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IT CareerNewton’s First Law of Motion states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object at motion tends to stay in motion until acted upon by an external force.

This is true of careers as well, including yours. Where do you want your IT career to be in one year? Do you want to have earned several IT certifications in that time, therefore advancing your IT career, or do you want to be in the exact same place you are today? The only person who can make this decision is you. And I can speak from experience that when you begin putting your career into motion – the possibilities are unlimited. But you have to get started – today.

 

Before going around asking experts on what IT career path to take or what IT certification to pursue, first the only person you should ask that question of is yourself. Whether you want to start an IT career or jumpstart your current one, make the decision to move forward in your career – and then follow through on that decision. Because the goal of getting a job is less important than the goal of getting a job that you like. You have to have passion for what whatever you are doing if not you won’t do it very well, so try to get a job that you like, pay the whole of your attention on it and then allow nature to carry you along its path.

 

Other than the obvious passion for computers and technology, salary and job growth potential are excellent reasons to consider computer careers. Diversity of computer skills adds to marketability in the workforce. A lawyer that is a Microsoft Certified Professional is having an added value internationally than a lawyer without an MCP. Many employers do not have time to train workers on basic skills and expect employees to be more than familiar with computers. If you have an aptitude or interest in math, science or art, and have strong problem solving and analytical skills you are a perfect candidate for a computer related career. Computer careers can be solitary work, but often require good communication skills. Systems administrators must know how to relay information to clients and coworkers in order to maintain order and efficiency in the system.

 

Computer education is available in many varieties; from certifications, certificate programs, associate’s degree programs, and bachelor’s and even master’s degree programs. Many professionals in Nigeria receive degrees in computer science and related fields, but still cannot produce in the local and international IT markets therefore, they are required to have specific certifications (for example MCSE-Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, CCNA or MCSA-Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator) and some hands on experience to fit in. In fact, it is better to have a good hand on experience without having the certifications than having the certifications without knowing the equipments. 

 

The acceptance of computers into business has created a great demand for IT professionals. Almost every industry has a need for IT pros for marketing, client retention and daily operations. Industries such as banking, insurance, hospitals and utilities absolutely rely on them. The information age has created a wealth of career opportunities for computer specialists, elevating their status as knowledgeable professionals and compensating them well financially. If you’re a computer specialist, or would like to become one, a career in the IT professions can be obtained in less than a year of study with the current spring of various IT certifications.

 

A lot   of  people these days are crazy about get IT certifications attached  to their  foundation degrees or   other basic  knowledge because certification credentials will definitely enhance their knowledge and also, the IT industry are now requiring those  certifications as  a proof   of  sound  understanding  of IT principles . There are over 400 certifications out there for you among which are:

 

A+ 2003, CCDA, CCNA voice, CCNA security, CCNP voice, CCNP security, CCIE, CEH, CSSP, CISSP Linux+, LPIC2 Linux Junior Level, LCPI2 Linux Intermediate Level, Master CIW Administrator, Master CIW i-Accelerate, MCNE, MCSA 2000, MCSA 2003, MCSE 2000,MCSE 2003, NetWare 5 CNE, NetWare 6 CNE, Network+, RHCE, RHCT,SCE, SCM,SCP, Security+,  Server+, Solaris 8 SCNA, Solaris 9 SCNA, Solaris 9 Security TICSA and a host of others, but the   issue is  what certification do you start ? And after then what to do next?

There are various schools of thoughts regarding how   to go about your IT certifications, and one can daisy-chain these schools to be able to bring out a suiting profile of certifications. Do you want to be a programmer, a network engineer, a security advisor, an animator, a graphic artist, system engineer, a hardware engineer, a database administrator, a movie / picture editor or a statistical analyst?

 

Firstly, I would recommend that you first consider your foundation degree or any basic know-how you have acquired and see what IT skill can enhance it, then you certify on that IT course. If you are a  structural engineer, an architect, a builder, surveyor or a planner, before thinking of any IT certification you have  to think of obtaining a certification on AutoCAD, 3D Studio Max or some sort of  animation certifications. This will definitely add speed, color and effects to your designs because the era of paper and pencil design has been long forgotten.

Unfortunately, even the educators teaching these courses in Nigerian universities don’t understand these technologies not to talk of the transferring it to the students. Come to think of this, an architect who is good in animations in 3D Studio Max or similar packages can fit in the advertisement industry or the fast growing Nollywood. These sectors relies a lot on animations and pay good money them. 

Also, if you are an economist, or in the administrative discipline or any related discipline, obtaining a certification in the statistical packages  or Econometric View will do you a lot of good as your will be involved in a lot of predictions from past or real-time data and running data a lot.

Despite the reality of the above school of thought, people now venture more and more into how the computer functions like networking and system support as computers have now flooded every nook and cranny of the world and they need support. Popular certifications in this section include MCSE, CCNA CCIE and a host of others.

The idea is based on the fact that people make projections as regards to the sectors where investment are moving to, so they prepare themselves through certifications to exploit those sectors in future, and IT is the place to go.

Also, if you are a trained anthropologist or archeologist and the society doesn’t need your service for now, you can retrain in less than a year in IT certifications to transform into a hot cake labor.

I am a trained economist but I am working as a network support engineer in the organization  which I work, always carrying cables, crimpers and laptops to test routers and  switches – yeah, I feel happy even though it makes me  the dirtiest personnel among  my colleagues. So, majority in IT requires starting with A+ and N+ then  any other thing can  happen.

Ahmed Aliyu Ahmed
At the tail end of the nineteenth century my grand parents met and my father was born. My father who I didn’t know passed away through a brief fever in a confluence town (Lokoja) in the middle belt part of Nigeria. My upbringing was a bit above middle class and I was lucky to come in terms with mathematics very early in life. When I couldn’t study chemical engineering, I opted for computer science in which I got a diploma from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. In the same institution I under studied in a Cisco facility and also got a B .Sc in Economics. I got my MCP, MCDST, and LINUX CERT from a Kolkatan (India) software training facility jointly sponsored by a New York based consultancy firm (Hudson Consultancy), Tathya in India and NEPC in Nigeria, and some few other IT certifications. I am also an occasional columnist in Guardian Newspaper, CommunicationsWeek and some other IT magazines. I have worked with Aptech World Wide/STPL-Software Technology Park Limited (Nigeria) as a networking instructor/security admin, working on Cisco equipments, and up to this moment I am working as a network security advisor in Sphinx Interactive Solutions coupled with some five years field experience in network support. My contact email address is ahmeddu2020@gmail.com

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    7 Comments

    1. Talking about certifications in the world of IT is not easily obtainable due to the high fees accompaninying them, i suggest that the federal government should establish an IT education/certification centers in colaboration with IT giants abroad at a very subsidized rate in all lacal government of the federation and with universities .

    2. I am glad to be helpful

      @Atinuke

      I always recommed starting with C when going into programming.

      As regards to age barrier, age is not much of a problem in the IT sector, as far as you are technically sound people and companies will patronise because they just want the problem to be solved. I dont advice staying too long in a salry job in IT, think of becoming an IT consultant to a lot of firm you will be surprise the kind of money you will make

      @Bade

      In IT councelling there is no one size fit all. some people will definitely think in a differet way. just like a bed sleep on the side you want.

    3. Hello Sir, Just stumbled on your post. I must say I agree with most (not all ) of the point you presented. My team is running the first edition of Bincom ICT career talk on April 17th in Yaba, Lagos.

      The aim is to bring the kind of information you ‘ve presented here to the young /young at heart , looking to start a career in ICT . I was wondering if you would be available to make a short presentation of the above (10mins) and form one of the members of our panel of experts for the question & answer session during the event.

      You can find more information here : http://www.bincom.net/ictcareertalk

    4. Am so happy to read this piece about careers in IT and am so happy that u have tried as much as possible to break it.
      However, i have questions as follows,
      1. In the employment sector today they actually peg age for employment i.e 30 e.t.c are you saying if i decided to take this courses within a year will age barrier not restrict me in employment?
      2. which should i start with if ave chosen programming as a career?.

      Thanks i need answers.

    5. Beautiful Article,I enjoyed every bit of it,I now know the path to follow as regards a career in the IT industry

    6. Yes, your thoughts are very coherent! I’m absolutely agree with the way you think, it’s quite rare to find someone like you. I’m currently thinking about the same topic with you, would you care to find out and share about your opinions? Thank you!

    7. Ahmed thanks for this great article on IT Career,alot of young people are asking the question about what career path they need to take in IT,and your article has done justice to that.

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