Shaquile “ShaQ” Majawah was working as a CCTV installation technician in his home country of Malawi when he decided it was time to further his career opportunities. The first step was to pursue higher education, and he set his sights on attending a university in the United States. “A U.S. education has more weight, more value,” he explained.
He found American National University’s Roanoke Valley Campus through a Google search, and secured the necessary paperwork to come over and begin his studies in the network support associate’s degree program last July.
“I’ve been interested in computers since I was young, but they were confusing. I wanted to understand them better, and now that I’m studying them it’s easy,” ShaQ explained.
His career goal is to be a security administrator, securing data through computer networking. Once he obtains his network support associate’s degree, he plans to utilize the convenience of ANU’s progressive educational pathways by immediately rolling right into the campus’s network administration bachelor’s degree program.
“I want to keep earning certifications to lock in all the skills that I need.”
The IT programs at ANU have recently been streamlined to make sure they are in line with the current job market. “There’s been a big push to gear them more toward certifications, and to make students more marketable to employers,” explained Roanoke Valley Campus IT department chair John Warf. Students enrolled in the network programs now receive vouchers to take the related certification exams as part of their course materials, and with a Pearson VUE testing center on site, students can complete their certification exams in the convenience of the campus itself.
ShaQ found the certification aspect of ANU’s network programs to be a huge draw. He recently earned his Network Pro and CompTIA A+ certifications and is looking forward to earning more, including Network+, Security+, and Microsoft certifications. “I want to keep earning certifications to lock in all the skills that I need,” he stated.
He feels the education he’s receiving at ANU is exactly what he was looking for. “The course material is going to take me there. It’s in line with what I want to learn,” he said, mentioning a recent class assignment, in which students were tasked with using computer software called Raspberry Pi to design a project, such as a garage door opener, video game emulator, or smart house controller.
He also likes the friendly instructors and welcoming atmosphere he’s found at ANU. “The instructors will always help you,” he explained. “They always ask us to do more. It’s a good balance of the theory and the practical.”
A-Shaquile Majawah came from Malawi to the U.S. to study network support at the Roanoke Valley Campus of ANU.
B-Shaquile has already earned his Network Pro and CompTIA A+ certifications, with plans to earn several more.