Category Archives: Courses

Should you do a short course or a degree in software?

What are the current trends in Zimbabwe as far as learning software programming is concerned? Some people take short courses and become freelancers while some go to college to get a degree. There is also a significant number of people who take both the short course and the college degree albeit simultaneously regardless of order.

Certifications

It is typical for employers to require certification of some sort in certain areas like Java programming, networking or database management. This prompts graduands to do short courses in order to gain those qualifications. There are people who just go straight to acquire such qualifications since a degree is not a prerequisite. Those programmers who get their qualifications through short courses also compete with degree holders on the job market. This makes people wonder if a college qualification is worthwhile. The answer is, it depends on the job market and the programming language you want to learn.

Recommendation

As someone who has done both, I recommend starting with a short course first. This is advisable if you want to change a career or if you are not planning on going to college immediately after graduating from high school. This allows you an opportunity to start earning through part-time employment or freelancing. Some people even form their own startups.  Short courses give you a chance to live your dream of becoming a coder in no time. This helps you decide if coding is really what you wanted without wasting your time.

The money you earn while freelancing can also contribute towards your tuition when you eventually embark on a degree programme. This is good news for those who can not afford to pay for their education.

Short courses prepare you for a job much more quickly than a college degree. You can be ready to seek employment in less than six months compared to four years needed to complete a computer science degree. Not only will you be employable but you will also start to feel comfortable in participating in online discussions.

Some people, as mentioned earlier, complete a degree first before taking a short course. This shows that both pathways are vital and you can not do without them. This is true if you want to have an edge over other competitors when job hunting. The order in which you obtain your qualifications is not important but starting with a short course is wiser.

 

New ICT Degrees available in Zimbabwe

Local universities in Zimbabwe offered either computer science, information systems or information technology degree programmes only in the past. Recently, we have seen a myriad of new degree programmes launch. What are some of those programmes and why avail them now?

Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) recently announced a new degree programme in e-commerce while the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) now offers degrees in computer networking as well as multimedia technology. Not to be outdone is the University of Zimbabwe which now has degrees in cybersecurity and other new programmes.

This trend of creating new courses in ICT has been necessitated by advancement in technology. Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Machine Learning and a lot of other areas of information technology have developed exponentially in the past few years and are still growing. This means that there is now a huge demand, on the job market, for people with thorough knowledge of each field. Universities have stepped in to fill that gap by creating new programmes.

Availability of specialized programmes means that human capital managers have their work cut out when recruiting. If employers want a web developer or a graphic designer, they will simply ask for job applications from those with qualifications in multimedia technology instead of just anyone with a degree in IT. Likewise, when recruiters want an IT security professional they can advertise specifically a cybersecurity job.