For many students, having a study buddy can be helpful when it comes to academic performance, as they both help one another understand the study material. This was the case for twin brothers Dylan and Jarrod Watson’s success story. The brothers completed their undergraduate degrees in B.Com Information Technology (IT) Management at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and now plan to start an IT company together in the future.
The Watsons recently graduated from UJ, and are currently doing their honours degrees in B.Com Informatics. The 22-year-old siblings say it is important for today’s youth to be educated in the field of IT as many organisational processes in the modern world include technology. “As the future of conducting business moves toward online and automated systems, I think it is critical to pursue a career in IT because our country needs to keep up with the trends and stay competitive,” says Jarrod.
Dylan and Jarrod grew up playing various computer games and their love for technology led to their decision to study IT. They’ve always believed that learning something that they both love would shape their careers in a positive way.
Although they are fond of playing computer games, the pair says that it is important to use time sparingly as a student. “By consistently working hard and being diligent with our studies, we managed to complete the course. It is critical to balance our social and student lives and manage both accordingly. We believe in the idea of ‘put in the effort now and benefit later’,” Jarrod explains.
Determined to accumulate knowledge now and benefit later when starting a family IT company, Jarrod says the first step to take after finishing his postgraduate degree is to seek employment and gain experience. His ambition is to later work at overseas-based IT companies before going his own way in business ventures. “I would like to go overseas and work in the IT industry there. This has been my dream for a long time. I have never left South Africa and I believe it will be a great learning curve to experience different countries, and their cultures and technologies,” says the hopeful Jarrod.
Jarrod says studying the same course with his brother was helpful because it enabled them to communicate to each other the work, which in essence is like lecturing each other. “It has benefited us throughout our studies and made an impact on the marks we received. Verbally engaging and communicating the work is a good method for understanding it better,” he added.
The twins have similar goals and dreams. For Dylan, the most important thing with regards to his qualification is that technology is always advancing and as a qualified graduate in IT, he needs to maintain the knowledge and understanding of these new trends.
“To complete my degree alongside my best friend, my twin brother is one of the greatest experiences I have shared with him. Despite the ups and downs, we have pulled through together and have completed one of our life goals as brothers. Studying at UJ brought joy to our lives. Not only have we gained knowledge, but we are continuing to grow as people and the environment is also encouraging. There are a lot of driven students here – all from various backgrounds – and we value our opportunity to learn with these great people. UJ is one of the best institutions in South Africa and we feel privileged to be part of it,” says Dylan.
Dylan and Jarrod say that their course is important for the country because the youth are the driving force that embraces new technology in the world. The two believe that South Africa should invest in its own young graduates to ensure that the country maintains a competitive edge in the industry by retaining skills and employing local graduates.
This year, UJ is funding the postgraduate studies of both Jarrod and Dylan.