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You May Think You Don’t Need Another Qualification But You Probably Do, Consider This One

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Job search has become a nightmare these days. Mainly because most recruiters now require extra skills apart from industry specific skills. Sometime back I was chatting to  a lady from an elevator repairing company and she was looking for an engineer with a marketing background!

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Gone are the days of specializing in one field and becoming satisfied with that: machines, algorithms are replacing people on a daily basis. Lawyers are now required to be tech-savvy, engineers are now required to know something about marketing, teachers are now required to have an extracurricular activity they can impart to students in some schools.

We are no longer safe with just one professional skill, these recruiters now want to us to be a jack of all trades and masters of at least one. Becoming a jack of all trades simply means you understand at elementary or advanced level something other than your professional field.

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How can one become a professional jack of all trades and a master of at least one?

Digitization and digitalization dictates that we move from ancient methods (where applicable) of doing things and migrate to digital platforms. Digitization will help curb the workload and help with data storage among other things. However for people to go fully digital, special skills are needed. Some of these skills can be obtained through Zimbabwe Open University.. ZOU has a whole department dedicated to Information Technology and Multi-Media Communication.

I like the name of this faculty. It reminds me of a guy called Nicholas Negroponte, the founder and Chair of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab. If you don’t know this guy, you should! He pretty much pre-emptied a lot of the technology that we use everyday decades before they became mainstream. Anyway the ZOU faculty name tells me they have modernised their curriculum. Media and tech can’t be separated anymore.

What do they offer?

The ZOU’s faculty of Information Technology and Multimedia Studies is dedicated to helping aspiring undergrad students and postgrad professionals to technologically maneuver this ever-changing digital world by equipping them with the right tools. The Faculty offers these 4 programs:

  1. Bachelor of IT Honours – this program is very broad because it teaches professionals from different fields. It mainly focuses on teaching students how they can apply technology in their respective fields. Students can use this program to supplement their knowledge at any stage, undergrad or post-grad.
  2. Bachelor of Software Engineering – since the beginning of time there are some repetitive tasks that we do on a daily basis. This program is designed to help techies to develop systems/applications that can automate such tasks and allow staff to be redeployed to other tasks which can not be automated.
  3. Bachelor Of Science In Multimedia Technology – this program is mainly for students who want to venture into the entertainment industry as this programming is mainly for communication. Gaming, videos, applications used for entertainment and communication are covered extensively in this program.
  4. Bachelor of Science In Network Computing – In case you want to venture into device to device communication, then ZOU is your solution. This program is for device to device communication and students will get to learn to

Implement fundamental knowledge of computer networks in managing and solving complex problems in an organisation effectively and efficiently.

All these programs are complementary programs that edify or supplement knowledge in tech as a professional. Imagine a lawyer who can develop their own website, or a teacher who can teach students how to develop gaming apps! And they will help you on a journey to becoming a jack of all trades.

How can one learn all these interactive courses remotely

1. Real-Time Video Conferencing 

In 2016 I told my cousin I was doing a postgrad online and he quickly said, online school is not real school. I know there are some people who still believe in the brick and mortar mode of learning. However in this modern day of multitasking, double majors and IoT, its only fair that we discredit the notion that one needs a desk and a chair and a class and fellow students to be considered to be in “real ” class.

The reason behind a physical class in tertiary education is to deal with sticky points. Online programs are as interactive as physical classes can get because they also allow sticky points to be addressed using tutorials and many more methods.

It is with that question in mind ( I think ) that ZOU came up with Real-Time Video Conferencing.  Any student taking any of the 4 programs listed above is entitled to Real-Time Video Conferencing. Through the My Vista Portal, all ITMC students get calendar notifications of when the Video Conferencing is going to take place.

The student can log into their portal on the day and get access to the video conference in real time or to the saved version later on. Students get to interact with their lecturer and ask questions that will be answered either by other students and or the lecturer.

2. Problem Based Learning

There are pecks that come with working and learning at the same time.  Lecturers at ZOU will give students real scenario problems for them to solve. The problems will be based on a students’ experiences be it at work or from the community they are staying in. This will enable the student to think outside the box and apply their skills into a real-life problem that they may be experiencing day in day out. This will also minimize copying and pasting as each problem is unique and will need a unique solution.

 

 

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