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UGANDA: Continuous learning is key to your future

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“We do not hire graduates so we can tell them what to do. We hire them so they can tell us what to do”… Steve Jobbs, Apple Inc.

“People will not lose jobs because of being illiterate. They will lose jobs because they do not learn”… I think Richard Branson said this.


It is the reason why some companies grow and some economies grow.  It is because they believe in continuous learning. Continuous education of their employees or their citizens.

Let me tell you a story.

During my bachelor’s studies, I was working with a company.  This company believed in suppressing voices of knowledge. Actually, now I know it was not the company.  It was the manager I had.  She used to breathe down my neck yelling at me about what I had to do.  One time I got enough and told her “why hire me when you already know everything?”  I quit and went back to school.  I did not need that shit.

Later, I was hired by a company which only looked at my transcripts. They were some good though. Imagine my shock when this company proceeds to send me for training 30 – 45 days a year.  I even had no idea why I was being punished.  FACT is this company had hired me because of knowing that I could learn and keep learning.

The interesting thing about the IT field is constant change.  So you will find many great employers who do not ask for what certification you have before they hire you.  Many only want to know that you can learn.  AND they will pay for your learning.  Learning is constant.  What I knew after my master’s degree is no longer applicable.  So I have had to continuously take courses.

Sure!  Not all companies can spend $100,000 a year on sending their employees for training.  But in this case, then remember something else which Steve Jobbs said.  One time he was asked “but if you send them for training, they might go and work elsewhere”.  His reply “but what if you do not send them for training and they end up remaining?”

What Ugandans (and some of you others) need to know is the average company spends up to 40% on your benefits.  All sorts of benefits.  But look for the company which spends more on education.  They will keep sending you for training at their expense.  So if you were to look at a salary of $100,000 and judge it for being low, remember that the other benefits (training included) can amount to $140,000 a year when tabulated.  So really, try to go for an employer who pays for your training.

Why training is important now, especially for IT people is because the courses are very expensive.  If your employer pays for your training, this training will never be taken out of your head.  AND in the dot boom and bust era, most downsized people will have learned enough current skills to go and get a job elsewhere or even go into consulting.

Why do I mention training now?
Because I have a good friend who recently asked me what certifications I had in IT.  I told him I have none.  He said “I am surprised.  I thought at least you had Microsoft Certification or CISCO”.  Now, here is the problem with Uganda.  You have both those certifications but you are unemployed.  Who told you that cerfitifications and degrees get you a well paying job?  I likely have both but would never use them as my qualifications.  What is needed is to demonstrate what you have done with those certifications and your degree.  It is public knowledge that Ugandan degrees are useless (at least most of them) for why would they be so qualified and only end up as slaves for Arabs?

What if your employer does not provide training?  Well, there are so many free online courses you can take so you should consider it.  Why be on the Internet (Uganda social bundles) only to read gossip and not use the chance to learn.  LEARN.  Teach yourself.  Learn because it is the real life now and the future.

Why will robots or AI (Artificial Intelligence) take over your job?  Because now machines can learn.  If you as a human being cannot learn or teach yourself, then we will teach the machines to learn and replace you.

In 2015 when I first started writing and editing for my EDITOR, he said “Leah, I am not so sure about you.  All you do is write about computers and business. You will never learn to be a news reporter”.  My reply “I will show you that I can”.  The rest is history.  BUT he also had to help me to learn how to write human stories instead of looking at numbers, bits and bytes.  So it shows that anyone can learn anything.  Maybe you do need a good teacher and GOOGLE is a great teacher.

Martha Leah Nangalama
Passionate about Education, Reading and Writing. AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: April 11, 2018 at 01:38PM

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