Engineers’ Forum has continued to talk to experts and engage stakeholders on the emerging issues among computer professionals and their roles in the Digital Economy space in Nigeria. It reaches out to Dr James Agajo who shares his thoughts on some of the issues in the ICT world.
Dr Jame Agajo is the Head, Computer Engineering department at Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria. He believes that developing a friendly user Platform to be mainstream into civil service structure can enable civil service workforce to key into Work from Home, WFH new normal.
He also believes that the Civil Service should begin to think of going Paperless, and also come up with strategies of aspect of the service that should be virtualized and the one to be Physically attended to as the work place become more digitalized.
In today’s ICT world, where certifications and degrees compete with each other in the labour market, Dr Agajo is of the opinion that both should coexist. According to him, because of the large number of out of school children and youth who are unemployment, the easy way out is to professionalize Certification, “I strongly believe that both options of certification and degree should be made available. Also certification can be taken after a degree is acquired as well, to enhance ones technical know how”.
Being the head of Computer Engineering of an Institution, it was good to confirm if he thinks there is a clear alignment among the computer professionals especially when it comes to Computer Engineers and Computer Scientists?
According to him, “COMPUTER SCIENCE” is an umbrella term which encompasses four major areas of computing: theory, algorithms, programming languages, and architecture. At the undergraduate level, programs usually cover a broad range of computing topics and allow students to engage in projects across multiple areas. He mentioned that COMPUTER SCIENCE also focuses mostly on troubleshooting issues on software level and that computer scientists are expected to learn different programming languages, how to work with operating systems and how to maintain databases and also develop Algorithms.
In the other hand, he explained that COMPUTER ENGINEERING focuses on solving problems and designing hardware and software interfaces and Embedded System technology which is the major driver of the emergence of 5G and IoT is a key player here.
He agrees that one major difference between the COMPUTER SCIENCE and COMPUTER ENGINEERING is while Computer Science hinges on Development of Programs and Algorithms, Computer Engineering involves various related fields ranging from Electronics, Telecommunication, Control, Mechatronics, Software development and Engineering.
Dr Agajo further explained that “Computer Engineering” typically focuses specifically on computer hardware and software. It is an integration of computer science and electrical engineering. For this reason, many people who want to become computer engineers earn an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering (often with a minor or double major in computer science), and then earn a graduate degree in computer engineering. He insisted that there is a direct demarcation in terms curriculum and that computer engineering don’t share the same syllabus with Computer Science.
In summary the task involve in Computer Engineering according to him is by far more than can be imagined for Computer Science.
On the Act establishing CPN, he believes the issue can be addressed from the view point of the nomenclature Engineering. To him, the mere mention of Computer Engineering in CPN Act should be resisted by bodies such as NIEEE, NSE and COREN and call on these bodies to sort out issues with CPN.
According to him, Computer Engineering is an outright Professional area, which has to do with ICT. There is a difference between ICT and IT; when it has to do with IT its Computer Science but when it has to do with ICT its Computer Engineering and Telecommunication Engineering.
The curriculum of Computer Engineering is not the same as Computer Science, registering Computer Engineering under CPN is erroneous.
Even in the era of Artificial Intelligence and robotics, Dr Agajo does not believe that robots will ever completely replace man at work place. He is of the opinion that both will continue to complement each other and also open new job opportunities as New Robotic Engineers and expert will be unveiled.
On the challenge of cyber security he advised organizations to employ experts in the field to solve the problem as it is now a full-fledged discipline in the universities.