Members want BCS to do more campaigning

IT specialists would like the BCS to step up its campaigning on IT issues, according to a survey of the society's members, writes...

IT specialists would like the BCS to step up its campaigning on IT issues, according to a survey of the society's members, writes John Kavanagh.

The survey found that members see the principal role of the BCS as setting and promoting professional standards (74%). Representing the profession to government and industry (52%) and supporting and encouraging the advancement of information systems knowledge (42%) were also felt to be important.

Asked what they thought the society's role should be in the future, 73% of members felt the setting of professional standards should continue to be a priority, but many would like to see more campaigning. They want to see the BCS representing the profession to government and industry (69%) and initiating and encouraging debate on IT issues (47%).

The survey found that BCS membership is valued for the professional status it brings, the opportunities it offers members to keep informed about industry developments, and the support it provides for individual career development. Members are interested in seeing the BCS increase its support for their career progression.

The results show that most BCS members pay for their own membership (77%). Most are satisfied with the current BCS member benefits package (67% are "very" or "quite" satisfied), especially the publications, networking opportunities through branches and specialist groups, and the Continuing Professional Development scheme.

The survey highlights how members get involved with the BCS in many ways. More than half have used the Web site in the past 12 months, 22% have attended a branch meeting and 12% have been to a specialist group meeting.

More than 70% of members currently work in IT, mainly in management, systems development or technical advice and consultancy; a further 11% are in education or training (excluding academia).

BCS membership has topped 39,000 for the first time, jumping to more than 39,500 in January. A healthy growth in the number of younger IT staff joining the society means the average age of members is falling: 26% are aged 18 to 30, 38% are aged between 18 and 35.

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