As a young lad growing up in the 1970s and attending an all-boys traditional high school, there were few epithets worse from your peers than being described as a nerd. A nerd was a social outcast.
He was stereotyped as having very thick eyeglasses; he did only science subjects (which he did brilliantly); he did not play any competitive sports (chess not being considered as a sport) whether for his school or his house; he was a favourite of the teachers as he neither played pranks nor misbehaved in any way; he did not have a girlfriend; was a book worm; had few friends; and was for the most part a pariah at school. He was symbolised by the character Steve Urkel from the American sitcom Family Matters.
Now, just to make it clear, not all boys who did the sciences were nerds. There were those do did the sciences as they were determined to become doctors or engineers. However, all nerds specialised in the sciences. Amongst their peers at school, nerds were at the penultimate step at the bottom of the social ladder. Irrespective of the brilliance of the nerd, and he always won many prizes at the annual Prize Giving ceremony, no one aspired to be like him.
Professions such as astrophysicist, theoretical mathematician, quantum physicist, or a chemistry don were the sole provinces of the nerd. Nerds did not do a relatively easy set of liberal arts subjects. Nerds did not get involved in heated debates over sports or girls.
As we fast-forward to 2017, we find that the jobs in high demand are computer programmers, mathematicians, those who write software or code, the masters of algorithms, physicists, and computer maintenance engineers. Suddenly, the masters of Xbox games (which are now a competitive sport) are amongst the sporting heroes at these same all-boys’ traditional high schools.
The heroes for a mass of young men are no longer sportsmen such as Pele, Sobers, Quarrie and other superstars, but nerds such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and others. These nerds are now billionaires!
As to the future. The literature reveals that by 2050 computerised robots will be doing most of the manual things now being done by humans. There will be driverless cars, busses and Lorries. There will be pilotless commercial airlines. Robots will do all manufacturing. Robots will do most of the manual tasks now done by farmers.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will have developed to the point where machines will do the tasks now being done by humans in the Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) industry. By some estimates up to 30 to 40% of the adult working population will be permanently unemployed. The need for lawyers will decline dramatically.
The hot jobs will all be in Science, Technology, and Engineering and Math (STEM). The hot, high-paying jobs will be in the areas dominated by the nerds.
This will be the ultimate revenge of the nerd! Howie Kendrick Jersey

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