* Persons about to take the next step in their Education
* Persons looking for Professional body qualifications & professional body membership
* Persons looking for industry certifications
* Persons preparing for employment
Choosing the right field of training
You must decide what you want to study, before considering where you want to study it. Many
students choose a school before even thinking of what to study. This shows lack of purpose and
misplacement of priority. Try to answer the following questions when deciding what to study:
- Do I have the physical, moral and financial means to succeed in the field of study?
- How wide are the opportunities for employment linked to the chosen training?
- Is the field of study leading to an emerging profession? If not, please, consider question B again.
- How will the study facilitate my employment (including the possibility for self employment)?
- Is there a school within my reach offering courses in the field of study?
Your means to succeed in the chosen field.
This point is a call on the potential student to be realistic. Your success may be hampered by your personal ability, your health or physical condition, or your financial ability. E.g, it is not expected that an arts or commercial student chooses a field of engineering, or that someone from a weak financial background chooses an expensive field of study that would take several years to complete.
How wide (or narrow) are the ensuing opportunities for employment ?
Some fields of study prepare learners for specific industries or economic sectors while others prepare learners for a wide range of industries. For example, Banking is specific to the banking sector, nursing, medical lab technology, medicine are specific to the medical sector. Before embarking on studies in such sectors, make sure that the employment market is not yet saturated or about to be saturated, because you will not have another economic sector to turn to.
Studies in fields or professions that are practiced in a wide range of industries result to greater opportunities for employment. Examples of professions which cut across almost all economic sectors include Information Technology, Accounting, Procurement and supply chain management, Management, just to name some. Organizations in all economic sectors including NGO’s and even churches would employ qualified persons in such fields as, in one way or the other, they need to;
- communicate, store and manage information (the need for skills in Information Technology)
- Properly manage their finances (the need for skills in Finance and Accounting)
- Manage contractual relationships with third parties including purchasing and supply chains (the need for skills in procurement and supply), etc
Emerging Professions (and fields of study)
We shall define “emerging profession” here as a profession or occupation constituting knowledge and skills which are currently witnessing increasing demand
either because they were not known before, or they were known, but are currently more valued, solicited and paid for higher than in the past.
ADVICE: The above type of training is advisable for
- Persons who wish to prepare directly for employment; that is, to work and earn income soon after the short training. This will eventually enable them to self- sponsor their further education, even while still working
- University and school leavers who need skills to complement theoretical knowledge in order to increase their chances on the job market, or who wish to prepare for self employment
Management –to- Expert level employment
Employment at this level has to do with the application of managerial to expert knowledge, skills and techniques to resolve economic, social or political matters.
University degrees would qualify the graduate for management level employment. However, depending on the specialization, the graduate would usually need to add some practical or operational skills to their theoretical knowledge to be ready for employment.
Experts are normally called “professionals”. More formally, a “professional” is a practitioner holding either;
- A professional body qualification (and is usually a member of the professional body), or
- An industry certification in a specialized technology or area of knowledge.
PROFESSIONAL BODY QUALIFICATIONS
A professional body is either an association or an institute of professionals who set standards for a profession and promote and influence the way the profession is practiced. Professional bodies usually adopt a strong international character, earning respect for best practices for their profession around the world.
Some examples of professional bodies are:
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) for professional accountants,
- Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) for supply chain and contract management
Information Technology forms the basis of most emerging professions. Most emerging professions are either of information technology, or if not, they are driven (influenced) by the evolution (changes) in information technology. Some emerging professions in Information Technology include; Software development (applications), Computer systems analysis, Information security analysis (Henry Devries, 2016), Cyber security and professions relating to protection of management and financial information assets in general. Other emerging professions outside Information Technology include:
Accounting and auditing, Medical and health service management, Management analysis, Financial analysis, Civil engineering (Henry Devries, 2016), and Procurement and supply chain management. Please note that this list is not exhaustive. The listed professions are just some of the examples.
Relationship Between Employment and Education / Training.
For the purpose of this orientation, we shall classify employment in 3 levels namely;
INSPIRATIONAL, TECHNICAL/OPERATIONAL and MANAGERIAL—to—EXPERTISE
Employment by Inspiration
This is employment which comes about as a result of a person’s inner strength, willingness and determination to earn a living through carrying out an economic activity without formal training. The inspiration may stem from a previous experience, practice, observation or deep thought.
Technical OR Operational level employment
This usually follows some formal training on certain practical skills or operations. E.g, plumbing, building, electrical installations, fashion and design, computer hardware/software maintenance, web development, Secretarial duties, Accounts clerk, Administrative assistant, etc.
In Cameroon, people can prepare for technical or operational level employment in schools under the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training (MINEFOP). Depending on the desired skills, training would usually last from 3 to 12 months.
- Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (CIA) for internal audit and management control professionals,
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) for business management and finance professionals,
- Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) for marketing professionals, etc
The duration of training for a professional body qualification can vary widely, depending on the profession, the level of the desired qualification and the background learning of the aspirant.
Industry certifications are awarded by the originators or inventors of a technology or industry knowledge. They are highly respected internationally by employers because they serve as direct confirmation of skills and ability by the author of the knowledge concerned. Common examples of industry certification awarding bodies include;
- Cisco for certifications in computer network technology & security (CCNA, CCNP, CCNA security),
- CompTIA, for certifications in Computer hardware/software, Network technology, network security etc
- Oracle, for Database administration Project Management Institute (PMI) for Project management (e.g CAPM, PMP, PgMP etc)
- Information Systems Audit and Control Association, ISACA, for information systems audit and security (eg. CISA , CISM, CRISC , CGEIT certifications),
The duration of study for an industry certification is usually short; ranging from 3 months to 12 months. The learner’s background knowledge and their intended level of certification will usually determine the number of training modules to cover and hence the duration
A closer look at some professional body qualifications at IMIT Douala
|PROFESSIONAL BODY||TYPICAL CAREER TITLES||ENTRY QUALIFICATION|
|CIPS (Chartered Institute of
Procurement and Supply)
||From G.C.E A/Level
upwards. The candidate’s highest qualification determines their point of entry.Persons with qualifications below G.C.E A/level will take an entry level certificate course first.
|ACCA (Association of Chartered
||From G.C.E A/Level
upwards. The candidate’s highest qualification determines their point of entry.
Persons with qualifications below G.C.E A/level will take an entry level certificate course first.