Read part 1 here
As I was writing my most recent book, “Race for the Net,” over the last 30 months, I did not envision an economic Pandemic, but a recession (that we did get).
My focus was on the changes in the labor market due to a shifting economy based on mechanization and robotics. The noted firm McKinsey Consulting states in their recent report that over the next five years, more than 345 million persons around the world will be changing their current jobs (pre-pandemic).
Many of these jobs are in the service sector, in which a preponderance of African Americans generate their income. The technological shift in industries at all levels will result in a reduction of jobs in the following sectors: fast food, public transportation, retailing, manufacturing at level, back-office processing, and education, to name a few.
Public and private sector entities would be shifting from a human-dependent economy to mechanization and robotics. What is driving these changes is a focus on cost-cutting, labor shortages, and a desire for increased productivity. Many businesses were already facing a labor shortage due to workers not being willing to accept lower wages.
I suggested in my book that the African American community should now focus on accessing training and education programs in the growth areas of digital technology, coding, software development, health science, and cybersecurity.
The COVID-19 virus disaster has substantially reduced the size of our economy and created enormous pools of unemployed individuals in the service industries.
This technology transition will take a minimum of five years, beginning within two years under the current economic conditions. This shift to a robust digital economy is at our doorstep today.
Major business entities today are restructuring their human resource strategy with a focus on less human involvement due to health and insurance issues. These companies realize that mechanization and robotics have to be a primary focus if they are to survive in the post-pandemic era. With this in mind, the African American community must start considering alternative areas of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities not dependent on a service economy today.
Excerpted below are a few business areas covered in my book. For a complete description of the business and job opportunities, please read my book. Most of these options are entrepreneurial endeavors.
• Internet Commerce. This will continue to be a growth area. The potential market exceeds 4.2 billion potential customers and growing. People are becoming millionaires every day, leveraging Internet technology.
• Health Care Service. This industry is expected to grow by $4.6 trillion, with the increasing need for service providers and monitoring specialists to track data from home or remote locations.
• Disaster Support Services. A vast potential of job and business opportunities with the increased numbers of floods, fires, and hurricanes every year.
• Broadband transmission services and development. Billions of dollars are authorized to solve the Digital Divide and Broadband Transmission issues
• Small Business Innovative Research program (SBIR), a federal government program that funds inventions and ideas in various areas through the use of federal grants.
Finally, I am a big supporter of Science Technology Engineering and Math programs (STEM) in our communities for young people. I have personally mentored two young men who have successfully become software and app developers with little prior experience.
In less than three years, they secured management positions with software and cybersecurity companies. Each has garnered a salary of more than six figures. It required hard work and determination of these young men to achieve the first step in their goal of eventually having their own business.
You have the opportunity to change your life even through a pandemic. Do not waste this time to learn something that can help you after this disaster is over.
Albert E. White is the author of “Race for the Net.” The book can be ordered at www.raceforthenet.com