What Is The Best College To Study ICT In Zimbabwe In 2017?

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We’ve had WhatsApp groups for just about 3 years now. Largely targeted at Zimbabwe, members who reside here and issues that affect us (technology-wise) are discussed. Every so often however, we get questions to do with education.

Mostly along the lines of “what is the best IT course to do?”, or “what is the best Zimbabwean school/university/college that I can go learn ICT at?”

Though everyone has their preferred response to these questions, I tend to lean towards online learning, partly because of the costs, partly because of the flexibility but mostly because of the “up-to-datedness” with which the content is.

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Whenever I give examples, my mind goes back to the early 2000’s when I decided to do a programming course and due to there being not many options I went with a certain college in Harare along Robert Mugabe and Fourth Street. The lecturer was going over data storage sizes and made a remark that the biggest storage available at the time was in the MBs (I can’t seem to remember the exact size, but I know he stated MBs).

To this I refused and stated that he was wrong and we were now using ‘terabytes’ – at least that was the biggest size I knew then. A long argument ensued between the lecturer and myself, mainly because ‘his book said so’. He was basing his facts from a book he had in front of him from the late 1970’s or early 80’s but he didn’t want to move ground all because of his outdated book. That was my last lesson there as I threw in the towel.

I’ve returned to different colleges since then and one thing I have seen is that access to study material is limited. Mainly due to the cost of the books, but me thinks partly due to our culture of not wanting to buy books.

The rebuttal to this could be that we’ve now moved to the digital era and so books and learning material can be stored on flash drives, CDs and DVDs and one can read at their own leisure. I totally agree with this and hence I’d say so why go to in-person learning?

I always recommend someone to go to the University of Google or its affiliate ‘YouTube’. One just needs to horn the skills of knowing how to ask Google the right questions and it’ll give you the answers – millions of them many a time.

For those who are not as adventurous in wanting to find your want around search engines online, there’s a platform called Udemy, where lecturers (mostly people who are authorities in various topics) go and publish videos and other content around a topic and anyone can subscribe to it. Some of the courses go recommend that you’d have covered certain ground in a subject area before you embark on a course, but if you feel you can ‘wing it’ then they let you have a go.

This avenue is good for those who feel that they want a structured feel of how to do things and not leave it to any results that may have managed to bubble to the top of Google or YouTube.

If you are looking at polishing up your skills (or your CV – some courses issue you out with certificates) this coming year, Udemy have currently reduced almost ALL of their courses to just $10 each! (You can pay using your Ecocash Virtual Card Number (VCN) or your Visa or MasterCard).

64 Comments

  1. Martin Chamambo says:

    I disagree with this post in its entirety , my take is this , i was at the University of Zimbabwe and i was doing a BSc in computer science , for the first 2 years , i was doing Statistics ,Mathematics and Physics and nomatter what google can teach you even by asking the right questions ,no one will teach you these natural sciences better than a lecturer who did the same 40 years back , [lets not comment on whether the lecture is a PHD] , what i am trying to get at is , I.T is more than just computers ? those staistical ,mathematical ,physics course are the ones that are currently helping me solve problems now , surely there is a difference between someone knowing how to code and someone who knows how to code and why there are coding that way …… google wont give you that , you need a mathematical, statistical or physics base

    You might not agree ,but i am damn well positive this has given me an edge over a lot of people in my industry

    1. William Chui says:

      Thanks for your comment Martin. You speak from experience, which I do too, and for me, I’ve found it differently.

      In comparison to going to university:
      1. Online is faster (no need for 4-5 years ‘hard labour’)
      2. It’s cheaper. Where can you get quality education for ‘just $10’?
      3. It’s more thorough. That lecturer you mentioned has not been as widely exposed as someone out at MIT or some other Ivy League university. So the knowledge they share (for $10) is more richer than what you can get locally.

      1. kunta kinte says:

        Chui your headline versus what you wrote is the problem. It is obvious that you have not researched. It would be good to admit you are wrong.

        Your topic and body are two totally different discussions. Secondly whilst you say going to varsity is a waste of time, I believe one learns different things at varsity and out of varsity. I almost didnt go to varsity for my degree and my father insisted on me going. I had a plan with professional qualifications ready and all I had a chance to reflect and see what I needed to do and I changed the original career plan that i had. I think ur assuming that most 18 year olds know what the y want to do which is not fact. A very small percentatge has an idea of what exactly they want to do. You would then reviewed what programs are available at the different varsities in Zimbabwe. For your information the curriculum at HIOT for example is reviewed annually so as to stay up to date. Guys at Chinhoyi are doing wonderful stuff as well. What I have seen at various varsities in Zim is that they offer different types of ICT degrees and the choice is getting broader every year. Different varsities have different standards in Zim

        In my years in dealing with recent graduates, both from Zim and South Africa e.g. at the end of the day depends on the individual student. and one would always find that in general varsity graduates more flexible.

        With all due respect sir you just didnt research and just scribbled something that should not really have been published. Not sure if editor was asleep when you submitted your paper

      2. Gosling says:

        your focus is just coding and lacking the bed rock fundamentals of the subject, i have worked with people like you, you soo good in reproductions. you lack the science part of doing things. my simple advise is that the shortest distance b/n two points is a straight line. man al those going to univiersities are not fools, just say with the curent job market and lack of activity in the industries you can go by, but don’t dismiss a degree. not only do i have a degree i have a whole load of certifications, they are specific but they don’t replace the basics of science

        1. kunta kinte says:

          My own summary is that the person who wrote the article did us a great disservice by not looking at both sides of the coin. If he had looked at both sides of the coin, he would have ended up finding out what local universities offer and which local universities are stronger in this topic.

          After that he would then discuss on whether it is worth it to go to university in zim or not. He has not been scientific at all hence a lot of discussion which might go on cause no facts by our erstwhile Journalist and his editor who we guess doesnt edit but just passes on stuff to us the gullible zim public. This article is on scientific issues and does not begin to scratch the surface. Please Mr. Editor please take us your audience seriously otherwise things may start to look not so good

    2. Chenge says:

      I totally agree with you Martin!

      Uni education, particularly Maths, Stats, Comp Sci (which I happen to have studied at UZ, 2 decades ago for that matter), teaches you to think logically and rigorously. I am in an environment where I have both non-graduates and graduates, and I see the difference everyday. Please vanhu usafurirwe – uni education is not a waste of time and money. It takes one who has gone there to appreciate the difference.

    3. gifty says:

      We are talking about having a skill that is required to build a company here. There is no statistics needed to address a problem with a coded software. Programming is about seeing a problem in the society and build a software to solve it, so what statistics for?

      1. Martin Chamambo says:

        @Gifty , check what i am working on http://chamambom.pythonanywhere.com/ this is what i do when i am not watching movies ,the project is 6 months old now and its probably going to mature after 2 years , a lot of statistics is going to be involved in this project and to come to think of it , all the knowlege i had at college is going to help me solve some of the complex data science that i need to do here , i dont have the answers just yet , but everyday i seem to come to google just to ask the same question that i ignored when i was at college , i have embraced one thing , academic knowledge is supposed to help you to solve problems , on the other hand ,knowing how to put data in a data structure and create a working algorithm is going to help you solve a current problem ……………….. take it this way My mind is a mathematical one ,i analyse ,i create hypotheses and i make decisions , i am not there yet ,but whatever i have learnt ,academic wise ,it has put me in the tight direction …………………………

      2. Gosling says:

        @Gifty wakaenda ku university here ?? wapedza waka coder chii, ok l since u have mentioned coding here, the basis of it is logic, and logic can be represented mathemetically, stats being a branch of it, munongoita copy and paste saka izvi hamungazvinzwisise and i bet u r not a good programmer for tht matter. programming came out asa branch of mathemtics bhururu. u dismiss statistics do u know branch re computing rinonzi BI, most BI and Data analytics professionals come from mathemtics and stats background, hauziwe. usade kutaurisa pa forum pano uchitaura zvisina basa, hauna mari, hauna chikoro, u r not intelligent and hapana chinoshamisira chawati waiita, ndimi wafana munopona ne ma framework moti takapenga

    4. But one can learn physics, mathematics and statistics on YouTube, no?

      1. Martin Chamambo says:

        @Kabweza , yes you can learn those from youtube absolutely , i guess it all depend on an individual , i am more of a groupie when it comes to learning ,if i can harness knowledge from a class with the questions i would raise , unlike opening 500 Youtube or google pages of information….. everyday i see myself spend atleast an hour on quora and i just cant help it …. Online needs descipline and very few peopl have it

      2. Martin Chamambo says:

        something i got off quora

        Comp Sci – If you want to be a computer scientist, yes, go get that degree, if you want to be a programmer, do software engineering, it’s not the same thing….

      3. Ernest.chinyangwari says:

        I want to be a good stuident at your colladge.i wanted to do HR dgree.

    5. Xq says:

      True story.

  2. Marshall says:

    online teaches the professional approach whilst the other is just academic approach giving you the baseline …. the online way gives you what is already and being currently used in the industry unlike what the outdated way of learning in most of our institutions …. am student at uz eish

    1. Martin Chamambo says:

      @Marshall and @William

      I am certified in 4 if not 5 international certifications and going for my R.H.C.E very soon , and while these will keep me employed and current with technology , i should say this ,Data structures and algorithms ,Calculus and probability will never change and this base is whats needed in industry for you to be a problem solver , the reason why i am able to hop between programming ,Systems Linux databases is because i got the base ,

      @Marshal ,i remember when i was at college ,i bunked lessons and i bunked some of those mathematical and algorithm courses ,but now i need them to help me out ……

      Take it from me ,the acedemic route is the base and you wont run away from it if you want to become a problem solver not an employee , Jobs spaces are now full of people who are less ambitious ,who know a job by experience but not by why ….acedemics will give you the base you cant argue about that….. if you want to learn about javascript ,java and python and Linux go online ,but trust me ,you wont beat me to it , if i do the same but with an academic background

      @Marshal , these days i spend reading all those books i ddnt at college , just so i remember what the devide and conqure algorithm is all about

      1. William Chui says:

        Thanks Martin,

        I am not negating the need for the items you mentioned (data structures, algorithms and calculus), however, just stating that there is no reason why one should spend a whole 4-5 years doing all of that. We work at different paces and what I’ve seldom heard (Maud Chifamba being the exception) very few people get exempted and pushed ahead because they are ahead of the class.

        Online allows you this flexibility. If one course doesn’t explain a course to you, guess what you do? You move onto another, or click to the next video and hopefully get a better understanding. However, if you are at loggerheads with your lecturer in University, you can’t click to another and hope that they will explain the concept to you better.

      2. Tai says:

        @Martin. I am of both opinions. I think different people excel in different environments and gain the education from those sources differently. My son is doing both Brick and Mortar and Online because he wants a full appreciation. But I personally would never do well in a classroom environment. I am the type to hunt down the knowledge in any other way because I am a total disaster in a class setting. But put me in a situation where I command my own method of gathering data and speed of learning, I can shine. But I personally respect Brick and Mortar education so much, because the value is so profound and it comes from someone who is speaking from experience. But personally I would never attend.

      3. Ashbel says:

        @Martin i went to uni during the dreaded 2006-2010 era. What a monumental waste of life. What i learnt there i have never used in my career, A level was good enough, i had to teach myself to become what i am today, and could have gone much further had i used the 4 years doing something else. Basically id advise, the young not to waste time.

        1. kunta kinte says:

          2006-2010 what was working in zimbabwe

  3. norms says:

    William you 100% right there just think of someone who come from a family that is financially challenged and didn’t complete school even O levels. That person in most cases is a write off because they cannot easily get employment and are not going to get accepted into any local University for that matter because the Uni thinks they are not good enough Uni education is now for the elite and most privileged but through Williams route the same person can equip themselves with coding skills and get employed or self employ themselves and make a living without even going to a local Uni let alone finishing the O level that they failed due to financial constraints. Well done William please keep on informing young Zimbabweans of more avenues like these we have many desparate young people who don’t know where to start and have almost lost hope.

    1. William Chui says:

      Yeah Norms, the cases of failing to satisfy the ‘grades’ that are set by our local institutions (I’ve heard of some many people failing to find places in Zimbabwe with the A’Level points that they have, but easily being accepted in world renowned institutions).

      I’m glad you found value in the article.

  4. Make 2017 Great Again says:

    For lack of a better term, this is a sh*tty article. Why?
    Title – What Is The Best College To Study ICT In Zimbabwe In 2017?
    Content – studying online is awesome!

    Firstly, if you say “in Zimbabwe” we expect you to write an article about ICT qualification offering institutions WITHIN Zimbabwe.
    You’re misunderstanding your target market Mr Writer. Your title most likely catches the eye of high school leavers planning on getting a degree in ICT and telling them that they shld forego varsity n do online courses is grossly misleading considering that they may need to get conventional employment in a country where conventional qualifications (degrees, diplomas) are still prioritized.

    TL;DR this is click bait and a waste of your time if you’ve just left high school and are seeking advice on the next step in your ICT studies

    1. William Chui says:

      Thanks for the feedback and my apologies that you found it is “click-bait”.

      When one intends to go to college there go there for a reason, some it is at the behest of their parents, others want to appear as knowledgeable, whilst some are after the knowledge that is derived by learning there.

      This post seeks out to inform the latter, the student who wants the knowledge. My intention in the post is to put it to the reader that one need not go to a brick and mortar institute to get something that is readily available online and at a way cheaper cost (both in time and money).

      I totally disagree with your statement:

      telling them that they should forego varsity and do an online courses is grossly misleading considering that they may need to get conventional employment in a country where conventional qualifications (degrees, diplomas) are still prioritized.

      How many institutions do you know that are employing at the moment? How many times have you seen demonstrations taking place around town of students who have qualified but are not able to find a job? I beg to differ and put it to you that what is needed now is not a paper that says you can do A, B or C but rather the skills that go with it. Oh, by the way, the courses on offer on Udemy offer students certificates to show that they have mastered certain topics and if one is interested there are MOOCs that offer certificates from institutions like Standforn and even Harvard.

      1. Make 2017 Great Again says:

        thanks for the response William. 🙂

        just a few areas I think you NEED to research on before jumping to conclusions and assuming they are facts based on personal experiences.

        “This post seeks out to inform the latter, the student who wants the knowledge. My intention in the post is to put it to the reader that one need not go to a brick and mortar institute to get something that is readily available online and at a way cheaper cost (both in time and money).”

        1. First find out why the degree programmes are that long. There is a reason why course curricula and semesters are structured in such a manner and also why credits are allocated to certain courses (level of importance to overall degree program, necessary contact hours)
        2. For each degree program there is something known as a Body of Knowledge which basically highlights the fundamental concepts you need to learn to earn a degree as well as what pre-requisites are needed for one to study another course, i.e. you cannot study network security without studying data communications and networks
        3. in Zimbabwe there is a body known as the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE). Get actual facts from them regarding statistics on the qualifications of the faculty at the various universities in ZImbabwe rather than making a blanket assumption regarding brain drain.
        4. using terms like “University of Google” is very misleading. Googling is not the expected outcome in education. it is just a tool that is used to gather and reference sources of information, a library effectively. Just because you are in university does not mean you NEED to read hard copies. you can still use google, IEEE xplore and youtube to supplement your knowledge gained from lectures.
        5. “The lecturer was going over data storage sizes and made a remark that the biggest storage available at the time was in the MBs (I can’t seem to remember the exact size, but I know he stated MBs).”

        i am sure you were paraphrasing above but is it possible that the lecturer was giving you examples that were contextual. It would seem silly to teach students who are taking short courses how Terabytes (mind you this was the early 2000s) can be stored in various file systems when you’re fully aware that that technology is probably decades away from being implemented locally. I get your argument regarding teaching obsolete stuff but its also important that those lecturers teach relevant stuff to Zimbabwe.
        6. I could go on and on but lastly I’ll just highlight on the issue of getting jobs. Granted, that is a national crisis. But do you think on the rather small job market available you can be accepted into conventional industry based on certifications? If you’ve tried to apply for a job abroad or a work visa abroad or a skills assessment such as SAQA you’ll realise how great the weight of a degree is as compared to certifications. It would be great if you included this aspect as well in your research. Also, it would be great if you found the stats (or better, did real journalism and researched on the number of graduates who got related jobs in Zimbabwe and abroad upon graduation). Frankly, we cannot use the volume of people who march during a demonstration as a valid figure to represent a statistic such as this.

        TL;DR Do your research. Interesting topic though.

        1. William Chui says:

          Thanks, I hear you.

          In rebuttal:
          1. I put it to you that it is a money making scheme, that schools are more after your money than seeing to it that you are out of there as quick as possible. I’ll ask around and see what I can come up with, but those are my basic thoughts on that topic.
          2. I am in total agreement with this “you cannot study network security without studying data communications and networks”, however, who says that it needs to be in the format in which it is delivered by a university? What does it have to be in the time frame that they sat? If I’m a quicker learner why can I not progress and “skip a few classes”. The educational system is Zimbabwe is highly rigid, which to me points more at “the system” than the benefit of the student…
          3. Those qualifications are flawed. In my next article I revealed how I failed to attend classes in 2008 as I chased “burning” and yet my lecturer assured me that so long as I wrote the exam and put something, anything, on the paper I was going to pass. Add that to the number of times that same year I was offered to buy a degree, from whichever university I wanted, for just $150. Those qualifications of paper count for nothing. What we’d rather look at is their ability to deliver what they’re qualified to do, and that would be to produce quality students. Sadly they have failed in this regard.
          4. “Googling is not the expected outcome in education.” Neither is going to university. Google, like university, should be the channel through which you gain the knowledge that you desire. Yes, it is a tool, but a way better, faster and cheaper tool than a brick and mortar learning institution, in Zimbabwe.
          5. Unfortunately the incident being years ago, I doubt the institution would remember the lecturer or even the lecturer to remember the event for me to track him down and for us to revisit the topic. Stating that we need to have “relevant stuff for Zimbabwe” does not mean that facts should be obscured just so we stay relevant, at the expense of us limiting ourselves. What if someone in that class was developing a solution that required terabytes of storage and here he was being told that we were at the MB level, thus inhibiting them from exploring bigger dreams.
          6. I think that in the rather small job market, where almost everyone and their dog have a degree, who is left is for the “doers” to rise to the top and deliver.

    2. Concerned says:

      For the first time I have heard something sensible. I came to this page because I was looking for the best ict college in Zimbabwe not the difference between online and conventional education

  5. Sinclair Skinner says:

    Zim has some of the most affordable quality Black lead universities in the world. Keep up the great work in ICT!!!!!

    1. William Chui says:

      Though the institutions may be “affordable and ‘black led'” the quality of graduates leaves a lot to be desired.

      1. kunta kinte says:

        Let us not generalise william. There some varsities here with cutting edge ict education e.g HIT in Hre. I really thought your article was going to compare cause thats what your title says/ am very disappointed with the subsequent content or lack of. Theres no content and its a misleading article written by someone who didnt bother to research but is wasting our time. Some of our varsities are still very good and are creating brains that work everywhere. Just because zim economy is down and no jobs in Zim doesnt mean varsities producing useless graduates. Next time do some research

        1. William Chui says:

          That H.I.T. has “cutting edge ICT education” I’m yet to see the success of it that proves that its of any value. Please point me to any solutions that have been provided to the world, or even Zimbabwean market that has benefited from this “cutting edge ICT education”?

          I thought I did compare, “formal brick and mortar education” to online, that I wasted your time, I apologise.

          If the universities were producing “useful graduates” surely the economy would not be in this state? Or we can protrude that, hey, they have their degrees, it’s hung on the whole, XYZ University said they know their stuff…

          1. Don says:

            Hi William

            I fully understand your arguments. However I believe that you seem to have something against universities. Yes outdated curricula, unenterprising graduates and poor quality educators are a reality. But then, who said if one goes to university, one can’t make use of the internet as a learning tool? Why not get the best of both worlds? In a country where online qualifications aren’t “prioritized” don’t you think it’s prudent to have a qualification from a brick and mortar institution to fall back on?

            PS: At the moment I have neither the financial resources nor the time to go for my Masters, so I’ll take your advise and enhance my “local degree university” via the “University of Google”

            1. That’s actually a big part of the problem. Some people don’t have much money and they sadly spend a long time saving to to go to university or a college in town.

              Recently, I met a guy that had paid Trust Academy lots of money to learn Web design. They were struggling and hadn’t grasped much. They could have spent a lot less on an internet connection and Udemy/Treehouse etc…

              Strangely though, I spoke to this fellow about treehouse. They agreed, and what followed was a another sad episode of watching them struggle with this internet type self-paced learning. Luckily, they hadn’t spent $400 that Trust demanded at this point. So internet still somewhat better.

              I’d say it’s better that people in education put more effort in making the internet work more for people looking to learn. Put more lectures on the internet. create communities for learners so they get some of the in-class good stuff. We should be thinking in this direction instead of planting flags in the outdated land of physical class attendance

            2. kunta kinte says:

              outdtaed curricular are not a reality in all the varsitities. lack of facts in this article is making us accept and assume things

          2. Kunta KInte says:

            go there and find out do your research youll be surprised at solutions from industry coming from there and international linkages

            1. Kunta KInte says:

              is the economy a problem caused by our varsities Mr. Chui now you disappointing and I wonder how you allowed to write articles.

              Do some research you have no idea what you talking about

              1. More research is certainly needed to especially in understanding what people that come from colleges go on to do. Thankfully, some of this data is available in Zimbabwe.

                However, there’s some data to work with to discuss this important topic, no?

                @William Chui knows what he’s talking about because we mix with university graduates often and the traits in the are worrying enough and clear enough to be used as data. If you have worked with university graduates in Zimbabwe you will know what I’m referring to – mostly paper chasing dudes who paid their way to passing their projects (called zvitunha all over Zim as reference to them having been bought from the lecturers archives of good projects from previous years)

                P.S. He writes because he’s one of the best at thinking from alternative points.

    2. LUPANE STATE UNIVERISTY ALUMNI says:

      thank u so much…..taling to a proud Ex Zim University graduate who is working in Estonia right now….so much for zim uni education leaving a lot to be desired

      1. William Chui says:

        That’s the problem: “working in Estonia”

        1. Working, most probably for someone else, no fault of yours but the system trains us to be employees.
        2. In Estonia, that you qualified here, the same system that trained you could not offer you further opportunities hence you had to go look somewhere else.

        1. What’s wrong with working for someone else? We all do, no?

          Maybe the problem is having no influence on your work, not working on what you love, not being productive etc… but I don’t see any problem with the working for someone else. Even business owners work for someone else; their customers, their teams etc…

  6. Langton says:

    This is a a very “outside the box” article. Clasroom way of teaching is so yesterday and rigid. Things are changing unfortunately this education field is lagging behind. However many established Universities are joining in the vitual learning classrooms. So while I agree with the writer on some aspects I also feel that at the end of it all one has to have an acceptable ‘paper” to show cor his/her work

    1. William Chui says:

      Thanks for the comment.

      However we differ on your last sentence:
      So while I agree with the writer on some aspects I also feel that at the end of it all one has to have an acceptable ‘paper” to show cor his/her work

      Have you ever asked Mark Zurkerburg for his degree/paper? Or Larry Page? Or even Strive Masiyiwa? Didn’t think so. It’s in the ability for one to deliver of solution to the market, that no amount of papers hanging on the wall can replace

      1. Make 2017 Great Again says:

        to be honest, I am tired of people using Zuckerberg, Bill Gates etc as poster boys for dropping out of school. You forget that these guys made it into the best universities in the world to begin with so they were exceptional. You can’t preach that to everyone and expect them to follow suit.

        as for your point about them not being asked for their degrees or papers, well they weren’t applying for entry level jobs were they. If you’re a recent graduate from any academic level you’ll have to prove that you deserve the chance and you qualify.

        “its in the ability to deliver solution to the market”. again, this is entry level stage. Even with certifications from Udemy and what not do you think that qualifies as “ability to deliver solutions to the market”. What you’re describing is an example of that one joke where a company is looking for someone with 10 yrs of industrial experience but who is also 22 years old. You need to get clients first, then deliver solutions to them, then create a portfolio and possibly join a larger organization if need be. But to get your first clients you need to prove to them that you are qualified and capable of doing the job for them as opposed to other companies (during submissions of EOIs for tenders). that’s where your qualifications come in.

        1. William Chui says:

          Oh, but yes, we must preach that people must be EXCEPTIONAL. Go big or go home. For too long we have celebrated mediocrity as a nation and it’s high time we start calling a spade a spade.

          On “proving one’s ability” I still hold that one should be able to show that they can deliver, your argument puts it to me that “after university one is not yet ready for that and so needs to be absorbed into the job market so that they can be groomed” to which I disagree. Why must someone be hired when they are yet to prove themselves? Have we started a ‘pity party’ that must offer opportunities to people just because they have ‘endured’ for 4-5 years?

          Likewise with someone with a certificate from Udemy, if they are not ready they need to go back to the grind and work at it. There are creative ways for them to build their portfolios (offer services for free, or money back guarantees) but at the end of the day, if you do a quality job for me, I’m never going to ask for your paperwork, and I’ll be more than happy to pay you so that you can continue delivering such awesome work.

      2. kunta kinte says:

        those guys you mention employ people who have those papers. Strive is a qualified university engineeer who was also trained at PTC both locally and in Europe

        1. William Chui says:

          The point was pointed at the person’s ability to deliver the solution and not whether they have papers or not.

          When you have a problem, you look for a solution and not for who has the best grades in a particular degree program. That doesn’t count for much, at the end of the day, you and I are on the same level when it comes to our ability to deliver a solution to the client. You may argue that having your degree puts you at a higher level than me, but from what I have seen locally that has not been the case.

      3. Masiyiwa needed a paper to set him off at TelOne. He wouldn’t have had an opportunity to start if it wasn’t for it. He also needed his paper to prove to financiers that he knew what he was doing and wasn’t going to blow their money.

        While Zuckerburg, Page etc.. didn’t have “papers” they had the name of their university backing them. Essentially, the university name worked as proof of their skill.

    2. The acceptable ‘paper’ is getting antiquated too. Especially because technology is bringing up new ways to measure someone’s real skill. Thankfully. The degree paper is currently one of the most misleading papers in Zimbabwe. It does a huge disservice to those university graduates that really built their knowledge coz its hard to see the fake from the true until several huge salaries and failed projects later

  7. TheKing says:

    William, thanks for writing an article that started a good debate. I will agree with you that online video tutorials are great at getting you started. What I don’t like about these online tutorials is that they teach you how to do something and seldom teach you the foundations of the framework/language/technology. My take on them is that they are ok, but you have to read books or official documentation to become solid.

    I will also agree with Martin on the need for learning algorithms, calculus, statistics and physics. These are required fundamentals especially if you want to be a programmer. You can learn how to code on an online classroom, but seldom are you taught when to use a certain data structure. If you have ever interviewed someone for a programmer post just ask them on the underlying data structure used in a Linked List, or ask them which is easier to split, LinkedList or ArrayList. This stuff is usually not taught by video tutorials but is necessary to understand if you are to write efficient code and you can only learn this in college, sometimes in a none CS class.

    I agree with you that the quality of most graduates leaves a lot to be desired. I think for the most part it’s the fault of the graduates not the institutions. The goal of university education is to teach you how to think, not how to code or be a systems admin. It is up to the graduate to learn skills. Unfortunately, most graduates would have cheated themselves to a degree and continue on this path through life by using exams dumps for certifications or by cheating themselves to a second degree. I was at an expo once and one company rep complained that when they advertise, they get hundreds of CVs with Oracle certifications, but when you ask these candidates to do a basic task, they crack.

    My advice to people, prefer a book to online videos or at least read one after taking a video course

  8. Macd Chip says:

    Let me start by saying lm for one will go for online courses, not for the reasons of money(l have unlimited budget for my studies whichever l prefer).

    I went to college to study IT, one of the best l would say! But by the time l get there l was tired, hungry, courses not that flexible etc.
    Yes l have done MCSA, CCNA, CCNA SEC, CCDA, CCNA-Voice, CCNP, CCDP, CCIP, CCNP-Voice, EMC STORAGE, Extreme ENA, RIPE-NC LIR, Versity Storage HSM and more l did not persue the certification.

    Right now lm studying a Uni Diploma via online. Coming back to cost, l paid $4000 for the Diploma, if lm to go to Uni and be a student, the same Diploma ranges from $13000 to $16000 depending with uni per year.

    I attend lessons via Adobe virtual class, which allows videos, you ask question and get answered just like you are in class. As l move around a lot, all l need is stable internet connection and lm in regardless of where lm in world. Another good thing is that if l miss class, its all recorded, all l do is request for that session and l can watch it again and again.

    Online learning is the future, most Universities now offer that, but like always, there is more money to be made via brick and motar education than online hence most Universities or colleges do not promote it.

    1. LUPANE STATE UNIVERISTY ALUMNI says:

      not in zimbabwe it dnt cost that much…….some of these overseas degrees r not recognised in zim…thats why most malaysian and cyprus students cnt get jobs in zim,………..with $4000 that can pay for tuition for a degree for 4 yrs.and sme chump change might be left over

      1. Macd Chip says:

        I know for sure what lm learning and paid for is recognised everywhere, and its worth the money! The example l gave is from genuine world class uni and l did ask them for the pricing! Its Greenwich University, at the Rochester Campus in Kent, Networking degree.
        Or check the pricing from Middlesex Uni, for whatever IT diploma/degree you want to persue

  9. Ashley Gandawa says:

    This is quite accurate. I dropped out of the computer science class at MSU after two years, and devoted 2016 to actually becoming an expert. In 12 months I attained sellable skills and a wealth of knowledge on programming (Full stack web development) and graphic design. It took me a week to master what I would have learnt in a semester’s worth of college. College education in Zim is a joke

  10. G says:

    The main idea of this article is on the opportunity cost of education vs online education
    Yes its cheaper, more flexible & less time consuming to learn using online resources

    u can learn for free, then use a certification to validate ur skills or better still create something to showcase ur skills

    when doing certifications its cheaper to opt for self study, that way u learn online using youtube or tutorials or even get the books for free from torrents sites. When you are ready for an exam u can then pay for the certification exam and can start looking for a job

    Its also advisable to have a small portfolio of projects u have done in your area of specialty as a means to validate ur skills If certification is too expensive for u, u can use the projects to get an entry level jobs then certify whilst on the job

    for example here are 8 professions u can do cheaper & faster using online resources
    1. Web developer
    *Codeacademy tutoral in html, css & javascript
    *Certify using MSCD App Builder (HTML5 & JavaScript) – 3 exams ($165 each)
    Codeacademy tutorial
    Certify php skills using Zend Certification

    2. Network engineer
    Comptia N+ ($200)
    CCNA ($200)

    3. PC technician
    *Comptia A+ ($200)

    4. Mobile developer
    *Java Certification for android app development ($200)
    *ios development

    5. Digital marketer
    *6 Free Google certification exams
    *1 Free Google Analytics certification exam
    *Hubspot Inbound certification (free)

    6. IT auditor/IT risk/IT governance/iT security
    *ISACA certifications CISA/CISM

    7. Software developer
    C++
    Java
    Python

    7. Database Administrator
    *Mysql Certification
    *Oracle Certification
    *Microsoft Server Administration certification

    8. Systems Administrator
    *Comptia Server+ or
    *Linux certification or
    *Microsoft Server Administration certification

  11. Techie says:

    Speaking from experience i studied IT at University.However the honest truth from my end is that most of the things we were taught were text book material and not meaning to belittle the Zim education system but i basically had to start from the beginning when i started my professional work.I later on decided to do an ERP certification and to be honest for me this has worked out better as compared to what i would have achieved with a degree.I now work for a company that does ERP consulting and has offices in 19 different countries.I work with some of the brightest minds in the world and you will be surprised with the qualifications that they have (some hardly have any degrees/university education) but are really intelligent and have delivered some of the biggest projects in the world.They instead did IT certifications and specialised in their areas.
    At our company a degree is not a prerequisite to get a job but rather an IT certification.
    Basically what i am saying is it all depends on the individual and what you want to pursue.An IT degree at a university might not necessarily be the best option.
    Personally i recommend online courses such as those offered by treehouse and Udemy.These are really hands on and with treehouse you actually work on real scenarios that you will come across in the work environment.
    My personal belief is Technial education is and should be more superior than university education.
    I have ditched my plans for a masters degree and am now focusing on getting more IT certifications in line with where i want to take my career and this has allowed me to focus on where my career will be going in the next coming years.
    It is also important to look at the trend in the market and where the future is going.Some companies are actually considering removing the degree classification from their requirements eg EY.
    I personnaly urge people not to follow the normal straight line method of getting a degree and looking for work.So much is changing around the world and in the employment environment that most people need to keep up to date with.Its an argument that most people are not willing to swallow or take in but thats the hush reality.University education might not be the best option.

    1. Kunta KInte says:

      Techie Your comment maybe very correct but guys in an exam be it a degree or professional one, I as the examiner would ask What as the topic of this discussion. The topic was
      ” what-is-the-best-college-to-study-ict-in-zimbabwe-in-2017″ That is what we expected to discuss not whether one should go to varsity or not Please editor get it right

  12. Summarising what I got from the comments and what i personally recommend:
    – University education in computer related fields is not the most efficient way to get tech skills
    – However, ensure that you get the foundations of computer science especially by understanding computer architecture, data structures, Math & Quantitative stuff/stats etc…
    – While online videos are great, books are the best way to get most of this knowledge. If you have the money, buy them online and educate yourself. if money is a problem, torrent them via free internet hotspot (TelOne, ZOL, etc… offer these)
    – The future is going to be self-paced online education – don’t fight it. Usually the earlier accept a reality and align with it the better
    – As a techie, doing freelance work may be good for you, getting a job may also be good for you, starting your own startup may also be good for you, but don’t let anyone tell you one is better than the other. We’re a different and we define success differently.
    – Careful when someone says Zuckerberg, Page, Masiyiwa did this and that… You are not them. You have your own background and methods that will work for you. Just make sure you’re as exposed as possible (which means read many many books not just CS ones) also watch more good documentaries and less entertainment type movies. You have limited time.
    – You won’t be taught how to hack in class – go out into the world and hack. the best lessons will come from doing stuff and failing

  13. PJ says:

    yhaa pakaipa…. well i just thought of sharing this with you people…. learning online is great but theres something that you get by just attending university that you dont get by studying online only. Hell Bill Gates did both …why shouldnt i ?…..im currently a student at UZ and a part time lead developer and IT admin at one of Zimbabwe’s largest Hardware Retailer…

  14. kunta kinte says:

    Can we please have an article titlted “What Is The Best College To Study ICT In Zimbabwe In 2017?”
    It should tell us what is best college to study ITIt should compare programs that are available at Zim colleges and should show how mordern is the curriculum. which program leans towards academia and which one is practical. believe you me there are so many options that our kids need to know.

    This article had that title then goes on to say theres no need to go to college

  15. Kundai says:

    I have 7 O’ levels but I don’t have maths, can I qualify to do a programming Course?

    1. Anonymous says:

      no

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