The Changing IT Profession

As a Fellow of the British Computer Society (BCS) a recent article on the new IT profession by the deputy CEO of the BCS, Colin Thompson, struck a chord with the current reshaping of our BIT degree. The article appeared in the BCS publication ITNow (May 2006, pp 6-7). Colin believes the IT profession:

  • Is defined in terms of its ability to play a full part in all stages of IT exploitation. 
  • Is seen as and sees itself as an integral part of the business.
  • Has appropriate non-technical skills, including management, business and leadership skills, as core competences in their own right, in addition to the more traditional technical and engineering competences.
  • Is about both Information and Technology.
  • Lays greater emphasis on the accreditation of current capability and competence rather than relying on a single historic snapshot of competence.
  • Demands greater personal responsibility on the part the practitioner.
  • Is seen as an attractive and exciting occupation and, as a result, is more attractive to a wider group of entrants than at present including those groups alienated by the current image of the profession.

Implementing these attributes probably means that the traditional ‘foundations’ in programming, software engineering and maths may need to migrate to the postgraduate level. Perhaps the new IT undergraduates need only to be introduced to suitable software tools and building blocks to generate information-aware applications rather than writing code at the statement level?

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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