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What Is The Best Certification For Someone Who Needs An IT Job?

Hi guys,

I studied chemical/petroleum engineering but the oil companies don't seem to be responding.They r all claiming that oil price is low.MAY GOD FORGIVE THEM.

I am switching to the IT WORLD and will like to know the best IT package to learn since I'm going to be searching for IT job very soon.

I am currently studying for the Java Certification Exam. Which will be a good programme to learn for someone who is new to the IT world and also want to work in this field?

Please, your advice will be greatly appreciated.

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Just as chukvyl pointed out, i quite agree with him, am in the I.T industry also and the best way to get in is by system administration/support. From there you can climb to any heights. If you can start with support then you would need stuffs like MSCE added with CCNA, from there you most likely would get into the job force and be able to afford the rest also you would get the exposure needed.

After this you could start considering the high end Certifications where the big bucks are: SAP, CCIE, AVAYA, RF (Radio frequency). But you have to get in somewhere to start basicly. Thats what i did, and it worked for me!! Am where i want to be right now.

Also this is just my opinion, might not be a professional advice. Good luck and welcome onboard.

this guy THINKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

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hi,

i think everybody who have contributed did well.Am a system Administrator/support Engr.i had the same problem when i graduated but i had a passion for IT, ESPECIALLY the hardware/Network aspect of the IT.i started with computer Engineering, and with a certification i got a job with becos i really know it.From there the experience built up, got a lot of materials (i mean video materials on A+,N+, CCNA,CCNP,MSCE,CISSP,CISA, EXCHANGE SERVER etc.I update myself with this materials and i manage to write CCNA.Each i go for ineterview ,i dazzle them with the stuffs i have read.am moving forward on my certification now.At least i have a job that can take care of that now

My guy so what matter most is the passion you have in what you want to do and choose a line of action. What give you and edge is start with something and always update urself by getting up to date information.Experience is edge in IT.Choose aplace for your training,start with A+, THEN CCNA,IF YOU LIKE NETWORK/HARDWARE.Certification is the answer in IT but your experience will do most of the job.And always learn to experiment.

Make a decision to day, and get close to those who has the experience,we can talk more on this numder 08033744942

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Most every body be like you? You have your cross to carry so does the poster. How can u seperate ur socalled jobbers and enthusiast. They are all in the field making money. Go search them out.

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Can someone give me a comprehensive description to APTECH and tell me the programme and cost per programme they run there such as CCNA, Network+, MCSE etc? Cos i would want to enroll for any lucrative IT training.

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I can't speak for UK or Nigeria since I don't see myself working in any of these places but the guys that advised you to start with the basics are correct. With no experience, you need A+, and then something like Network +, you basically need to stay in the CompTia arena until you get your foor in the door and see how it is in the real world, with a couple of years under your belt, you can then figure out if "sysadmin", databases, networking, "infosec" or even programming. The US market is distinct from the rest of the World when it comes to IT and forget those salary surveys as different regions here have different things to offer. 70k in the south probably beats 6 figure salaries in the North East or the West coast.

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Hi Y'all

For anybody to excel in His job as an IT person, u dont need certification until u are good by urself!

You have to love IT to be good at it, u know why? most certified people in Naija just know theory

no practicals like Naija school courses.

Easiest I.T sector to delve into is web design/ animation/ graphics

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Thanks for the reply, i do appreciate it.I want to know your honest opinion. I intended taking the MCSE course with NIIT. what will you advise since you've been in the IT world longer than me.

I look forward to your reply.

Thanks

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Why do we invest in our future , when we know we could die any moment from now.

Why do you go to school to become graduate , when we read of millions of unemployed graduates.  (that's just some silly poo)

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Hi there, The easiest way out is by putting God first, then find ur way around either data, networking, security or programming, i am mcdba , ocp and now i work in a consulting firm where i practice Enterprise Architecture and IT service management.

I am TOGAF 8 and ITIL certified, so believe me u have to first ask God for directions.

N:B: The only thing that keep you going IT is the passion and not the money cos at a point u might not land a very good spot and Job at the beginning but subsequently u'll pull through .

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I wonder why people are still writing CCNA in this age. Not to be sarcastic or anything, I think having a CCNA in Nigeria further reduces your chances of getting a job.

In my humble opinion, don't write any Networking certification exam in Naija unless you have like 2 years experience. On a more serious note, maybe you can write a CCNA if you are really interested in Networking but I won't advise you to keep writing more certifications after that because you would only be wasting your money if you dont have the experience. Whats the point having a CCNP if you've never designed and practically implemented a simple LAN. It's time for us to stop making our annual contribution to Cisco's profits.

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muhbest

thanks for the compliment , the internet has made the world flat , flat in the sense that it doesnt matter where you are physically. you can compete with any one any where.

you have the potential of earning 80k per annum with your skills right now you are under paid

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Hi Guys how can i get the volunteer job in UK am doing my CCNA now hoping to finish by july and write my industrial exams.

Any help will be appreciated.

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Hey

onlysose( Ahmed) you seem to know a lot for a regular Nigerian IT guy living in Nigeria, but for the salary is not right, I  have over ten years experiences in networking, a degree ccna, mcse, ccnp (expire) not  making $80,000, only making $70,000 plus.

Take care

Muh

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hello nick what do you want to know about aptech , I have an alumni, LOLZA

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@kvolander,i think by now you should be able to determine which career path best suit you coz i mst say landers have deeply contribute one way or the other.

As for me,i am still on exactly wat i told you then coz i am speaking 4rm little experience i have.I also have a degree in comp sc with series of professional trainning/exam in Networking and yet hav'nt secure my desired job,so wat wil i do dan to kip digging for my future job and also,keep striking all the necessary professional courses.

@kvolander,lets jxt keep praying coz 1day i am sure smthng will cme up.Good luck to us all.

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My name is Eric and I saw your post.

I just finished my CCNA course and i am in search of jobs.

Please link me up.

Thanks

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charles / chuckvyl,

you are right on the fact that for starters in Nigerian IT industry, its the IT Support / Helpdesk being the best bet.

I'm currently working as IT Support in the O&G and it wasn't easy to get the job - in fact, i have to say i was very lucky to get it. it was like the lotto; someone just picked me outta the crowd. Most of the top jobs go to the Expats - Indians, Americans, Brits etc.

So i think its best if the poster started out small and then grew on the job so to speak. . . . might take a while but i guess it'd be worth it!

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YOU ARE MOTIVATED BY MONEY AND NOT YOUR PASSION, THAT WILL LEAD YOU ONLY THAT FAR. I raed Petroleum engineering myself and have a CCNA. I am presently in london, but the truth of the matter is that self employment is KING.

F**K what you know and start afresh. Find out what you are passionate about. What you could do absolutely free of charge and start doing it NOW. The world will thrunge you with your wildest dreams if you do, learn more about it and you will see the knowledge will flow effortlessly. Sacrifice the rat race for your passion. There is nothing in ICT if you are not passionate about it. Even if you are a triple CCIE.

But if you would rather race with the rats i recommend TELECOMS. Take a course on GSM TECHNOLOGY, mast installation, RF etc. find out what skills are in demand in that sector take courses on them. peace.

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@ Poster,

This INDEED is an intriguing topic i've ALWAYS wanted to discuss on NL as well, For the moment, i believe if you can get your hands on ANY interactive video tutorials (cd-rom),

The easiest certificate to earn 4 starters is the Comptia A+, AFTER you've earned this, take the bold step into the world of Networking (try combining the best of Microsoft and the Cruelty of Cisco i.e. MCP in Windows XP or Vista & CCNA),

All the best brov

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Why does every Tom, prick and harry want to switch into I.T the moment they can't get jobs in their fields ?

I believe when you decided to study a course in school you signed an invisible bond to stick with that thru thick and thin.

How can we ever move forward in Nigeria if supposed professionals jump ship at the slight instant,

I was one of the best students in my dept in school, but i spent 10months at home after NYSC, i culdnt imagine myself doing a boring bank job after having invested so much in my career when i was in school, All i knew was that i just needed a little opening, any job, and that would be it, with this mentality, i was able to accept a job of 30k (15k for the first two months), 3months later, i got another job of 60k, and now on another of double that, and i am just starting,

Guy, you need to get your acts right !, There are so many people out there that would give an arm for those Chemical Engr. degrees you have, ask me, cos i wish i did engineering too !

Abeg, no flood I.T with your Toronto certificates o!, anyway, bring them on, cos if you meet someone like me on an interview panel, i always know how to separate I.T jobbers from I.T enthusiasts,

Guy, the ball is in your courts

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I want to believe been an IT working student, there are many certificates in IT, but it is base on your area of speciliasation. Like me in the faculty of Networking, it then means that i have to work hard of my CCNA, CCNP 1-4 and others more.

What i think u can do is find out your area of specialisation cos IT is a broad course and u need to be specific,

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further to my above post, most companies are now adopting the ITIL framework all over the world and its a great asset if u have it, besides its not all that congested like other microsoft or IT certifications , u can check job sites, like www.jobserve.com. monster.co.uk, planetrecruit.co.uk and many more and compared the salary rates and job avalability with other IT job roles , just type in ITIL foundation

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Poster,

Having read your post and other contributed posts, i will recommend you focus on ITL certification foundation and ITL change management, my

reason is you can do this certification course with no fuss and with no experience. I have a degree in sociology, after 3 years of doing unskilled

jobs i finally realise my dreams, i did a foundation course in prince2 and ITIL and cap it off with ITIL practitioner course in change management,

on my first interview with T-mobile i got a job working as a change analyst and the pay is great. if you need past questions on Prince2 and ITIL

foundation courses u can send me an email on flexfa@yahoo.co.uk.

PS. u can study for these courses without going for classes i can recommend good books or websites for u

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Wait a minute pally.

Didn't you say in an earlier thread that you have a BSc 2.1 and MSc in Chemical Engineering? How old are you?

Have you tried out the consulting world (the Accentures, PWCs, etc). Are you over 30?

I think you can do well in a consulting role, since you have good degrees. Send me a PM.

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Topic

Oluwole Certificate!

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@all.you guys have really done a great job here.@kvolander,i think you need to have a re-think before taking that step,wat is happening to you right now is also happening to everybody in their various field.Also,we all know that as far as Nigeria is concerned,all these so called employers are not ready to employ a novice,they all want an experienced person and moreover,switching to IT now implies you are a beginner and for you to be a professional in this field it will definately take you some time depending on how really you have interest in it.

My brother,right now in your current field you a professional and nobody can refer to you as a novice.so i will advice you keep digging and definately somthing will come up.

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There's many branches of IT that anyone can get into without certification. I know many people myself with degrees and certification but are jobless. First, where is your interest in, HARDWARE: connectivity? networking? security? or SOFTWARE: desktop applications, human resources applications, Financial applications, Clinical or Hospital applications etc.  Interfaces (HL7) are huge because corporations or small companies do not want to spend additional money nor change in-house systems so, if you know how connectivity works and get them going operationally then there is a job for you somewhere. I say take the basic computer science 101 and everything else are about skills, creativity, dedication and personality. IT world changes constantly so what you have learned 2 months ago may not be applicable today or may need to be applied differently. Many times companies invest on their own staff by sending them to get certified.

Good luck to you.

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I'll advice ahnybody to go to APTECH anyday.I think they are the best in nigeria. NIIT just dey carry name about town.

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Just because you studied chemical engineering don't mean you will work in an oil company!

Use your head! There are many places you can start from don't restrict your job search to 'oil companies'

You have many skills that can get you a job/experience in other sectors but it seems you have been

programmed like many to think the title of their degree is directly related to their job title!!

start from somewhere get experience you can even use later on to get into the oil sector!

Good luck with the I.T training

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ALIYU AHMED AHMED

NETWORK SECURITY ADVISOR

MERIDIAN TECHNOLOGIES

MARYLAND

ahmedu2020@gmail.com

08036241983

CHOOSING YOUR IT CAREER PATH

Newton'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 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. Unfortunate, 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.  

Now, to the certification semantics. Let’s start from networking because I am a Cisco trained network engineer. The CCNA is a very good entry level certification and if you study for it properly you will have a very solid understanding of lower level networking which is essential to do any admin job.  The nice part about doing the Cisco certification is that the information from there can be applied to so many other certifications. Even though it’s a vendor specific cert, the skills you gain will serve you well in thousands of situations.

CCNA training allows you the ability for installations and operation of LAN, WAN, and dialup access services for small networks with 100 nodes or less. The CCNA course includes, but not limited to use the different networking protocols such as Ethernet, Access Lists, Serial, IP, IGRP, Frame Relay, IP RIP, and VLANs. Cisco's CCNA Prep Center Pilot offers simulations and sample questions, besides the e-learning modules and laboratories. Computer training includes also valuable tips from CCNA professionals, in addition to expert advice, and encouragement through CCNA certification success stories. CCNA training does not require any prerequisite and makes available many other resources to help students with the preparation of their CCNA certification exams.

CCNA course, exams and recommended training include the Introduction to Cisco Networking Technologies (INTRO), the Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices (ICND) or both. CCNA training and additional training, probably cover most of your career path expectations. However, Cisco's CCNA certifications are valid for 3 years, so it is necessary for additional computer training to re-certify. This is achieved by either passing the current CCNA exam at the moment of the original certification's expiration, passing the ICND exam, passing the 642 professional levels. Presently, Cisco has introduced CCNA  voice, CCNP voice, CCIE voice with also the security and wireless elements  to  the certification so  as  to encourage  specialization.

After CCNA training your can also re-certify by passing the Cisco Qualified Specialist exam, excluding the Sales Specialist exams, or passing a CCIE written exam, which is a re-certify form valid for individual who had a CCNA certification starting from October 1, 2004. Cisco CCNA online training certification program, offers the same value, knowledge and skill earned on a traditional CCNA course, and it is a nationally recognized certification. With computer training online, you will gain knowledge of switched LAN Emulation networks, which are made up of Cisco original equipment. CCNA training online focuses the coverage of Cisco router configuration procedures, mapped to exam objectives in order to prepare you for Cisco Exam 640-801, in partnership with major universities and colleges offering as well CCNA certification. I was privileged to under study in a Cisco academy in Zaria(Nigeria) together with some other medical doctors. These days as the voice technology is  gaining   ground , you can now obtain CCNA voice, CCNP voice or  CCIE voice specializing  in call centre set and stuffs like IP telephony.

The Computer training program online consists of 2 sections; "Introduction to Network Engineering", allowing the student to understand the world of network engineering, learning fundamental facts of data network theory and current technologies making the Internet tick. The second section of the online CCNA course, "Practical Network Engineering", is an approach to some of the most powerful networking technologies, involving extensive work on switches, Cisco routers, and firewalls in a simulated network environment, preparing students to earn the CCNA certification.

The CCNA is a starting point to do the more advanced Cisco courses such as CCNP (more advanced networking), CCSP (security, i.e. firewalls, VPNs, IDS, etc.), and then you get things like VoIP. The CCNP exam is highly regarded and consists of 4 (if I remember correctly) exams, covering switching, routing, support and remote access, plus a few more topics. After getting your CCNA then you have to decide whether to major in design, implementation routing and switching which is the CCNP or major in security which is heavily theoretical and analytical like CCSP which I will discuss later.

At risk of sounding arrogant, I believe CCIE (Cisco Certified Network Executive) is the mother of all certifications (You know you can’t go wrong with Cisco in networking). And currently there are just barely over 13000 CCIE holders in the world. CCIE is very expensive and it is only given in selected locations. You pay $300 for the test and $1250 per lab for the lab test which is an 8 hours test .You also needs a certain amount of experience to take the test and the test is multiple choice and hands on. What they do with the hands on, apparently, is to put you in a room with a bunch of devices and give you a scenario. You are then supposed to create the network based on this scenario. When you are about half way through, they send you out of the room and then mess up what you have done and you are now supposed to troubleshoot the problem and fix it. Also, the certification is only valid for two years. When you are preparing for your CCIE, your neighbors will think you have gone crazy, just don’t let that bother you as you will be talking to yourself a lot. Even your wife may start suspecting something; just hold on- till you get there. But basically, before taking any certification adventures make sure you are equipped with your COMPTIA A+ and N+ they are very easy to pass, from there anything can happen. The CCNA tracks are very demanding and practical oriented. When the Cisco academy took off in ABU Zaria a lot of people fought for the forms including some few cute ladies in my batch studying drama. They were under the mistaken impression  that since Cisco is a hot cake IT certification, Cisco certified personnel we be working in well ironed presidential suites wearing garish looking neck ties. But to their surprise we were always carrying cables, pliers, LAN tester and dusty patch panels around, and after our first module, two third of the class ran away.  When you are working in an open standing switch or an open Linux box you use for routing, your neck tie could get trapped in a rolling fan. When I started working with my organization, I had the opportunity of designing and implementing a multi-floor LAN. At the site I was working parallel with welders, partitioners and some carpenters, you could hardly differentiate us, except if you look closely to figure out my original made washout Armani jeans or my Bruno Mali made shoes or probably if I am answering my black berry from time to time.

Now, to security - my favorite.  This is a dollar making profession in the advance world. An Information Security Specialist, also known as an information security engineer, or security administrator, is an IT professional who designs and manages an organization’s security infrastructure. This includes choosing the network hardware and network operating systems, locking down those systems, and staying focused on possible weaknesses in those systems and hardening them as appropriate.

Duties of an information security specialist include the analysis of an organization’s security risks and requirements, rating the importance of a company’s products and services, and the related design, implementation and maintenance of the security infrastructure to protect the business from security breaches. This role has overlap with that of a network engineer but is higher level in that it is a more specialized role. A very good understanding of networking, both hardware and operating systems, and the web is critical. As the old saying goes, bank tellers don’t spend as much time learning about counterfeits as they do with knowing the real thing, the same applies to security specialists: they must have an intimate knowledge of their systems in order to best know their weaknesses and how to overcome those weaknesses. As well, strong interpersonal skills are also important, as security specialist must be able to convey to management the security risks, as well as be able to keep close tabs of newly discovered holes in their systems. They likely work in a team with other more and less qualified security staff and so must be able to communicate both up and down the chain of command.

A person may consider entering this field after attaining a Computer Science or Computer Engineering university degree or a one or two year computer diploma from a local technical institute or a CCNA certifications. However, some information security specialists may also have a technically related MBA degree. Either way, a lot of dedicated training and related certification in one or more leading network operating systems is highly recommended as is training and certification on network equipment and protocols. Optimally, security specific certification should be pursued. As well, this person should be proactive when it comes to applying security patches and the like but should also be prudent by being in the habit of ensuring that patches are first tried out in a test environment and by ensuring that data backup and disaster recovery plans are in place and followed as required. Candidates for this job role should also be exceptional troubleshooters in order to help them discern between security breaches and more innocent technical bugs.

An information security specialist often starts out as a network engineer and may move on to more specialized roles within the security or educational realm, such as information security architect, or else move towards IT management. Whichever path they take, these professionals tend to be at the high end of the IT pay scale. Salary information is so dependent on an IT professional’s particular skill set, experience and geographic location. However, experienced information security specialists can attain salaries of $70,000 or $80,000 USD or higher in the international market. below is a salary survey in thousands of dollars per annum by techrepublic in 2009.

Table 2

Source: Global Knowledge/Techrepublic 2009

Computer security is a growing field. Many businesses have created networks, websites and become reliant on computer technology, without employing safeguards to protect their data. There are many malevolent computer geeks out there who attack systems, or software for fun, curiosity or profit. Data extortion is now a common organized crime method for the Russian mafia! Security violations have created new careers in network security and software development. Courses of study are mainly in Microsoft products and software development languages like Visual Basic, C++, .net, compiler and assembly languages. Career positions in this category include network security, software programming, web design, web development and website administration (server side).

Pursue a certification in security starts with compTIA’s Security +  which is meant more for admins who want to show they have some security knowledge. Sec+ seems to cover a lot of disaster recovery, such as hot\warm\cold sites, and remembering the different backup types. While it is security, and definitely good things to know, it's not the type of security exams most people think of. It does cover some of what most people think of when they think of security, like covering the differences between AH and ESP when using IPSec. Another thing that sets it apart, like most compTIA exams, wording seems a lot simpler than Cisco\Microsoft exams. Generally no need to scroll the page like you does those two exams. And Sec+ counts as a certification for MCSE + Security, at least on 2000 spec. Like many compTIA exams, it seems like the starting exam for that branch, like Net+ is the starting exam many people take for MCSE or CCNA, and A+ is a starting for people who also take MCSE. After that you move to CCNA, then Cisco Certified Security Professional CCSP. You can also couple that with your CISSP (certified information security system professional) which is vendor independent and all the GIAC individual certifications.

http://www.giac.org/  

GIAC Certified Firewall Analyst (GCFW)  

GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst (GCIA)  

GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)  

GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst (GCFA)

A recent aspect of security consultation that is making headlines is penetration testing (pen test) and cyber forensic.  Basically a security consultant is someone who specializes in securing computer systems -- that’s a very basic description. Since more and more critical information is stored on computers, you need people who specialize in information security. The reason it’s a specialization is because security is constantly evolving and the approach you take to systems is different from that of a programmer, or a network designer.

Penetration-testing is activities where you pay security specialists to attempt to break into your systems so that you can discover what vulnerabilities exist, and fix them. It should not be confused with vulnerability test which is finding loopholes in a system(OS) using specialized tools. Pen–test is sometimes called 'ethical-hacking' a really annoying catchphrase. Penetration testing is great fun. It involves a lot of creative thinking and can be very challenging.

Intrusion analysis involves figuring out how an attack was orchestrated. Say for example your website was hacked, an intrusion analyst will try to recreate what happened from the available logs. Incident handling is slightly similar to intrusion analysis. When you have an incident. say you get hacked, etc an incident handler is a person who is trained to respond correctly to that incident, keeping the integrity of the evidence, and restoring the systems to a normal state as soon as possible.

Cyber-forensics is like normal police forensics, but on computers. It’s a highly specialized field. You work with law enforcement. The courts etc. and have to be able to find things in computer systems where there is seemingly nothing to find. Being a security consultant is fun -if you're passionate about technology and security. It can also be quite painful as people view you as someone who restricts access and just causes inconvenience. It’s a field that’s really coming up these days. Remember, if you want to get into security, you should first make sure your networking skills are in order. Then you need to learn a programming language, something that lets you talk right to the operating system like C. After that you have to learn all the different aspects of security, types of attacks, common vulnerabilities etc. Practical experience is the best teacher. Most people learn on other people’s networks (if you know what I mean). But it’s far better if you setup your own lab, since you don’t want to end up going to jail while trying to make a career.

Another important certification today is the MCSE (Microsoft Certified System Engineer). Microsoft certification is increasing day by day. It is the most widely recognized technical certification in the industry, which is on high demand. . The MCSE boot camp institutes make them earn their Microsoft certification and make them lead the organization in successful manner. The MCP personnel administer the most advanced Microsoft windows platform and Microsoft server products. The survey of MCP magazine states that the average base salary of MCP ranges from $60,000 to $70,000.The MCSA (Microsoft certified system administrator) is more for Administration. This would be if you are managing a Windows environment that had already been setup. It will give the skills on that aspect. (This also can count towards the MCSE so if you did this, you would be on your way to completing the MCSE). The MCSE consist of seven tracks including two electives.

The MCSE is for designing, implementing the systems. This is more of an Engineer role which you would also need experience in. Each of the above has further certifications that you can go further. The MCSE has specializations within them for MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, etc.

And now to the ultimate IT skill programming, it’s a very old IT skill. In fact it makes everything happens, everything you see are some sort of codes I mean programs. It is like this, functions makes up commands, and commands makes up programs and programs finally makes up softwares. So if you have a degree in software engineering, you should be conversant with some programming skills like java, c/c++, html, Perl etc. as it is all part of the curriculum.

Programming can be very difficult, but also very rewarding it s highest paying and time consuming IT skill. I'll never forget how happy I was when I compiled and ran my first COBOL program in Zaria in 1996 program. I started programming in Dbase and now I am battling with C/C++ to enhance my security skills. Now, how do you go about your programming career is the big issue we have to deal with.

It is important to note that you can program in high level, middle level or lower level language. The high level language can accommodate different functions embedded in a bracket, but the lower level language is flat, while the middle level language which can only call functions and shares both attributes of the higher and the lower level language. In Nigerian institutes of higher learning, students of computer science begin with BASIC and FORTRAN. In  the UK student are introduce  to Pascal in their first year, all  this languages teach you the basics of programming which helps you understand how to think while programming in any language. But with line numbers, GOTO commands, etc, in these languages it did not encourage structured, modular programming like Perl, Python, and C. Nowadays there are so many different choices in programming and some are more suited to certain applications than others. If you're doing mainly web stuff: PHP, Perl, ASP are some good tools for you.

When venturing into programming I always recommend C It’s about the best language to learn how to PROGRAM, plus its incredibly powerful (the fact that almost all exploits and low level handling is written in C is a proof). Besides you need to learn the issues that come along with writing in a language like C. Perl and Python are great, but I think they are too high level, they take away a lot of the important decisions and you don't need to think about data-types too much therefore Python will provide a fairly quick learning curve with real results for less time invested (time efficient).  

Python also has a fairly ordered way of doing things so it will teach discipline.  

Python can be scaled for larger projects and has good community support so it means it will be a language that is versatile for some time. Despite that C is the choice because it appears fundamental to a lot of other languages and it’s a lot more "pure" i.e. handling memory etc better. But this is at the cost of the speed of development. Start with C and everything is easy then.

The argument of which programming language to start or stick to is a never ending one whether C, C++, java. Python. Python seems easy, powerful and well documented. Python, PERL and PHP are the kind of languages that you can stick with and play for ever, making all kinds of useful apps and interfaces. The great thing is you see fast results, basically just as soon as you read a couple of pages describing the basic syntax, rules and constructs, you are ready to go (by referring to the function list for whatever you need of course). Mistakes often do not bring punishment and you need not to be concerned with some of the behind-the-scenes stuff, like the memory allocations -of course let us not forget that some real developers bothered with these to allow us to work without them -. That's the difference between C and scripting languages, with C you get to see things the way they actually work on your computer -better even, make them work yourself, while in (example) Python you only mess with things that appear more directly functional and practical. Depending on one's interests and needs, he might find exciting the extra control of C, or find it instead an annoying distraction from his work. If you are mainly interested in automating or writing interfaces for standard procedures and applications here and there, mostly small things but useful and practical nonetheless. For these things you could shun with C, unless you like and want to-. Python, PERL, PHP and others such provide hundreds of ready functions about everything and it is amazing how easily you can do complex things. Imagine a huge LEGO collection, from which you could build mostly anything you can think of. If I had to describe how I see C in a similar way, I'd say it's more like plasticine or clay: and allows you to make more polished and perfect applications, except that this needs extra effort and skill and also you inevitably get your hands dirty in the process.

If someone gets seriously involved with a powerful high level language that provides the wanted results with small effort, and gets used to it, it feels somehow "right" to try to accommodate his needs coding in this language and "gross" to forget it and switch to a lower level one. But I still stick to my recommendation - start directly with C, because other languages may spoil you enough to stay away from C later on .And if you are a  very ambitious one then start with C/C++. As others have said, it don't just teach the basic concepts like what a loop is, you learn about data Types and all that other stuff as well. But if you're the mere play code type start with Perl. Perl is fun, and for someone just starting to get their feet in programming, you're less likely to get discouraged when some really odd error keeps your first few programs from working. Also, it's hard to not stay interested when you go on CPAN and see a module that easily lets you do fun stuff like connect and use IRC. Even a beginner can boast that "Hey, I can do that, ".Then you start learning because it's fun. Then, later you can move to C/C++.

Programming is like a chameleon which changes color in different environment in this case platform. Structured programming like C doesn’t allow any bad habits and you had to learn how to structure your programming properly. When you use a language that forces you to structure your programs properly, once you have mastered it, it really doesn't matter what language you wish to use after that, your programs will always be structured correctly and thus much easier to write and design even large complex applications. You also have to bear in mind what you are going to be creating applications for we are in the .net arena and Object Oriented so take your c# (C sharp), C++, j# etc very serious. I like the flexibility of VB and C sharp as they all run on .net platform. EJB (Java) is also one good object oriented programming that is platform independent. We can’t just pick which is good or best programming language. Every programming language got its own importance and benefits, so it depends upon the requirement and its usability, functionality and robustness. You can stick to one or two for dynamism and you are in business. These days in Nigeria, you can get as high as =N=10 million for a custom built software for a financial institution excluding training and cost of maintenance which is usually charged per man hour.

Administering database is another cash line these days. Almost every industry has a need for databases and, developing countries are now fast collecting database so as to centralize data in the country for important decision making. Creation of these databases relies on software, mainly developed by Oracle for large scale databases, Microsoft SQL for web based applications and Microsoft Access for smaller scale and custom applications. Jobs in the database category include data architects, database administrators and information systems managers. Certifications in this category include

Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), advancing to Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) to the ultimate Oracle Certified Master (OCM)

It is one thing getting the certifications and another thing getting the experience. The idea here is that we don t want people to be too crazy about getting certifications at the expense of getting experience. Experience is something you cannot buy you can study brain dumps to get some certifications in a couple of weeks but the same is not applied to experience. Usually, Knowledge + know how = skill, and skill repeated over and over again will result to expertise and now we are talking of experience. Give yourself ample practical experience where possible. Volunteer for an organization that needs someone with computer skills but can't afford to pay them like some NGOs. I'm sure there will be lots of small organizations who need some kind of IT person to help out in some capacity or volunteer as an IT student in a cyber café where you will help them with a lot of cleaning and running some errands just to get the experience. You are going to find that experience and college education will get you the furthest in your career, generally. The certifications displays you have a base knowledge, with say CCNA, they will expect you to know how to configure and administer some fairly basic Cisco networks. Certifications can get your foot in the door these days, a friend of mine got his A+, then was hired in a helpdesk type of position, promoted into network admin, got a few more certifications and a university degree, and now has the experience and paper that can get him a network admin job anywhere.

Conclusively, I will advise IT students to take it easy because the IT jobs will still be there by the time they are through with their studies. Don’t rush to get certified and then start tampering with some company’s equipments like routers and switches, under study someone first because if you spoil any Cisco router in any organization you will pay; Cisco router cost hell.

Also, be careful when selecting IT training institute, some don’t give you value for your money. As with any field, there are good technical training schools, and bad ones. When you sign up with one of these schools, you've made a significant investment in time and money. You deserve to know everything about the school and your job prospects after leaving that school before you put down your hard-earned money. The problem is, sometimes it's hard to know the right questions to ask like:

How up-to-date are the courses they are offering?

Make sure the school you're going to attend has made efforts to keep their courses relevant. Ask what changes have been made to their curriculum in the last three years. No field changes faster than IT. If the answer to that question is "none", look somewhere else.

What are your true job prospects and legitimate salary levels after you graduate from their school?

What textbooks does their school use?

Some technical school chains use only books that someone in their organization wrote. I've heard some of the own teachers complain about the quality of these books. If you're looking into entering the IT field, you probably know someone who's already in it. Use that resource for everything its worth. Ask that person what they think about the books, or for that matter, what the local reputation of the school is. IT is a small world, if the school has a good or bad reputation, most of the IT personnel in your city or town probably know about it.

One of the most beneficial things for me has been talking with friends and co-workers about the things you are learning fora online. If you can find these two types of people, it will help you; first, a friend who has the same interests as you that you can study with and bounce ideas off, and second, a mentor who can validate your thoughts and teach you things you can't get from a book.

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nice posts by y'all.

Anybody with Aptech experience?

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Hello fellow Nairalander's,

Please, which computer Institution is Okay for one to learn computer Security, Networking and Programming.

Also which of the programmes should i go first and next.

Awaiting your kind response.

Thanks.

or geneplanet@yahoo.com

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I’m afraid to tell you that the challenge you are facing in Oil industry is the same in every other industries; IT, Banking, Finance, Legal, just name it. If you have the certification in Oil industry already, I would advise you keep on trying and do as tbo1 said but I’m not sure of volunteering jobs in Nigeria though but it’s a good place to start.

How are you sure that certificate will guarantee you a job in IT? Experience is what really counts. (pls guys correct me if I’m wrong)If you can’t do it in Oil industry, I don’t think you can do it in IT either. Sorry for been so negative but I think believing in yourself and confidence is what really matters when looking for a new job. I don’t like discouraging people learning new things but in your case, I just thought you are well equipped to go out there and work in Oil industry.

Do as chukvyl said above if you insist on getting into IT, I’m not just sure if that will work in Nigeria. In UK is very easy, I have so many friends that started working as Project Manager and Software Testing with no previous experience and no certification but I don’t know if you can get away with that in Nigeria. Journey of a thousand miles begin with a step, if you really want to do this, do as you have been advised above, start as Support, get more info and inside knowledge and decide if you want to go into programming(developer) or networking. And you might want to consider certifications like ITIL, ISEB or Prince2 for the non-technical (well, some of them are) section of IT. But I don’t know if these are just meant for UK IT market rather than Nigeria but just an idea.

I believe no knowledge gained is lost and both industries you are trying to get into are rewarding. Give IT a try but try as much as you can to keep working on getting a job in Oil company while you are doing that. Every industry is challenging, I work in IT myself and I know how challenging it is and people from other industries will tell you the same.

Good luck, I’m sure you will need it.

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@Meldrick

I would recommend NIIT for you.I don't know how good they are at the moment.I had my first exposure to Oracle and Java in 2003 with them.

But most of what i know today was from dogged self-practice and reading of books in Oracle and Linux administration.

I will suggest you first go for a training because there are so many things about Oracle that you can't learn on your own anyway.

So you would need an instructor to point out a few things to you.

But NIIt training or not.There is no substitute to learning on your own.Oracle software can easily be downloaded from Oracle's flagship website onto your linux box/windows box and then with the right materials you can hit the ground running.

Computerwarehouse group training with expertedge is also good i think.

Goodluck brother.

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@kvolander

There are so many Nigerians who come to UK in there droves,gaining admissions into universities to study IT/computing related programmes.Most of them after paying enormous fees for their studies still do not get IT jobs after school'.

Sometimes I just wish i could get into the heads of my fellow country men studying in UK and give them some tips for IT jobs in UK.

I don't really know how it works in Nigeria.But i think one thing is sure,no IT driven business in Nigeria will employ a novice to handle a sensitive technical position in the business even with your connections,unless you want to start out at a junior level.

Just like somebody asked.You need to find and identify your flair and ability in IT.The iT industry is way more than you think.I will suggest you start with system admistration.Put your emphasis on self learning and training first before certifications.The problem that bedevils my beloved country is electricity.You need to buy your own computer box and set it up at home and then practise,practise,practise,practise,practise and practise.But i wonder how you can do that without constant supply of electric power.I suggest you go for MCSE training and later certifications if you are a windows person.

I don't know much about linux training in Nigeria.But there is a certification for that(RHCA,RHCE).IT job is a pressure cooker job.So you need to be a very fast learner and intuitive.It depends on your flair like i said and again the IT market in Nigeria.Maybe the IT guys in Nigeria can tell you what the trend is like in Nigeria so you can know the one to go for.

I wish you all the best of luck dude.

You can always get me on this email ad: charles.ajah@googlemail.com(because i seldom come on nairaland)if you need further clarifications from me

Good luck mate.

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Just as chukvyl pointed out, i quite agree with him, am in the I.T industry also and the best way to get in is by system administration/support. From there you can climb to any heights. If you can start with support then you would need stuffs like MSCE added with CCNA, from there you most likely would get into the job force and be able to afford the rest also you would get the exposure needed.

After this you could start considering the high end Certifications where the big bucks are: SAP, CCIE, AVAYA, RF (Radio frequency). But you have to get in somewhere to start basicly. Thats what i did, and it worked for me!! Am where i want to be right now.

Also this is just my opinion, might not be a professional advice. Good luck and welcome onboard.

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From my experience, A BS in CS, an MS in CS and all the Cisco and Java certifications in this world won't guarantee you a position in IT especially in Nigeria. If you are lucky or well connected even without a certificate, you can find something, but I challenge anyone that will stand and tell me that a certificate will get you an IT job in naija.

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Wat do mean they r claiming oil price is low?

My suggestion: Leave the IT world and stick to what you already know

continue job searching and hopefully you get something soon - some companies might not want to recuit you because of experience - The best solution to dis is to volunteer(get hands-on experience) and then u can apply to other companies

Goodluck!!!

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First, go for A+ certification, after that consider Microsoft certifications or if u have the heart, jump straight on to Cisco (CCNA). Armed with these certifications and of course the knowledge, u have one foot thru the door. Goodluck.

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@ poster

I'm happy with your post b'cos I also want to switch to the IT world.

@chuckvyl

I wasn almost registering for Oracle but with you explanation, I'll have to follow your advise but can I register anywhere or does it matter if it must br recognised bodies like NIIT e.t.c Do we right foreign exams. After that stage, what stage do you advise next.

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@ chuckvyl

Thanks for your advice but what certifiation is best for the suggestion you made?

@tupix

I just want to study any IT area that can get me a job fast.I'm quick in learning.

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Hi Kvolander

The IT world is very wide and if you want to excel, try and think very well about your area of interest.

You might be interested in hardware, software, networking, programming, animation, web design/web programming,

in fact the list is endless.

Lets know your area of interest then we can advice you better.

Adios!!!

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Hello,

I think you will have to be a fast and dogged learner to start up with Java and get a job with it in 2 years time considering the pressure you are putting yourself in.

I am an IT professional living in UK and i can confidently tell you to forget about Java dear.

Dont't even try Oracle(am an Oracle DBA).The easiest thing for you will be simple systems administration/IT support.You will have to start learning from there and climb up gradually.

I know the advertisements that go on nigeria for Oracle/Java training from companies like NIIT etc ,just to take your money.

infact,at this point,you should have known the basics/fundamentals of systems administartion/IT support if you want to get a job soon.

otherwise i wonder how you will work out.

Charles

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