staring you in the face.

The future is a lot close to you than you think.

So many young Nigerians are searching for jobs daily, but very few of them give thought to what things will be like in coming years; say by 2030.

Those who have jobs are so knee deep in work that some do not give thought to what skills will still be relevant in coming years.

McKinsey Global Institute in the United States has made this future around work and the workforce clearer with its research.

Humans want to achieve more in 24 hours and they want to reduce stress levels by improving the ease of conducting their affairs. 

This burden has been passed on to machines.

Remember when you used to see a very long and discouraging queue in banks in Nigeria before the ATM machines came.

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Do you remember how you must have a mortar and pestle in your home and then labour in order to eat pounded yam?

Now all that is gone. 

The research by McKinsey also showed the battle humans are currently fighting with machines, as fears continue to rage that some human skills are already being affected by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. 

To stay ahead of these machines by 2030, there are skill sets McKinsey says workers will need to develop quickly over the next 10 years.

Work skills were placed into five distinct categories - physical and manual; basic cognitive; higher cognitive; social and emotional; and technological. 

Explaining the breakdown, Adam Jezard says workers use a range of these capabilities across a wide field of jobs. 

Physical And Manual Skills

“Physical and manual skills encompass tasks that could be performed by relatively unskilled labour, such as drivers and assembly line workers, as well as skilled workers, including nurses, electricians and craftspeople. 

Basic Cognitive Skills  

“Cognitive abilities like basic literacy and numeracy are needed by workers such as cashiers, customer service staff and those involved in low-level data input and processing, such as typists and clerks.”

The report stated that workers with these two skills sets are likely to suffer most, although not in every profession. 

Higher Cognitive Skills

These skills include advanced literacy and writing, quantitative and statistical skills, critical thinking and complex information processing. Doctors, accountants, research analysts, writers and editors typically use these.

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Social And Emotional Skills 

These skills sometimes referred to as “soft skills” include advanced communication and negotiation, empathy, the ability to learn continuously, to manage others and to be adaptable. Business development, programming, emergency response and counselling require these skills. 

Technology Skills 

In this category, According to McKinsey this embraces everything from basic to advanced IT skills, data analysis, engineering and research.

Skills here are likely to be the most highly rewarded as companies seek more software developers, engineers, robotics and scientific experts. 

Students and workers in Nigeria, who desire to be part of those who earn much, should embrace these last two skills.

Technology is advancing in Nigeria, and China is ready to ensure it continues to advance. Don’t be left behind.