Many IT professionals in Toronto argue that the profession needs greater recognition, some kind of benchmark to demonstrate professionalism. The argument goes that professions such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, and surveyors all have their professional bodies and practitioners need to be registered – or they just can’t work in the industry.
Would the IT profession in Toronto benefit from a similar standard benchmark of professionalism?
It’s a complex subject. IT is a relatively young industry compared to the law or accountancy, and it is very fast-moving. Opponents of a ‘chartered status’ argue that the market itself dictates who is good and who is not.
In the United Kingdom there is a chartered benchmark designed by the British Computer Society (BCS) called the CITP – Chartered Information Technology Professional. As can be seen when exploring the application and assessment process, it is quite involved and can take some time. CITP is not just given to anyone who wants a few extra letters after their name.
I am a CITP myself, but nobody has ever asked me to prove my CITP status when applying for a job. A lawyer would probably not get hired if he was not registered at a certain level with the relevant law society, so what is the point of the CITP? If I don’t need it then why go to the trouble and expense of obtaining it?
I called the BCS director of professionalism, Adam Thilthorpe, earlier today to explore some of these issues and to find out if the CITP that already exists in the UK could be applied to Toronto.
In these embedded Audioboo recordings you can hear me discuss with Adam:
Where did CITP come from and what does an IT professional get from it?
Is the lack of CITP recognition because IT is a new profession?
What is the BCS doing to try achieving greater recognition?
Is IT just not valued in society?
What are the tests and process of becoming a CITP?
Nobody has ever asked to see my CITP – what value does it have?
Where does the CITP apply – is it going global?
At the end of our call Adam told me that they are putting together international versions of the CITP in languages other than English, and also that the BCS has recently signed a licensing deal with the Open Group to help further the use of the CITP. As IT Decisions recently reported, The Open Group has started operating in Toronto so perhaps the professional standards so many in Toronto are seeking will be here sooner than expected?