Facial hair on male ITers, far from being geeky, is a sign of credibility in the IT industry, according to recent research
A survey of 50 IT consultants by public relations firm Lewis revealed that beards are an important status symbol within the industry.
Researchers showed five different beard types to the consultants and asked which type of characteristics were associated with the different styles. The results were:
The full set or "strokey", shows absolute technical mastery to the point of obscurity. An exclusive club of perennial beard wearers, whose hirsute role models may include Frank Dobson or Ken Bates, this group signifies real technical credibility.
The close crop or "Sugar" - as popularised by Alan Sugar - shows that technical ability is mixed with commercial awareness. "I want to be wild, but acceptable" is the message.
The "bushee" is favoured by the older man and rose to fame on the faces of Karl Marx and Grizzly Adams. The wearer is likely to have knowledge of older technologies but probably not the latest gadgets.
The chin strap or "barn raiser" is an ancient style beloved of southern baptists and the Amish community. Its wearers may understand the technology, but be unable to relate to others.
The goatee, as sported by the likes of David Beckham and Ali G, marks a recent technology player - a newcomer to whom technology is secondary to market trends. A fast-mover, the wearer of this beard is likely to be younger and quick to learn new technologies.