I have enjoyed this post immensely and I have the following comments.
I have been in I.T in Nigeria for quite a while now and I have only managed to spot One (1) CCIE and guess what? His is holding a political position in my home state!!!!
Certifications generally are a good tool but like most good tools are often abused. It took my about 2 years of reading and practise to gain my MCSE back in 2007, but I know of boot camps in the U.S and other parts of the world offering MCSE (Security) status guaranteed in as little as 15days. I am sure there are similar arrangements for the CCIE status. What this suggests is that this certs are available for the man ready to pay top dollars.
In most of Africa, the curriculum for Computer Science CS degrees is really weak. I have had to train CS graduates who graduated magna *** laude and even summa *** laude (while I was a trainer at Aptech)who knew nothing of say TCP/IP and OSI reference model. For such graduates, the only way to go will be to get certified, right? Maybe...
In Nigeria specifically, the typical description for an average I.T job reads as follows:
1. CS graduate (magna cumm laude)
2. Less than 25 years of age and
3. Certs as an added advantage
Note that the first 2 are requirements and the certs are only addition qualifications that may enable you outshine anyone that stopped only at number 2.
As a trainer, I noticed that some of the brightest students I trained where not CS graduates at all. So if the the main requirement for any I.T job is a CS degree (in Nigeria unfortunately it still is) the CCIE, MCSE, CCVP etc may not be of much help if you are not a CS graduate (I happen not to be one).
Immigrating??? The politics of it is killing!!! I got a job for an I.T group in Canada and at the phone interview stage, aside commending my skill set, the next and most important question I was asked is... 'Do you have a work permit?'Of course I answered in the negative and that was the end of the interview!!!!
I currently work where most of the 'exotic staff' ( I wont call a good number of them expatriates of experts for that matter)work on the possession of business visas and are treated like royalty even with apparently dubious qualifications. I even have one that claims he came from 'Microsoft India'??? lol
As long as these requirements remain in place in most of Africa and the immigration issues remain in the west, I.T certifications I dare say is not for the African to get a job
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