What Chances or Opportunity Do I have if I Intend to Specialize in Information Technology?

Hello Jerry,

Nigeria economy seems to have stereotype project managers to construction and engineering projects/sector. What chances or opportunity do I have if I intend to specialize in information technology, ICT? Or what other sector aside construction and engineering can I specialise in.

For the purpose of industrial training in 400 level, can you help with organisations that use project management skills and project managers, aside construction and engineering companies?

As regarding certification; I wish to have my certification on/before concluding my 400level, at least a Level D certification. I want you to counsel me on various levels of certification and different bodies awarding certificate, which one is globally recognized, and pocket friendly for student.

How do I enrol, prepare and pass the certification exams before graduating especially before I conclude my 400level, i.e. on conclusion of my IT before commencement of my final year, so to concentrate on my final year project work and exams. – Taiwo, PMT student at FUTA

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Dear Taiwo,

During my early days in the university, I thought that project managers were people who were mostly into construction and engineering projects but before I graduated, I discovered that there were various types of project managers and that you can find a project manager in any industry, sector or niche you can think of. I even discovered there are project managers who manage virtual projects such as digital project managers – they manage online projects from concept to completion. In fact, you can become a project manager in any industry, sector or niche you are passionate about or find interesting.

A lot of organisations value project management and hire young project managers in Nigeria, and IT Project Managers are one of the most sought after project managers due to the fact that most organisations are now adopting digital technologies, industries and sectors are getting digitally disrupted, and innovations and technological advancements are happening around the world. And as an IT Project Manager, you can work in almost any company or startup that uses digital technology.

To become an IT Project Manager, you need to first build or develop your IT skills. You need to learn how to apply some IT skills to solving some specific problems before thinking of managing an IT project or team. Some of the hot IT skills you can choose to learn include but not limited to coding, networking, app development, data analysis or analytics, cloud computing, content management, database administration or management, data mining, information systems, IT security, UI/UX, troubleshooting, software development, web development or design, and chatbot development.

For your 6-month industrial training or internship, do not go about looking for organisations that would hire you as a project manager. Most won’t because you don’t have the experience yet. Look for organisations, companies or startups where you can practically learn or develop some of the IT skills you find interesting or are passionate about. Read books and follow blogs that talk about those skills, too.

The IPMA Level D certification − Certified Project Management Associate − is an entry level project management certification. It requires no experience or undergraduate degree and is similar to PMI’s CAPM. For more on the Level D certification, contact Oluwaseyi Sodola or send an email to info@pmdan.org. If you must spend on getting a training and sitting for a certification exam, let it be an IT-related certification.

Furthermore, instead of telling you the various levels of certification and the organisations that own the certification, I would advise to take your time and do self-assessment. Get a piece of paper and list the skills you currently have, most especially those skills that could be beneficial to your career. Most of us take for granted the skills we have and some of those skills could be what we need to land our dream job or a good job in our dream company. After writing down your current skills, do a sort of career assessment and list down the IT skills you think you would like to learn or develop during your 6-month industrial training period. Search for a company or startup that would practically teach you some of those skills.

Finally, focus more on building and showcasing your IT skills rather than on gathering paper certificates. When you graduate, list your skills in your cover letter and CV and highlight them during interviews. And I’m telling you this from experience, listing good skills you can do and defend is more powerful than listing paper certificates or certification you can’t defend.

I hope this helps!

-Jerry Ihejirika

 

Originally published at LinkedIn.

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