Choosing a Career in ICT: The Pathways for WASSCE Graduates

It’s that time of the year when WASSCE results are in and parents are looking forward to enrolling their wards into the various tertiary institutions to help fulfill their dreams of becoming Engineers, Lawyers, Doctors, Psychologists, et cetera. Those who cannot afford to continue to the various tertiary institutions due to unavailability of financial support or whose grades do not meet set threshold will be left with the choice of enrolling into trades or support their parents in business.

The aim of this article is to show parents and WASSCE graduates how one can become an ICT professional and the various exit routes available for them. Information and Communication Technology or Technologies (popularly known as ICT) is a very broad field.

As a WASSCE graduate who wants to become an ICT professional, there are many routes to take.

However, you first need to ask yourself these basic questions:

  • Do you have Excellent Analytical Skills that can be applied to solve problems?
  • Do you pay attention to Details?
  • Are you Committed to lifelong learning
  • Do you have good communication skills
  • Do you have an aptitude for Math
  • Do you have the ability to Learn & Memorize commands or Programming Languages
  • Do you have an ability to handle multitasking
  • Do you have solid problem Solving/Troubleshooting Capabilities
  • Do you have technical writing skills
  • Are you Versatile and can succeed in other fields other than ICT?

If you answer yes to most these questions and/or you can develop these skills, then you are a good candidate to be an ICT professional.

To begin with, for those who would be lucky to gain admission into the various tertiary institutions, your best bet is to study Telecommunication Engineering, Electrical/Electronics Engineering, Information Technology or Computer Science/Engineering. These programs provide the foundation to becoming an ICT professional and can be pursued in the public Universities such as Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), George Grant University of Science and Technology (GGUST) formally University of Science and Technology Tarkwa (UMAT), University of Energy and Natural resources (UENR) Sunyani, University of Ghana (Legon) and University of Cape Coast. All the Technical Universities (Formerly Polytechnics) also offer some of these programs. Many private universities offer Computer Engineering, Information Technology, Electrical Engineering and the likes. The likes of Ashesi University, Regent University, Academic City College, Accra Institute of Technology just to mention a few. Once you take this path, you would have crossed the first hurdle to becoming an ICT professional. You would then need practical experience and exposure and an opportunity in an ICT firm to exhibit your skills.

Now let’s focus more on those who may not be able to further their studies due to one reason or the other. As a WASSCE graduate, you still have the opportunity to become an ICT professional. You should also be able to answer yes to most of the basic questions for ICT professionals. Below route can be charted:

  1. You can enroll into a private ICT institution such as NIIT to study ICT courses and move on to do certifications in Cisco (CCNA, CCNP etc.), Microsoft or Juniper. You can also take short training courses at Institute of ICT Professionals (IIPGH) Academy where you will be taught computer programming (Coding). IF you can obtain these professional certifications in the various ICT domains and acquire some work experience, you would be able to setup on your own or gain employment with multinationals.
  2. You can enroll unto a practical Telecommunication training to gain Rigging, Installation, Commissioning and Integration skills. There are few of such training institutions in Ghana such as Admintelecom Academy at East Legon, Accra.
  3. Apply for internship to any of the ICT service providers in Ghana for an unpaid 3 to 6 months internship. You would be amazed the practical skills you would acquire whilst undertaking such an internship. Although this is an unpaid internship, most organizations would provide you with daily or weekly or monthly stipends depending on your efforts.

In the world of ICT, continuous education is essential. Since you did not have the chance of furthering your education after WASSCE, you should now enroll into any of the universities in Ghana or abroad as a distance learning student or a weekend student. In this scenario, you would be keeping your job while working towards gaining the certificate or degree you could not acquire earlier due to financial challenges. For those with poor WASSCE grades, you still have the opportunity to attend weekend classes and write the WASSCE as a private candidate. Once your grades are OK, you can also enroll as weekend or distance learning student to gain the degree you missed out at the early stage. You would be attending school as a worker and thus would have a better understanding of the theories that would be taught. You would also be in a better financial position to go through your education.

In the field of ICT, ‘what you can do’ matter’s more than what you studied or know. Therefore, to my brothers and sisters who just received their WASSCE results but not getting your desired course for tertiary; don’t get disappointed. You can still become the ICT professional you have always been dreaming to be. There is a window of opportunity for you and the Institute of ICT professionals is here to guide you through. Contact us and we would lead you through the steps in becoming an ICT professional.

 

Author: Samuel Hanson Hagan – (RAN Integration Consultant and Member: Institute of ICT Professionals, Ghana)

For comments, contact author shhagan@gmail.com  Mobile: +233507393640, +4748634629.