9th: Endless opportunities
I got my first job at a time I was pursuing an accountancy qualification. My job performance indicators were a number of manual forms scanned.
Once upon a time, banks kept manual banking system. All client information was kept in a manual file folder, including deposits and withdrawals. It was not easy to do reconciliations or facilitate the first turnaround. Banks would be congested and service too slow. The scale of fraud loss of records and impersonation was high.
The technology was the solution.
I joined a bank when it was converting all clients manual records into their IT system. It was a digital agenda project in 2003. I was a very small boy during an accountancy course and was excited to get my first job at the center of automation.
I was given a computer, a scanner and a heap of customer files to scan. It was scary. If you were in that room, you would have seen how people who worked in the scanning section, the basement, looked like. They would come to work smiling. Once they reach the door to the basement, all of sudden would become annoyed and put on a tough face. The manual files were so many that the bank had planned the project to be completed in 3 years!
I spent my first day at work orienting myself about the job. I interacted with the head of the ‘scanning’ department. The fellow staff members and also visited the storage area of all the files that were to be scanned. The files were very many. In fact, the staff turnover in that department was at 70%. This means, for every new 10 staff, seven would leave within a month. That is how manual, low end and bad the job was. No hope for career advancement until the files are complete. However, with 3 years expected completion date, few young people at my age would be confident to stay.
The fact that many people ran away from the job was my motivation.
I had studied in my accountancy training that computers make the work easier, not harder. During my orientation, I noticed that the new scanners took over 3 minutes to scan a form. Some staff who start the scanner and actually sleep on their desk while waiting for it to complete! With this in mind, I knew there must be a way to make the scanner faster. But I had not yet figured how.
The evening of my first day at work, I passed by IT and requested for the scanners user manual. I was given a think handbook. That night, I read all of it. If you were with me that night at about 3 am in the morning, you would have seen my excitement when I discovered how to configure the Scanner to increase scanning speed!
The following morning, I changed the settings on my scanner. And moved around to the workstations of all staff – changing their scanner settings from default speed of three (3) minutes per scan to 30 seconds.
The results were instant. The backlog was disappearing fast.
When the bank’s operations manager came to the basement he was so surprised with the results. And all the staff pointed at me: Mustapha did some magic on the scanners and work became so easy and interesting. No more boredom scanning. Within nine months, the backlog was all gone.
The bank’s Operations Manager gave me a spot award cash prize and a promotion.
That is the power of technology. Since then, I became so passionate about the power of technology. And that is how I figured out that whereas many companies are investing in creating applications and solutions to automate business, there is a need for someone to manage the risks arising from automation.
It is like any business. When someone specializes in manufacturing vehicles, there is another one who specializes in servicing and repair. No car can move on the road without fuel. Many companies specialize in manufacturing petroleum products and distributing them and others in last-mile retail. It is an entire industry there.
You are probably reading this article on your mobile phone – how secure are you online? If you got hacked today, which person would you run to? If you explored a career in cybersecurity and digital forensics, you will have endless opportunities to work across industries – oil and gas, banking, services, manufacturing, telecommunications or government in the army or police or national information technology authority. The good thing with cybersecurity, the opportunities are endless.
Automation is taking place across all industries. This is the era of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence – where the machine is able to learn new behavior and reason like a human being or predict and do what the human would do next! Big data means that all companies need experts that can analyze huge data sets and provide informed insights to leaders. Internet of things means that the need for cybersecurity now goes beyond companies and governments to individuals and omes and schools.
Researchers are now exploring how to add a chip to the human brain. This technology, more than before will require beyond military-grade security to keep that chip very secure else the person could be manipulated and could be made mad in an instant. Another reason for a career in cybersecurity and digital forensics. When you become a cybersecurity professional, you get exposed to many things and technologies. It is like a medical doctor in a hospital – they get to see any part of their patients. That creates trust and gives them more exposure to the private life of their customers. Likewise, a pilot gets to travel to all countries they fly to and this gives them an opportunity to understand different cultures and practices.
A cybersecurity professional gets a passport to work across industries – hospitals, schools, military, banks or telecoms or small business or online expert. Below is a summary of the areas you can work in and the opportunities that await. Enroll today to start a career in cybersecurity >>. With practical skills, you succeed.
At IFIS, we focus on giving our learners hands-on skills. Forget online computer-based training (CBT) where you miss critical demonstrations and instructor secrets. At IFIS, you see it as it happens. If you want practical skills, even if you already have a degree, come and attend our class.