Dujon Walsham is a 23 year old IT consultant who has worked on high-profile projects such as the IT infrastructure to capture programmes for ITV Player. His current job involves helping companies like eBay and British Airways adopt cloud computing systems.
Walsham left school at 16 and went to Lewisham college to study A-levels, but found the subject matter lacked depth. "I was doing a double A-level in IT at college," he says, "but I felt I was only scratching the surface. It was great theory, but didn't really teach me the interesting side of IT, such as the actual detail of how computers work. I looked into university courses, and felt they were just more of the same," he explains.
Instead, he took the decision to study for CompTIA certifications through training provider Just IT Training, a CompTIA Gold Training Partner.
CompTIA A+ certification is designed to provide foundation-level knowledge and skills necessary for a career in PC support. It is the starting point for a career, according to CompTIA. "My first CompTIA certification took two weeks of solid study to complete. I think I lost weight. I finished the exam in 20 minutes," Walsham says.
According to Walsham, CompTIA A+ is a more career-focused IT qualification which assesses the skills the IT industry actually want.
CompTIA A+ was his first qualification. He says he is keen to expand his knowledge of IT specialisation and hopes to evolve his training and career to become an IT architect.
Walsham studied Just IT's Network Professional Programme. Through this he secured a range of IT certifications, including A+, Cisco Certified Network Associate, Linux+, and Microsoft Certified Professional. "I made the right decision to study industry certifications instead of going to university. I've no doubt there's a lot of value in university study, but in my personal opinion CompTIA A+ is far more valuable than an A-level, or even a degree for that matter, particularly in terms of actually landing a job."
Dujon's enthusiasm for the job and his keenness to keep learning in his own time has allowed him to pass a whole host of additional certifications. He has since passed CompTIA Network+ and a variety of Microsoft and Cisco certifications. As a result of his dedication and his impressive CV, he has landed several increasingly interesting and well-paid jobs.
He sees IT as a fantastic career with plenty of opportunity. "IT can be a very financially lucrative career" says Dujon, "but you should go into it because it's a fascinating career, not because of the money. The money will come later."
"Everyone should pursue something they're really interested in. If you like technology there are plenty of jobs out there that will pay you well to develop that interest. If you love your job, you'll do it well, you'll keep learning and progressing and getting more certifications. That's the greatest reward in a career. I don't feel like I'm going into work every day, I feel like I'm getting paid to do what I love."
- Follow ITWorks on Facebook
- Join the debate on Twitter using the hash tag: #itworkscw