A rising tide lifts all boats, so goes an old adage. Technology has become a fast rising tide that lifts all sectors of the economy.
It is the tide that buoys careers and businesses.
Understanding how information technology influences your new or ongoing career will determine whether your boat sinks or sails to the shore.
Take the election petition now in the hands of Supreme Court judges.
The role of technology in the election is going to feature prominently in this case.
Both the bar and the bench will be expected to peek into technology and the law with mastery and familiarity.
Nearly all professions are experiencing the ebbs and flows of technology. Here are a couple of examples.
In the legal profession, evidence includes electronic material.
Ability to spot fake from factual electronic evidence can make or break a case.
Understanding and speaking the tech dialect requires substantial acquaintance with IT beyond street-speak.
In the health sector, more and more workers are expected to use technology to consult with patients in remote locations, in what is technically known as telemedicine.
They are supposed to capture and maintain patient records in tablets, smart phones and computers.
They have to dig deep into data, analyse it, find meaning and use it to make decisions about patients, health providers and treatment programmes.
The religious community is catching up fast.
Its ability to attract and keep members is largely dependent on how sermons are presented to the congregation, and how technology is used in worship.
Churches, especially in urban areas patronised by youthful faithful, are now employing bleeding-edge technology to run services.
Indeed, from grammar teachers to grandmas; doctors to directors, students to deans, technology is key.
Understanding how wide and deep technology affects our professional lives is critically important for young people starting their careers and those who want to give their present jobs a boost.
If you are starting or growing a career, scrutinise the courses on offer and ask questions.
Ask how technology, including smart devices, sensors, applications and Internet, are shaping the profession.
Find out whether the skills are replaceable by technology in the near future.
If they are, what more can you do to assuage the technology onslaught.
Speak with an expert in the field and let them guide you through the career hoops.
Go to Google and glean additional information.
It takes time to build solid evidence before investing time, sweat and cents.
Institutions of higher learning have an arduous duty at hand.
They should read the signs of the time and adjust fast.
This may mean revamping or removing some courses; retooling or realigning their faculties.
They need be well plugged into the market and prepare their students adequately.
Tech skills alone may not catapult one to the top of one’s career.
Soft skills such as communication are crucial.
Good speaking and communication skills help us create good relationships and connections.
They help us strike a chord with the customer, thereby selling goods and services. Life is about selling something.
Even professionals blessed with innate social skills often need to attune themselves with changing technologies, tools and rules.
We use soft skills to sell hard technical skills.
Some things can be taught but others can only be caught.
The government must motivate the market to offer internship programmes to students looking for practical skills.
It is through internship that students acquire the behaviour, language and nuances of the technology expected in their field.
The writer is an informatics specialist. [email protected] @samwambugu2