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SI Graduate Profile: Eric Were Ochieng – Going the Extra Mile


Eric could easily be termed as a die-hard fan of Strathmore University. He first became a Stratizen when he enrolled for the Diploma in Business Information Technology. He later joined its undergraduate degree equivalent and graduated in 2018. A year later, he was back in Strathmore for the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) course, which he complemented six months later with the Certified Information Systems Manager (CISM) course. It doesn’t end there. As he already has a certificate in Data Science offered by @iLabAfrica, he is toying with the idea of further investing in the new crude oil by enrolling for the Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics course. Why does he keep coming back? “You know when you are already acquainted with one place, and you are satisfied with what’s on offer, you tend to stick around.”

He was among CISA graduands at the 3rd Strathmore Institute of Management and Technology (SI) Graduation Ceremony. The CISA exam is known to be notoriously difficult with first time participants finding it particularly hard to pass. Erick, however, did so with his first try. “It was the most challenging exam I have ever sat for. What makes the exam hard is the choices you are given:  All choices are correct, you just have to pick one which is the most accurate.”

Why both CISA and CISM? Would you say it is common for people to do both?

I would say it is not really common to find people doing both of them. For instance, you will find those who have done Finance and Accounting doing CISA on its own because it entails auditing and, in the current world, auditors are required to be proficient with the current technology. You’ll then find most people in the IT field going for CISM.

I have a BBIT degree and, therefore, I have the sense of both business and IT; that is why I felt both would carry more weight for my career.

What is the difference you have seen in your workplace before you did the courses and after in the way you handle your tasks?

First of all, CISA and CISM are extremely marketable. The current market is looking for professionals with certifications that add to the academic qualifications. In my case, the courses have helped me progress at work through promotions as the new skills acquired translate to improved work delivery.

What changes are you implementing at your work place?

I am a Senior Database Administrator at Kenyatta National Hospital. We are now implementing a new system for the hospital, SAP, which is an Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Basically we are shifting the hospital to a digital system where processes – financial, patient management, administration operations such as procurement and any other hospital processes – are managed digitally.

This involves data migration which is heavy work. Working with patient data means we must ensure it is secure. You wouldn’t want your private information concerning your medical records getting into the wrong hands. Our work is to ensure that this kind of data is protected.

What comes next after the certifications?

Achieving a pass is not the ultimate goal. There’s still some way to go before becoming CISA certified. One is required to adhere to ISACA’s code of professional ethics, follow its continuing professional education programme and comply with the auditing standards. For instance, before becoming eligible, one needs to work for an additional five years while earning CPE points.

Who are you beyond these achievements? Are you a family man?

(Laughs) Not yet but hopefully soon. I play ball every week, and I also socialize a lot.


This article was written by Wambui Gachari.     


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