A career in IT – This is an excerpt of my talk to the joint MFM Ikorodu Youth Churches Nigeria.
Information Technology (IT) is an economic sector that deals with computing, including hardware, software, telecommunications and generally anything involved in the transmittal or manipulation of information or the systems that facilitate communication.
Careers in IT
- The advent of the information age much like the Industrial age before it brought about numerous jobs that were needed to support the growing industry.
- And as more sophisticated computers like the PC and the MAC were invented, so were needs to create software that will run on these powerful machines.
- Initially the costs of this machines was beyond the reach of a common man, but as the Integrated Circuits (IC) powering this computers got smaller and more powerful but with more microchips, the prices started to drop (Moore’s law) and this placed the computer into a lot more hands, allowing more software solutions to be built for a wider audience.
- The internet however became a game-changer in the IT sector as multiple computers regardless of their physical location, could share files and communicate.
- The Internet allowed:
- Trading without borders (ecommerce)
- Payment without the use of actual paper and coin
- Work collaboratively without being in the same location
- Get information on our own terms via social media and other websites
- Internet of Things (IOT)
- New career paths and change in the way we work and commute
- More efficient space travel
- More efficient storage and processing of information via cloud and cloud computing.
- Learning in top institutions without physically attending the school.
Classification of Careers in IT
The first broad classification is Software and Hardware. Think of it as Body (Hardware) and Soul (Software).
- The hardware as to do with all the physical gadgets, equipment and Items that are touchable and serve as a media to facilitate the capturing, storage, manipulation, output and sharing of information.
Careers under hardware includes:
- Computer engineers
- Systems Administrator
- Network administrators
- Hardware programmers
- Electronic Engineers
- Network security engineer
- The software on the other hand, is about all aspects of IT (seen or unseen) that cannot be touched but serves as the bases for the logical instruction of the hardware to perform all stages of capturing, storage, manipulation, output and sharing of information as specified by the user.
Software is further divided into:
- CSS/HTML Developer
- Front-End Web Designer
- Web/Front-End User Interface (aka UI) Developer/Engineer
- Mobile/Tablet Front-End Developer
- Front-End SEO Expert
- Front-End Accessibility Expert
- Front-End Dev. Ops
- Front-End QA Engineer
- Android App developer
- IOS App developer
- Web Backend developer
- Enterprise Apps developer
- Windows app developer
- Information Security Analyst
- Security Engineering
- Penetration Tester
- SOC Analyst
- Threat and Vulnerability Analyst
- Application Security engineer
IOT (Hybrid between software and hardware)
- IOT Engineer
- IOT Architect
- Big Data Developer
Careers in Software can also be sub-divided into:
- Requires Coding
- Frontend developer
- Mobile app developer
- Backend developer
- IOT engineer
- DevOps Engineer
- Data scientist/Analyst
- Enterprise App developer
- Database Administrator
- Software quality assurance engineer
- Doesn’t require coding
- Product Managers
- UX Researcher
- UI Designer
- Graphic designer
- Operations Manager
- Account/Relationship Manager
- Social Media/Digital Marketer
- Content Marketers
- SEO/ Growth Hackers
- Scrum Master
- Technical writer
- Software quality Tester
Determine which one works for you
How do I get started?
- You will need a good PC (Min. Config 4GB Ram, 500GB Storage) and good internet access (You can tether your phone if you have a smartphone)
- Youtube.com and search for the course you’d like to learn
- If you are interested in Coding, you will need an IDE (integrated development Environment), examples are:
- Microsoft VSCODE
- Adobe Brackets
- Adobe Dreamweaver (Not free)
- Android studio
- Webstorm (Not Free)
- PhpStorm (Not Free)
- You can also enroll and pay for online classes for any of the roles you chose. Popular online training websites are:
- You can attend physical or live trainings in these institutes in Lagos Nigeria or remotely:
- Andela Learning community
What happens after my training?
- Work on dummy projects
- Recreate existing projects
- For non-techs:
- Ask for an internship role in Tech companies
- Offer to work for free if need be (Maximum of 6 months)
- You can check Stutern for Tech relates internship roles
Tech Salaries in Nigeria
Average starting salary for anyone in Tech in Nigeria is N150,000. Tech is one of the few places where your salary can go from N150,000 to 800,000 in 4 years!
Advantages of a Career in Tech
- You do not have to have a degree to start
- You do not have to have an IT-related degree to start
- You can learn and be job-ready in 6 months
- The barrier to entry is low (All you need is a PC and good internet connection)
- You can work remotely from anywhere and for any company around the world
- Relocation abroad is easier if you have a good Tech skill
- You can easily start a company of your own either offering services or selling a Tech product.
- It’s one of the fastest ways out of poverty
- It is now the new medicine in terms of recognition and respect
It will, however, require a lot of dedication, tenacity, and consistency for you to get to whatever level you desire in IT.