Samsung programme helps fuel the dreams of a young technologistShare open/close
Katlego Magoro, from Moloto in Gauteng, is one of the recent graduates of the Samsung Innovation Campus (SIC) at Walter Sisulu University in the Eastern Cape. Raised by his grandparents after losing his parents at a young age, Magoro credits his lessons in the value of hard work and attention to detail to his grandmother who works as a seamstress.
Unlike some information technology (IT) students, 24-year-old Magoro never saw himself in the field since he had a passion for social justice. He had always thought he would study law at varsity, which could afford him the opportunity to bring justice and fight for people from previously underserved communities, similar to his hometown. He applied for a law degree and was accepted at the University of Pretoria, but his space was given to someone else after failing to register in time. As a result, he was introduced to IT, particularly coding and programming, when he had to find an alternative course to study and, this was how he discovered his other passion for IT.
He enrolled for a Diploma in Information Communication Technology (ICT) specialising in Application Development at Walter Sisulu University (WSU). He fell in love with IT, despite the minor challenges he experienced in the beginning. The lecturers at WSU were supportive, which helped him gain a proper understanding of his course in his new-found passion. During his studies, he was part of a team that won a hackathon competition and he later joined the SIC programme to further enrich his IT knowledge.
Through the SIC programme, Samsung seeks to boost youth employment in the technology sector by empowering them with ICT and Fourth Industrial Revolution skills, while also encouraging them to consider opportunities as entrepreneurs in Information Communication Technology. The company forms partnerships with higher learning institutions to provide this low-volume and high-impact approach programme with courses that include Coding and Programming, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. The institutions identify the students and oversee their training and assessment in line with the content provided by Samsung.
Among other key skills offered in the programme, Magoro learned about the importance of collaborating, sharing ideas, and teamwork to produce great results. An additional skill he acquired was Data Analytics, which was not part of his main university curriculum.
“The Samsung Innovation Campus was focused on how to apply our theoretical knowledge in practice by solving real-world problems. We learned about the basics of Python programming language and how you can use it to solve any problems from data management to software development. This equipped us with the relevant tools to stand out as software developers and aspiring data analysts/scientists in this highly competitive industry. Thanks to WSU and the SIC, we now have practical skills that will enable us to make a meaningful contribution to society one day,” said Magoro.
After completing his IT diploma and the SIC programme, Magoro feels confident that he is now ready for the workplace, owing to all the scenarios and projects obtained from the programme that immensely contributed towards his readiness. He has since completed his internship at a global engineering, technology and consulting company and is now employed as a software developer in Gauteng, while also completing an advanced ICT diploma with the University of South Africa.
Much like Samsung, Magoro is deeply passionate about the potential of technology to drive positive change in the world, and further believes that particularly in South Africa, with our history of socio-economic inequality, technology can help bridge the digital divide and promote inclusion for all.
Magoro wants to use his skills in technology to help small businesses in townships across South Africa. He wants to provide these businesses with access to Big Data analytics tools and insights that can help them make informed decisions about their operations and strategies. He believes that by empowering small businesses in areas like Moloto, Mdantsane, Soweto and the like, we can help to promote greater and sustainable economic and social stability throughout the country. “Ultimately, I believe that technology can be a powerful tool for ending social divides and promoting greater equality and opportunities for all South Africans,” he added.