Staying in touch in the world of IT – a moving career

To be successful in the information technology (IT) sector, you need to ‘grow’ with technology. And the best way to do this, is to constantly upskill by keeping your studies and certifications up to date, says Shaun Hart, group IT manager at Boston City Campus & Business College.
“Every day I oversee the network of our Head Office that serves 300 people, as well as the networks, servers and systems that feed each of our 46 branches.
Because the majority of our teaching in the college is technology based, the systems are complex, dealing with over 900 course modules, that must be integrated with the personal details of close to 18000 students!
“My department is kept on its toes, travel to other cities is a necessity, and let me warn would-be IT workers that IT is not a 9-5 job!”
The college offers a wide selection of IT courses, ranging from an introduction to information technology to IT qualifications in software and security.
These IT certifications and computer courses open doors to careers such as application developer, programming specialist, cloud solutions professional, computer technician and network support technician, to name but a few.
“The best way to stay relevant in the IT market is to study further in order to keep yourself up- to-date with relevant technologies,” Hart reiterates. “Join or follow IT communities and blogs online – this keeps you informed about the latest trends in the Industry. LinkedIn, Microsoft online communities and Spiceworks are great starting points.”
Take another note from Hart’s book – he strongly recommends attending IT conferences and boot camps, as this not only allows you to get an in-depth look into new technologies and how they work, but also enables you to interact with vendors in the IT industry as well as network with IT peers.
A strong recommendation from Hart is to view job boards. These not only give you access to the latest jobs on offer, but also gives you insight as to what qualifications, skills or experience employers are actively seeking in your area of expertise. It allows you to compare yourself to what the market is currently looking for, allowing you to study further or “brush up” on skills.
In keeping with his advice, Hart is personally studying at present; he is completing training in SharePoint administration.
“This is to sharpen my skills in the area and bring them in line with best practices,” he smiles.
He is reluctant to emphasise or recommend one course above another because each course has a different purpose and fulfils a different training need. However, he considers the Boston IT diplomas in network systems and systems development as ‘hot’ at the moment, along with the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) Private Cloud.
The diploma in IT systems development is a three-year course on NQF level 6. It focuses on systems management, analysis and design, and includes modules on project management as well as software testing.
A systems developer earns an average salary of R265 131 per year in South Africa. (A skill in JavaScript is associated with the high pay for this job.)
The diploma in network systems is also on NQF level 6. It focuses on network systems and project management and can be completed in three years.
The MCSE Private Cloud is an intense course on configuring, monitoring and operating a private cloud with system centre.
“If you’re not sure what training or which course to choose, come chat to our student advisors,” suggests Hart. “It is important to choose a qualification that suits your career aspirations as well as your abilities and personality.”
Hart points out that Boston has been rated best tuition centre in Africa and third globally by CompTIA, the global IT industry association.
“Boston City Campus & Business College is accredited to offer CompTIA certifications such as the CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+ and Security+ among others. We have the highest pass rate of all CompTIA testing centres across Africa,” he says. “You cannot go wrong with a CompTIA certificate such as A+ or Network + as these are internationally recognised and open doors to employment.”
For more information, contact Boston on 011 551-2000,
e-mail: info@boston.co.za,
visit www.boston.co.za,
or Facebook.

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