Getting into the Field of Tech: Q & A with an Associate Professor of Computer Science

What every aspiring female tech professional should know

Isioma Ononye
4 min readMar 9, 2023

Vivian Ogochukwu Nwaocha is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the National Open University of Nigeria and she started off her career wanting to be an Engineer.

She initially dreamed of becoming an Engineer because she felt she could do well in that field.

Then, during her time in school at the industrial training at a Project Development Institute in Lagos, Nigeria, she discovered another career.

From her studies, she could tell there were products but no one was coming up to do anything with the products. She then told the Director that people could exhibit the products online.

From then on, she learned on her own. After completing her career as a Methodological Engineer, she went into Computer Science and after that, she did her Masters and her PhD.

In addition, Vivian has skills in IT and so she became a Network Administrator who also managed hotel systems.

Also, during her time in her school, she witnessed there were some cyberattacks so she decided to do her research focusing on DDOS because that was trending.

From there on, she went into cybersecurity and it’s been exciting.

Her research has been into assistive technologies and multimedia, making learning more interesting.

She also has a passion for inclusiveness because most of the resources do not include those with disabilities.

Furthermore, Vivian has worked around data protection, mobile learning and e-learning.

Vivian has gotten numerous grants for her work and describes her career as an exciting one filled with adventures, lessons learned and breakthroughs.

You can read on for more on my interview with Vivian.

How would you advise students who want to get into ICT?

The first step is being determined because for IT, you have to be focused.

Also, in this field, you are constantly learning. You have to therefore be ready to be innovative.

You should also constantly update and improve your skills.

In addition, whatever theory you are learning, you should ensure that you practicalise it before you get into the office job.

I always encourage my students to get hands-on experience.

We have learning platforms like Oracle, Cisco and IBM. These are resources we have free of charge and I tell my students to make use of these courses.

You have to be relevant because in the IT world, if you are not skilled, your certificate will not get you any job.

What are the Benefits of Working in ICT?

There are lots of advantages to working in ICT because as a career, we have many different fields in IT.

There is Artificial Intelligence which is quite broad. We have cyber-security and we also have digital science.

In these three fields, there is always some innovation and novelty.

In Cybersecurity, my field, you can go into Auditing and later become a Manager.

For AI, there is Robotics, Machinery, National Language Experts or Speech Recognition.

How Can Women in ICT Embrace Equality?

For women, I believe we have all it takes because in the tech world, it’s all about discovery and innovation.

I believe women have all the potential and I want to encourage more women coming up.

Though there are challenges when it comes to not having equal support and there might be limitations, there are ways to get support and I want to encourage women to become Digital Experts!

Women must be focused and invest in their development and always explore opportunities for supporting other women.

How Can More Women and Girls Be Safe Online?

For women, especially those in ICT, we have to be careful to ensure that we protect our data.

Cybersecurity has to do with protecting systems, networks, programs and anything digital.

We need to protect data while on rest, in motion and once it gets to the user.

This means we ensure we have confidentiality, integrity and availability.

Availability means ensuring the data you have is available to the authorised user.

Also, ensure that whenever the user uses it, it is accessible.

Confidentiality means you have privacy.

Also, when it comes to internet banking. Please, do not click on links without confirming because there is a lot of phishing.

Phishing is when you are lured to provide information and then all of your details are accessed.

You have to make sure that your systems are upgraded, especially your operating system.

Also, do not give out your passwords. When you give your password to someone else, then the money goes.

In addition, when it comes to social media. You have to be mindful of how you post because people can track where you are and what you are doing.

For the full video, watch the interview on YouTube here.

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Isioma Ononye

I write about self-esteem, faith, mental health, women’s issues, social media & 🎥TV + Movie Reviews. 🗞️Newsletter: https://substack.com/@isiomaononye