Op-Pieces

How technology could land you or cost you your job

It is quite baffling that many young Nigerians irrespective of how much they badly want to be employed are quite reluctant to adopting technologies that are highly beneficial to their chances of getting and keeping a job.

I have been fortunate to conduct a number of recruiting interviews and most times I ask- “Can you use Twitter or Facebook?” – I mostly get a positive response. I then go further to ask if they can use applications like pic-stitch and or any other picture stitching social software. A few say yes, lastly I ask- “Can you use Microsoft Excel or any other spreadsheet document?”- The answer I get is “no” with a few exceptions. At that point I do not bother asking if they can create presentations or use any other tool effectively.

Blaming it on not having a PC is a valid excuse but fortunately almost every smart phone ships with a free document processing suite. On the android platform you have a myriad of free options to choose from including Kingsoft, QuickOffice, etc.

 

Learn how to work the sheets

Spreadsheets can be used for a lot of basic tasks from monitoring personal finances to high-end applications. I encourage everyone to at least attempt using it for personal finance management even if it is just for the purpose of trying out a few of its basic features. It is one of the most useful tools in business and the work environment. If you can create graphs, analyze data and other fancy stuff with it you will surely rack up some cool points with your boss and appear a lot smarter.

A lot of tech enthusiasts will tell you technology will create jobs but what they do not tell you is that it could also make people lose their jobs. One profession I am most concerned about is accounting. There was a time when an average firm of fifty staff needed about 5 accountants. Now, thanks to technology, same firm barely needs two, two with good mastery of accounting software and industry knowledge. With application packages such as PeachTree, Sage, Tally and others, the need for accountants in small businesses is being reduced.

 

Opportunity for accounting focused startups

Now, the manager of the business can double up his function as a manager and an accountant with basic knowledge of these applications. On the other hand a new accounting market is being created with a lot of thriving startups and small businesses and it is less of balancing ledgers and more of finance management, evaluating sales, exploring new markets and the likes from a financial perspective. So it is a case of fewer jobs for traditional accountants and more jobs for modern accountants with a more knowledge based approach to accounting.

The world is fast moving into the knowledge era, an era dominated by people with access to information and what makes you king is the ability to gather, analyze and act on information. The least anyone can do is to know how to use the basic tools for managing and processing information.

 
SEE ALSO: EXCLUSIVE: Jumia’s Managing Director in Kenya, Oscar Boré speaks to Tech Africa

 
[Photo Credit: gonzalo_ar via Compfight cc]

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Technology Entrepreneur, Enterprise Architect, Learning Technologist, Co-founder Tutor.ng

1 Comment

  1. Really valuable lesson man. Ones skill set that are 'transferable' is ones real value to employers. So yes it's good to know how to use Facebook and Twitter but do learn simple stuffs like design a poster, memo, spreadsheet, etc. Thanks for the share.

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