Information technology is used everywhere because it reduces the barriers of cost, time and distance. At Jidaw we aim to encourage everyone to tap into these benefits. We can in fact create opportunities for ourselves by improving our skills. Developing professional ICT skills provide an avenue for improving ourselves and gaining opportunities with digital skills.
Recently I looked at IT professional skills required in three important areas of high demand – Engineering, Software development and Networking.
During Jidaw’s career seminars and youth empowerment programs we also look at IT professional skills required in other important high activity areas that provide interesting jobs and career opportunities for IT professionals.
Jidaw insists that there is always a demand for competent IT professionals who can deliver results. In this piece we will focus on Database, Web Development and Research/Academics.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT / ACADEMICS
Research and Development is about carrying out scientific and technological investigations that contribute to knowledge for the benefit of society. Discoveries based on research are useful in virtually all spheres of human endeavour. Research in IT could be useful for mass production of scarce drugs, assisting in finding cures for diseases and solutions in Telecommunications, business optimization, Oil, Sports, etc. Today’s modern tools, which are now available everywhere are the results of years of research. Jidaw systems and many other companies in the IT sector are leveraging on the benefits of research.
Research can be extremely satisfying for those who want to “create” or contribute to, knowledge. Research can be very challenging, as results don’t usually come fast. Research requires patience, dedication and persistence. In the opinion of Jidaw, a researcher must always realize that research is not an end in itself. Research must be of value to the society. Research obviously requires a solid intellectual background.
Jidaw notes that most researchers are also Academics. The focus of the academic is teaching and assessing students in all fields of IT. The academic is usually the first expert, aspiring professionals will encounter as they begin their career. Research can also be flexible, and could be combined with office, business or industrial work. Obviously, the Researcher must enjoy studying, learning, testing and experimentation.
DATABASE DEVELOPMENT AND ADMINISTRATION
In the digital world we all depend on databases for vital information. Popular database products are Oracle, Microsoft’s SQL Server, IBM’s DB2 and MySQL. Jidaw observes that Database experts develop database applications and make sure that these databases are secure, robust and functional for effective business performance.
The database developer is more of a business analyst / software developer. The developer is concerned with planning and designing a database whose structure meets the user’s current and future needs for data storage and reporting – very similar to programming. Jidaw advises developers to embrace logical thinking. This work requires attention to detail, ability to focus for long periods. Common activities include: gathering and analyzing requirements, coding and testing.
On the other hand, at Jidaw we perceive the database administrator (DBA) as the “organizer” responsible for setting up databases, and ensuring availability, backup, security and efficiency of the database.
Common tasks of the DBA include report generation, backup management, security management, and performance monitoring and tuning. A Database administrator is more of a data facilitator – making sure data is secure, available and is used productively.
Jidaw asks: do you love responsibility, planning and paying attention to detail? Maybe you should know the DBA door. Database administration requires planning and organizational skills as well as a programming background.
WEB DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT
Web sites are coming up all the time all over the world. Jidaw has actually created Jidaw.com and other web resources. Web Development is all you need to create, design, build and support websites. Web professionals develop and maintain web pages and web sites on the Internet.
Web Development is what makes a website a website – aesthetics, ease of use, impressive and relevant content, functionality, appropriate graphics, convenient navigation, search features; visual clues and other features. Internet design and development is a combination of two skill sets: Programming as well as art/graphic design.
Web designers/developers are involved in creating models, graphic designs, page layouts/structures, web page designs, testing, troubleshooting. uploading, maintenance, programming/scripting, and database design and integration. Important Web development tools include HTML, Flash, Dreamweaver, and PHP/MySQL.
Although our focus at Jidaw is on content, we insist that Web development requires creativity and attention to detail. Although programming skills are important, it is also vital that the Web developer has a flair for presentation and aesthetics. Web development in addition involves a fair amount of testing and problem solving.
You must have the drive, the passion for the web environment. This role often requires large doses of communication, organization and interpersonal skills.
I hope you find this look at professional opportunities in Database, Web Development and Research/Academics useful.