Electro-economy continues to gain steam ... er, watts

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

McCook High School’s newest extracurricular club probably won’t score any points with physical fitness enthusiasts, but hold that thought for now.

Principal Jeff Gross told school board members that students came to him asking to form an e-sports club for online videogame enthusiasts.

A teacher has agreed to sponsor the club, and a couple of dozen kids are already involved. We’ll have a story about it soon, so don’t pass judgment just yet.

While the words “videogame” brings forth images of a child vegging out on the couch, there’s no reason e-sports can’t include actual, physical activity through augmented reality -- in the same way a golf simulator helps duffers improve their skills indoors in cold weather.

And, if you’re worried about the long-term financial consequences for the players, consider the following.

The top seven spots in the Glassdoor best jobs in 2020 (http://bit.ly/3adOD0T) will be held by techno-geeks.

The list takes all types of jobs into account, not just the tech industry, and considers earning potential (median annual base salary), overall job satisfaction rating and number of job openings on the Glassdoor site.

The top five, listed in order with base salary, include front-end engineer, $105,240; Java developer, $83,589; data scientist, $107,801; product manager, $117,714; and DevOps engineer, $107,310. And it’s not all about the money. The workers in these categories reported a job satisfaction of 4.4 out of 5.

You can bet some of the kids helping form McCook’s new e-sports club will wind up in jobs like these -- demand for workers is so high that companies are going after college students long before they graduate.

Plenty of tech jobs are available in Nebraska’s agricultural industry, but another major American industry, automobile manufacturing, faces major changes and electric cars become more and more common.

Because of its smaller size and other factors like emission limits, Europe is more ecar-friendly, and is discovering the disadvantages to shifting away from petrol.

While the traditional internal-combustion drive train has about 200 moving parts, the Tesla Model 3 has 17.

Fewer people are required to assemble fewer parts, and as a result, the makers of Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen recently announced to reduction of 20,000 jobs, and parts suppliers say 50,000 jobs may be lost in the face of a predicted reduction in demand of 7% per year.

Down the line, fewer technicians -- we used to call them mechanics -- will be required, as electric cars require less maintenance.

It’s impossible to predict everything about tomorrow, but it’s certain that a limitless variety of technology will be important and people who know how to work with it will have a definite advantage.

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