By J. B. Fagoyinbo
Career Guidance on Information Technology
The word career comes up across all spheres of life with its meaning reflected in the topic of discussion. In this write-up, career includes all of the work, learning, and leisure activities that you are involved in throughout your life; implying that planning your career isn’t separate from planning the rest of life. It is to be recognized that your work is closely connected to other life roles while the skills you’ve developed in other life roles may be useful at work.
Career is also frequently understood to relate to the working aspects of your life e.g. as in career woman. A third way in which the term career is used is to describe an occupation or a profession that involves special training or formal education and is considered to be a person’s lifework
To successfully take the journey of life through school, make the transition from school to adult life and the world of work, adolescents and young adults need guidance and encouragement from caring, supportive adults; both in school and at home. The best decisions and choices made by transitioning youth are based on sound information including appropriate assessments that are based on the talents, knowledge, skills, interests, values, family background and aptitudes of each individual.
Before proceeding further let’s look at my personal background and how it affected my choice of career.
I attended the Secondary Modern School, SMS. The SMS program is considered equivalent to the first two years of the Secondary Grammar/High School, GS. In fact, if you want to go into the Grammar School after the SMS you’ll be lucky to be admitted into class two in government-owned or mission-owned GS. Private GS could take you into the 3rd year if in the entrance examination you have a very high score. Most often the admission would be into the 2nd year with transfer to 3rd year at the end of the 1st Term; depending on your performance.
I proceeded to Teachers’ College, TC, while my colleague, who happened to be of the same age, went to GS. Our closeness was such that, though we lived at opposite ends of the town, we used to study together during the holidays. While on holidays I would carry such books as Pure Mathematics (Algebra and Geometry only), Arithmetic Principles, Principles and Practice of education, Geography, History, English Literature, English Language and Christian Religious Knowledge he would come with books on General Science, Pure Mathematics, Economics, Geography, History, English Literature, English Language, etc.
At the end of our second year, he noticed that I brought a book by F. Daniel on General Science and thus asked what I was doing with it. I told him we’ve been introduced to General Science. He demanded to know what I was going to use it for since there was no General Science in the Primary School Curriculum. I replied that I would study a science-related program in the university; like he was proposing. That also sounded strange to him; he had never noticed a trained teacher going to study in the university.
Out of the 59 of us in class only five were able to study science-related programs; one of us in engineering, two in physical sciences and two in science education.
Though I was able to spend one year in the preparation for General Certificate of Education, GCE, in the three basic sciences, Human Anatomy Physiology and Hygiene together with English Language and Pure Mathematics I had some deficiencies in Physics resulting from lack of access to any Science Laboratory. The first time I ever touched a test tube was in the university.
My father died while in the second year in TC and I have five brothers and a sister after me to take care of in partnership with my mother.
These two constraints impacted negatively on my progress.
Had I made up my mind to stay on in education or humanities I could have spent the three years I was using to build up my mother’s trading business to study for the GCE (Advanced Level) which I know I would have passed and I would have needed three years to obtain a degree as against the 5-year engineering programme which was extended by an additional year resulting from my weak science background.
My error was that I copied my friend’s career plan. I gave him a terrible blow which he lived with all his life; I studied engineering while he studied Chemistry (Education). At the time we were applying for university education we had lost touch with each other.
Rather than copy someone else’s plan for career success, create your own. You’ll be amazed by the results.