Demand for professional BCS qualifications grows

Growing demand for BCS qualifications has brought major landmarks for the society's Information Systems Examinations Board...

More than 1,000 IT people start work on Iseb qualifications every month. New practitioner certificates in software testing and in IT service management are being introduced above the existing foundation certificates in both areas, offering experienced people the chance to get formal qualifications. "There has been a surge in demand for a broader range of software testing qualifications as this growing branch of the profession gets the recognition it deserves," says BCS manager Steve Causer. "This in turn has stimulated further demand for skilled testing practitioners across all sectors of industry." More than 7,000 people have taken the foundation certificate in software testing in the four years since its launch. In the service management field, the new practitioner certificate will offer people 10 disciplines to specialise in, from change management to service desk management, problem management and configuration management. It will be launched in November. "This new qualification is designed both for professionals who have completed the foundation certificate and want to enhance their career opportunities by specialising in one service area, and for people with many years' experience in an area," Causer says. Candidates will take accredited training, with assignments contributing to their marks, and an exam. More than 17,500 people have taken the foundation certificate since 1995, including 7,630 last year alone. Meanwhile, several existing Iseb qualifications have reached major landmarks. The certificate in project management for information systems, launched in 1991 as attention focused increasingly on the poor success rate of IT projects, recently had its 5,000th candidate. The certificate found instant demand. Within five years more than 500 people were taking courses and exams every year. A diploma was added later as an advanced qualification. One of the Iseb's newest qualifications, the certificate in IS consultancy practice, launched a year ago, has seen its first candidates taking the exam. At the same time, the Iseb business systems development diploma in data management has gained its first successful candidate. The diplomas, also available in systems analysis and design, the SSADM 4+ development method, business analysis, and rapid application development, are demanding, requiring candidates to choose typically five topics, with each leading to a certificate in its own right. The first successful candidate for the diploma in data management was Keith Gordon, formerly a data management strategist for the army and now a self-employed consultant. He has been involved in the field for 10 years and wanted formal recognition for his experience. "I joined the BCS for the professional status and became interested in the diploma through my membership of the BCS Data Management Specialist Group," Gordon says. "I really enjoyed doing the qualification." Growing demand for BCS qualifications has brought major landmarks for the society's Information Systems Examinations Board (Iseb), plus the launch of high-level qualifications in software testing and IT service management, writes John Kavanagh.

Iseb qualification areas
  • Business and management skills

  • Business systems development

  • Data protection

  • Dynamic systems development method

  • Information communication technology

  • Information security management

  • IS consultancy practice

  • IT service management

  • Programme and project support office

  • Project management

  • Software testing.

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