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IT must do more to become a profession, says BCS

Rebecca Thomson

The IT industry needs to work together more if it is to be recognised as an established profession, according to the British Computer Society (BCS).

Adam Thilthorpe, manager of the BCS professionalism in IT programme, said there is now an "urgent" need for the industry to reach the common hallmarks of a mature profession.

"Frantic" changes in the global economy mean IT must work quickly towards the creation of a standards regime, establish an over-arching governing framework, and reach a situation where the IT professional puts the needs of society above those of their career and employer. These, the society says, are the traditional milestones of a mature profession.

Thilthorpe said, "Being an IT professional is more than just being good at your job and passing exams. An established professional assumes a level of personal responsibility and accountability which is recognised by employers, customers and other professionals. It is that level of respect that is hard-earned, and therefore worth keeping, that we need to create.

"It is clear the IT industry cannot spend another 50 years before it reaches the common hallmarks of a mature profession. There are a lot of organisations out there that operate loosely on major IT issues, doing their bit to create the IT profession of the future. The BCS, along with industry partners, needs to work even harder to bring it all together - and fast, if we are to benefit fully from the brave new IT global economy."


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