A career in Information Technology can be rewarding and lucrative. In fact, it is one of the top 10 highest paying jobs in the world. In 2017, it was ranked at number three by Career Addict, one of the leading online career and employment sites.
In Hong Kong, a chief information officer or chief technology officer can command a salary of US$465,406 per year. They are responsible for ensuring that the IT systems in a company meet itsrequirements and, are alsoaccountable for solving any problems, within their power, by using current technology.
For Chevaughn Robinson, software developer at Management Control Systems (MCSystems), a member of The Jamaica National Group, and one of the leading IT companies in Jamaica and the Caribbean, the use of problem-solving skills was one of the attractions for him to pursuethis career.
“What I like about this career is that it enables you to be creative and solve complex problems. You are able to create computer programs that carry out real world functions, something independent of you. Therefore, it empowers you to be innovative,” he related.
The 27 year-old was, however, quick to state that IT was not his first love.He wanted to be a mechanical engineer, however, he was hooked after his IT teacher at Old Harbour High School, Michael Melbourne, introduced him to computer programming.
“I was solving ‘one off’ problems that were basic. Then it became empowering to actually create software and developprograms to tell the computer what to do and when to do it. That’s when I became hooked on it and realized that I needed to take it further and learn more in the field,” he disclosed.
Robinson said that he successfully completed the Caribbean Secondary Examinations in Mathematics, English Language, Information Technology, Social Studies, Integrated Sciences, Principle of Business andAccounting.Later,he matriculated to the University of Technology, Jamaica, where he pursued the Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science.
He explained that no two daysare the same, on the job. He isalways occupied with new projects and what he enjoysmost,is the challenge tosolve problems and deliver projects on time.
“The fact that you take on new challenges and actually solve real issues, particularly in the banking industry, where we are focused,is stimulating,” he said, explaining his job at MCSystems.
Some of the projects that he has worked on included the roll out of the CardlessCash Deposit machines by JN Bank. The Smart ATMs with eDeposit capabilitiesallow persons to make cash deposits to any JN Bank account without the need for a debit card.He was also integrally involved in the Mobile Point of Sale, which is card payment solution that accepts debit and credit cardsby the use of a smart phone.“We bring new software to market and automate a lot of manual work. Therefore, we work on innovative projects and incorporate the newest technologies. We try to keep current in all the areas we work in, ensuring that we are on top of assignments, and maintain a degree of flexibility in steering projects,” he explained.
He said that his career offers the opportunity for him to travel overseas to conferences and training. One such conference he attended was Money 2020, which was held in Las Vegas in the United States last year. The Conference, attracts visionaries and innovators from across the spectrum who are inventing new technology to spend, manage, save, borrow, share and protect money.
Robinson plans to continue in the field, creating greater impact in the society by contributing to new technologies and solving IT problems.
Commenting on compensation, he said that software developers are fairly well paid but, he also noted that,the career offers a platform to earn outside of a nine-to-five job.
“While you may be limited, in terms of growth in a company, as a software developer, you are a creator; therefore, you are not limited to themonetary value that you earn from a regular nine-to-five job. You can actually create products and offer your software on public forums, such as on the app stores and build your own services. Hence, your income is only limited by your own creativity,” he explained.
A nature lover, who unwinds by going to the beach and parish hopping, he said that he is motivated by family and friends. At the same time,he would like to leave a mark on the IT sector.
“What motivates me is the opportunity to enhance the IT infrastructure here in Jamaica and to represent Jamaica internationally,” he revealed.
Robinson encourages young persons seeking to pursue a career in IT to consider software development, as it offers many stimulating opportunities.
“Your services will always be in demand, if you are a skilled software developer. If you are not working, it is because you do not want to work. There is so much work to be done,and so many companies seeking competent employees to improve the quality of their offerings. Consequently, there isalways a need forqualifiedsoftware developers to produce qualityprogramsin this highly competitive industry,” he maintained.