IT Qualifications and career advice?

The Raven

Jan 27, 2017
Hi all I am looking for advice in what IT Qualifications/path I should take, including career prospects and what career path I should take. I’m not sure where to start off with my explanation so I’ll jump right in to it.
First off I would like to start off by saying I am very passionate about IT and computers. I enjoy building them, fixing them, and solving computer related issues. I also have a passion for PC gaming been doing it since I was a kid. For Informational purposes I am going to tell you about my academic and school issues. I have something what you would call a learning disability, I primarily struggle with intermediate level maths, in high school I did Ok in basic algebraic maths sums. I didn’t struggle but it took me a while to grasp it. That was properly the highest-level maths I have done in my life. Because of this issue and my lack of motivation and insight on how important a matric was for University purposes it did not enable me to get the NSC. So, at my school there was this vocational program. That would offer a sort of equivalent qualification to a matric on NQF 4 level. It was called IT technical Support. I passed all my unit standards and everything. So this year I enrolled at Varsity Collage, I am going to study a Higher Certificate in IT support services which is on NQF 5 level. I don’t know how I got in but I did.
Now I want to be involved on the Hardware/Networking side of IT. The only reason why I don’t want to go in to the programing side of things is because I am afraid it would require very complicated mathematical concepts such as Calculus and Advanced Equations. Correct me if I am wrong. Now I know that programing has a massive demand worldwide and in this is Country, I am also well aware that it pays much better than being on the hardware side of things. I have tried programing but only in the slightest of a sense I took about 10 Lessons of Ruby online and I found it slightly difficult but only because It was not being taught by a real person I find that being taught face to face is a much easier way of learning. Also, I didn’t really enjoy the concept of working with code, I don’t know but I don’t find it appealing or exciting.

So, for the start of my Career in IT
I would like to work in Helpdesk and Support. Preferably in 2nd line support. I don’t know if that will be possible for a first job but I don’t think so. From there on I would like to get in to the networking side of Corporate IT. Now I don’t know how it would work for a person that was in help desk or technical support to move on to working in Networking or becoming a Network Admin or a Sys admin. I am not sure how the Career roadmap works. So if possible I’d like that question answered and explained.
After I have Worked long enough in Networking and Network management or server management and gained enough experience in that field. From there on I have a few options. I become a network/server engineer. Or known as a Network architect. Or I could become a IT Project Manager or I could become An IT Manger. I don’t know if IT Project manager and IT Manger are the same thing. Possibly the end game for my career would be becoming a Senior IT manger or IT division manager. Just bear in mind I don’t want to become An IT executive or something like a CIO or CTO. Basically, as an end game I want to be in charge of the entire of the Technical Side of an IT division in a company.
So that is my entire career roadmap now I probably have given a horrible version of a roadmap but just bear in mind I am 19 years of age and I have zero professional knowledge of the inner workings of company structure, Nor do I know the hierarchy of an IT Division or Business unit.

So, to the next part of my post this is Regarding my Qualification and Certification road map.

So, this is option 1
So, as I mentioned before this year I am studying a higher certificate in IT Support Services Which will take me 1 year. So, after that I go do a Diploma. Regarding my Diploma, I have 3 choices I study a Diploma in IT at Damelin. I Study a Diploma in IT network management at Rosebank college or I study a diploma in IT Management at Rosebank. After that I will get my Comptia A+ and N+ though Boston City Campus. Then I shall get a Job.
In a total this option will take me 4 and a half years.

Option 2
I Complete my Higher Certificate in IT support services. After that I go to my matric though brain line which will take me 2 years according to the advertisement on their website. So, I can do a Degree and have it on my CV because a matric is the Basic requirement to get a job.
Regarding doing a degree in IT I’ve noticed that most of these Degrees are often very Scientific and have a lot of programing and Mathematics in them. None of them seem to have a technical aspect to them. Regarding a Degree, these are the following ones that are my options.

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology at CTI 3 years
Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences at Monash. 3 years
In a total this option will take me 6 years.

Option 3
Option 3 is virtually the same as option 1 but instead after I complete my diploma I go to a Degree now with these degrees they don’t require a matric, the only requirement is a Diploma. So, my choices are as follows.

Bachelor of Commerce in Information Management at damelin 3 years
Bachelor of IT in Business Systems at Rosebank College 3 years

In a total this option will take me 7 years of studying.

I don’t really know what option to pick regarding my proposed career path. Like I don’t know if a Diploma and certifications will be good enough. I am really stumped on what I should pick regarding College/University Qualifications. The thing is Computer Science is to math and Science orientated and it has programing which I’m not really interested in doing due to the math side of things.

Now for the Certification side of things

. After I complete a Relevant Diploma or Degree then I am deciding on doing my CompTIA A+ and N+. Once I have been working for a few years then I shall do my CCNA and a Microsoft Certification I’m not sure on which I shall choose.
Now that’s about all I think I need to cover.


Now I would please if possible like some of these following questions answered Thanks.

The Most Important Question of them all.

1. Is a Diploma going to get me a Job and is a Diploma a good thing to have?

2. What Diploma Should I choose out of the following I have listed?

3. Is my career path correct in how I have explained it and what is your opinion on it?

4. Does the stuff i want to study correlate with my career path and prospects? If not, Why?

Stupid question

5. Will they hire me even I don’t have a matric but I have a diploma and Certifications?

6. How much math does programing really require and do you need to be good at maths do be a programmer?

Sorry about the long post but I really want an external opinion and guidance about this matter. Starting my collage and work era of my life is very important and I want to make sure I do it currently and right. I would apricate any input I get and it would mean so very much. Thanks.



Senior Member
Oct 3, 2011
What about getting your NSC, while doing that self study CCNA R&S and something else if you finish it before?

I could be completely wrong but i'm pretty sure CCNA, CCNP, maybe some sec cert and +-4 of work experience > A job with Bachelor of Science in Information Technology at CTI + no work experience


Expert Member
Oct 27, 2012
IMO in IT fields diplomas waste your time. 3-4years is too long for most people I think. Lots of jobs require it though.

Certifications in IT these days help more I think. Cisco, MS, Oracle and some programming knowledge will get you far.

Networking side, do Cisco CCNA r&s, ccnp after that. Maybe some security after that. Learn basic programming, HTML CSS etc. And you can basically do l3 network support then. Some Linux knowledge also will help massively. If you want to go further also do some Juniper certs. Comptia A+ & N+ is veeery basic. CCENT teaches you more.

Time frame: CCNA can be done in 3months if you focus a lot of time on it. But don't be one of those people that study the exam and don't understand it. Study, understand, do labs etc. GNS3 helps a lot. CCNP is a year I would say. Big step forward from CCNA. I am part time studying CCNA as well.

Rest I cant comment on.