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Cloud expansion in SA: How to boost your job prospects

woman considering job offers

Global tech giants are increasing their presence in South Africa as the march towards cloud adoption gathers pace.

In October, Oracle announced that it is building its first cloud datacentre in Africa and that it has chosen Gauteng for its location. Over the years, Amazon has also been steadily growing its cloud services in South Africa, with a new headquarters being built in Cape Town.

All these tech developments will require more human resources in the local IT space, both inside datacentres, as well as out in the field.

What’s also encouraging is that there are more education options than ever before for South Africans who are looking to upskill themselves for this space — even if they don’t have a matric. Courses in the IT space are also becoming more accessible with major advances in online exams, virtual labs, and distance learning. 

Below are three routes you can take to pivot your career in a technology-related field.

CompTIA courses

One of the most in-demand courses that we’re seeing at Optimi College’s IT Academy is that of the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) courses. CompTIA is an American non-profit trade association that issues professional certifications for the IT industry. 

If you’re looking to become an IT Administrator, IT Technician, or IT Engineer, a CompTIA A+ can be the right starting point for you as it provides training in aspects such as networking, virtualisation, system utilities, and more.

The advantage of the CompTIA courses is that they provide you with the ability to build on your knowledge by further completing the likes of CompTIA’s Network+, Security +, Server +, and Linux+ courses. A provider such as IT Academy also offers these in discounted bundled course offerings, and the added option of also acquiring a corresponding NQF Level 4 qualification.

More Specialist courses

Another option is to specialise in a specific technology, such as Amazon’s AWS cloud offering or Oracle’s database solutions. More companies are relying on these types of technologies to run their businesses’ day-to-day operations. However, these businesses need experts to help them navigate the large array of options that these technologies present in order to maximise their use within an organisation.

For example, AWS’s EC2 server offering has over 40 instance types with each one having up to 9 different sizes. An expert, such as an AWS Solutions Architect, is then needed to help a business choose the right option within this offering, at the right cost. 

There are AWS Solutions Architect courses available that focus on areas such as deployment management, disaster recovery, and business continuity. 

On the Oracle side, you can look to build your knowledge, for example, as an Oracle Database Certified Associate. One option here is to look at courses that give you a grounding in SQL fundamentals. The Oracle 1Z0-071 course from IT Academy provides one with an overview of how SQL (Structured Query Language) works and querying data from multiple tables. 

Microsoft’s Azure cloud offering is another popular technology solution in South Africa, and there are career opportunities here as an Azure Solutions Architect.

Cyber security expert

With regulations such as POPI coming into effect earlier this year, as well as the growing work from home trends — the cyber security industry is becoming ever more important to businesses. In this field alone, there are a wide array of career opportunities from being a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) to that of a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).

There is also the CompTIA Security+ course, which provides one with knowledge in dealing with social engineering attacks, network attacks, and implementing cyber security resilience.

Taking all of this into account, there are many opportunities when it comes to pursuing a career in the IT space in South Africa. With the growing presence of major global tech giants here as well as more accessible courses, there has never been a greater time for South African workers to focus their careers into this space.

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