Why are Millennials not more interested in IT jobs

notebookIt’s encouraging that so much of the world has moved into the digital era: more opportunities for more people, to make a start into areas that are themselves new and fresh and unexplored. To think: there are people alive today who don’t know what a life without the internet is even like. Yet, what’s surprising is how so many young people are not actually interested directly in careers about IT.

As ZDNet reports:

“At least seven in 10 IT-related job openings went begging this year, a new study shows. Looking forward into the year ahead, it appears demand will be strongest for information security skills, along with administrative and development abilities.”

It’s so bad that nine in ten cybersecurity jobs were unfilled.

These are key careers, that are beneficial to everyone – and can mean a financially stable life for those who manage to acquire them. The issue here isn’t one of competition but scarcity: so often, the problem with employment is that there are too few jobs for too many candidates. Yet, in the IT jobs sector at least, there are too many jobs without any candidates at all.

The question is: what’s happening? How can the world be having a crisis of employment, yet there also are jobs that have no one fulfilling them?

This is confirmed when we examine it from the other end and question young people themselves.

As PayScale notes, while more young people are comfortable and skilled with modern technology, only a small percentage express interest in technology careers, according to a recent study. Ninety-six percent of people aged 13 to 24 say “they like or love technology”, but “less than 20 percent say they’d be interested in an IT career.”

The reason for this is not entirely surprising. Using their own data, PayScale notes the reason:

“Not every Software Engineer will wind up developing world-changing technology. Maybe that’s why, according to our job survey data, only 29 percent of Computer Software Engineers report that their job has high meaning. In fact, less than 50 percent of the people working as either Computer Support Specialists or Network & Computer System Administrators find high meaning in their jobs.

“More than a paycheck, millennials are concerned with their jobs having a greater sense of meaning and impacting culture.”

Few people do not want to change the world or have an impact on that change. Yet, you would think that young people would recognise technology is precisely what does change the world; that, though there are faces to great changes, it’s never one person alone, but all those who helped create paths for this person to succeed. Of course, it makes sense: and Millennial’s concerns are no different to any other generation – that they’ve grown up with advanced tech is no different.

Though it is sad that more young people aren’t interested in IT, it is understandable. Let’s hope we can convince them to change – since some of us aren’t going to be here forever.


Why automakers need to consider Africa

This has been a difficult year for automakers – with the Volkswagen emissions scandal and an increased focus on second-hand cars, whether pre owned BMWS or other makes, most companies have to had to radically reconsider how they present themselves to the world.

One good way has been a consistent, increased focus on environmentally-friendly and greener cars. This has led to a better public image, as well as encouraged drivers to try a lifestyle that is, in most instances, more ethical. But, in terms of more direct approaches, there are other ways automakers can start making headway.

As CheatSheet highlights:

“According to what Bloomberg has gleaned from the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, vehicle ownership throughout Africa remains extremely low — an estimate of 50 cars per 1,000 people being the norm. But [Mike Whitfield, Nissan’s head of sub-Saharan Africa] says that demand for passenger cars is slowly changing in sub-Saharan Africa, and as road conditions and fuel quality/availability continue to improve, a fresh generation of driver is emerging with a bit more disposable income and a stronger sense of desire driving its spending habits.”

That is, essentially, because Africa as a domain is catching up with the rest of the world, that means they’re catching up in terms of transportation; naturally, that means more cars being bought and purchased.

Considering that many automakers have long ignored African regions due to the lack of infrastructure, poverty and so on, this is an encouraging idea – this benefits both automakers and citizens themselves because it could mean new jobs.

Automakers can lend their name and resources to plants in local areas, providing opportunities that might otherwise not be there at all. That is itself an investment, which means improving the society around – which means more potential customers and, in turn, more profits for the business itself.

This is the system that automakers need to consider: they need to make an investment, not the customers since there is nothing yet to invest in on a local level.

Business is always about compromise and there is no hard and fast rule to apply. But here’s one area where, even though they’re investing, it is in the business’ own interest to do so. This is especially the kind of moves businesses need to make in light of a volatile market that is the automaker industry.

Five tips to help you start 2016 financially strong


moneyThe new year is the ideal time to take a look at your finances and make some responsible, much-needed resolutions. Now is the time to look at what went wrong and right during the year.

Looking at what happened during previous months will help you to make adjustments for 2016. That way, you’ll be able to start the new year feeling financially strong. We’ve rounded up a few tips which you can easily implement and will make 2016 your best financial year yet.


Draw up a budget

It has a negative reputation but budgeting isn’t all bad. In fact, it isn’t negative at all. Budgeting is your key to financial freedom. Having a budget – and sticking to it – ensures you’ll save and won’t overspend. It is the single most important thing you can do if you seriously plan to implement sound money strategies for the new year.


Pay off your debts

Store accounts, credit cards and personal loans – all of these cost you massive amounts of money in interest each month. These debts can so quickly pile up and get out of hand. This time of year is particularly difficult for most people – the urge to spend during the festive season combined with the inevitable additional expenses of Janu-worry. But this is your opportunity to turn those bad habits around. Now is the time you should make a concerted effort to pay off your debts, or at least construct a plan to pay them off as soon as possible.


Start an emergency fund

An emergency fund is essential for everyone. You never know what might happen. Your car might break down, your geyser might burst, you might become ill or you might lose your job. All of these are scary to think about, but if you have money saved for these eventualities, they will be manageable. Financial experts don’t agree on the amount of money you should save. Dave Ramsey recommends saving $1 000, before tackling debts and then starting to save three to six month’s worth of expenses. Suze Orman, on the other hand, recommends you set aside at least eight months of living expenses. Experts do agree you should take the unemployment rate of the country you live in into account. If you think it may take you a year to find work, you should have a full year’s worth of expenses saved in an accessible account. If you think you don’t have money to save, think again. Look at some of your regular bills and cut those down or out. Do you really need satellite television? Do you really need that fancy cellphone contract? Could you contact your insurance and have your fees lowered? Soon you’ll be putting plenty of money away in your emergency fund.


Set goals

Only once your debts are paid off and your emergency fund is looking plump, can you fully concentrate on your goals for the future. Do you want to retire early? Start your own business? Travel for six months of every year? All of these are completely within your reach – provided you work for them. If you want to retire early, you’ll need to save every spare cent. If you want to start a business, you’ll have to draw up a business plan and apply for asset finance. If you want to travel for half the year, you’ll need to negotiate with your employer or go freelance.


Implement systems

This is the time for you to put the systems in place so you don’t have to worry about money at all. Automate your savings and investments, commonly known as paying yourself first, as soon as you receive your salary. This way you won’t be tempted to spend all of your money. Set up debit orders so your bills are paid automatically and you’ll never pay a late fee again.


Making these simple changes will have a massive impact on your financial future. If you take the time now to put these in place, you’ll be well on your way to a financially strong 2016.

How to overcome the difficulties of creating African entrepreneurs

The African business world has risen steadily to be part of the global discussion. African entrepreneurs are creating opportunities and finding ways to make a mark doing the work they are skilled in, creating profitable businesses for themselves and others. Of course, the difficulty is that the African business world is still large, but also new – struggling to emerge from the difficulties of its young democracies and unstable infrastructures.

What’s fascinating however is precisely where Africa as a whole is succeeding and taking the lead. For example, the mobile sector is a major focus for

“With the other regions slowing down, Africa has become very crucial to manufacturers. Africa’s smartphone market is expected to grow — especially the low priced smartphone (segment). However, the key for success in Africa will be to launch the right product at the right price point,” a research analyst at the International Data Corporation told Business Day Live.

Indeed, Africa is frequently referred to as the mobile continent, as more citizens use mobile phones – due to their low cost and accessibility, as well as lacking infrastructure for proper landlines. With this in mind, it’s made a lot of sense for African businesses to focus on the mobile market.

Unfortunately, even when targeting particularly African markets which are already doing well, there is an issue of creating and nurturing talent to be able run particular businesses.

As the Wall Street Journal notes:

“Africa is hailed as a major growth market for global businesses, but as global companies expand there, they are having a tough time finding leaders to run their operations.”

The problem is how few proper business schools there are in major business regions – creating skills and marketable abilities that can help foreign businesses, who want to invest in the African market.

Some have decided that the best way to do this is to try obtain the necessary skills abroad and return. For example, one student from one of the many business schools in Johannesburg, told the WSJ “she plans to work abroad for a few years in financial services before ultimately returning to South Africa to found a for-profit enterprise with a social mission.”

This is one way to do so, but only highlights that the opportunities for such creating of talent don’t yet exist here in Africa. We can only hope that changes soon, as businesses continue to invest in the region.


Open or closed office – which is preferable?


In the past decade there has been a noticeable movement towards open plan offices.

The thinking is that such arrangements lead to better workplace synergy, and also remove perceived barriers between management and employees.

However, lately there has also been some backlash to the open plan. Many workers have complained that their concentration levels are adversely affected, or that employees in some departments are not aware when silence is required in others.

There are good and bad arguments for both, but one common thread is that the decision to go “open” or “closed” is frequently dependent on what the business does.

Why open?

One of the reasons open plan offices have become so popular is that they allow for a free flow of ideas between people, something the modern business world demands in spades.

Whereas closed offices confine departments or individuals to their own work, open plans encourage people to mingle and share ideas. Even something as innocuous as a friendly chat about the IT infrastructure might engender an idea that can be used for work purposes.

The fact that employees can simply saunter over to colleagues in order to have a query answered means that a lot of time can be saved, thereby increasing productivity levels. The closed environment often necessitates that meetings have to be scheduled, which can be frustrating when answers are needed immediately.

For businesses that are computer-based, such as tech companies, open plans are thus very feasible.

From a business ownership perspective, the open plan office is also more cost-effective.

“For example, fewer walls mean less time and materials required to create the office space. Having a single work space also may reduce heating/cooling and electricity expenses thanks to improved flow of air and light,” the Houston Chronicle points out.

“Businesses can save on equipment investment as well, since communal spaces promote shared use of resources, such as printers, copiers and staplers. An open-plan space also provides greater flexibility to accommodate evolving personnel needs.”

Why closed?

The aspect of distraction is not one that can be overlooked easily.

If people are constantly moving around and chatting to one another, it makes it very difficult to focus on the task at hand. Those working at control consoles, for example, need to give their work the undivided attention, given that it is the nature of their jobs to monitor everything that happens on the screens in front of them.

There are several other issues that arise if the office environment is not closed. Although most businesses today insist on a policy of transparency, there is still the need to conduct some meetings behind closed doors, particularly if the business is primarily client-facing.

Issues raised by discontented staff should also not be made public or within earshot of others. That is entirely unprofessional.

Health concerns are another factor for some business owners. Airborne viruses can spread like wildfire, resulting in an entire floor coming down with the flu or worse. Obviously from a productivity perspective, that is nightmare to contend with.

Finally, humans being humans, not everyone is going to agree on everything. Preferred air conditioning and lighting levels will differ from person to person. In a closed office, the individual or small group can decide on what best suits them.