This week meet Frank Opolot…a Software Engineer; running his own ICT Company. He walks us through his career from S.6 to where he is today. He chose to go to an institute instead of a university. How did that shape his life?
Name: frank opolot
Higher education: A Leading institute of ICT in Uganda
Course: Advanced Diploma in soft ware engineering [3 years]
Why chose an institute and not a university?: The institutes tend to have more equipment for each student. Each of us had our own tools to learn for example I had a computer and the necessary gadgets to myself throughout the course.
What is software engineering all about?: The course is given to us in packages of certificates, diplomas and higher diploma all in the same package.
- Certificate in systems management,
- Diploma in information systems management
- Higher diploma in information systems management
- Higher diploma in soft ware engineering
- Advance diploma in soft ware engineering
Who told you about this institute? I had a cousin who had gone to this instate and he was doing really well. I always saw him with contracts from big companies.
Everyone wants to have a degree what made you choose a diploma? I was admitted by 3 universities but I needed hands on knowledge and because those Universities have so many students, they have to share the computers. I needed a hands-on course. And I had heard that in institutes you are given your own computer and material to read even before a lecture.
Why did you choose ICT? I loved it..and since I was a child I loved gadgets , unscrewing radios and watches. But I admired Bill gates and what he has built.
Cost of the course:- Back then we were paying $800 per semester and for the 3 years I paid about 7,200,000/= The USSD by then was at about 1500. Today the cost would be about 12,000,000/=
Almost every parent says they want a degree for their child, how did you get your parents to pay for a diploma which is more expensive than a degree? My dad too demanded that all of us have a degree no matter what type it was. We had debates as a family because my 2 brothers have degrees and I being the 3rd born…you can imagine. So we had to look at degree holders without jobs in contrast with those who had gone for a hand-on course. Considering the results, the hands-on course though it was a diploma won the debate.
Major: I majored in systems management after looking for what the market needed. This includes maintenance, repairs, data base management and soft ware. This is because I wanted to fit into the market immediately.
Any jobs while at school? I was an enrollment officer with electoral commission in 2010 and when I performed so well, when elections came in, I was needed to tally votes.
Jobs after school:- I worked with a company that paid me so little for the work, and they could not exhort my knowledge and abilities. So I went into personal business. I began an internet café with 2 computers.