The Case for College Degrees and Certifications for IT Professionals
It is true that there are no stringent Laws enforcing people working as IT professionals to hold a college degree or obtain a certification to start working. I personally disagree with the author of the book on the generalized implicit statement that Degrees and Certifications are not required for an IT professional.
The word “Profession” by itself should not be bestowed without proper education, experience and the right skills.
First and foremost, today’s job market has become exceptionally competitive that almost all job postings require a college or university bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science or computer engineering. Your experience alone in a previous company as a programmer with no education does not qualify you for another similar job in another company. In fact many students who take the easy route of taking few computer related programming courses in Java/C++ at a technical school, face hardship to find that employer who is ready to hire them without a college/university degree. Having said that, one has to take the computer related job title into account. If you are applying into a data entry position in a computer firm, your typing skills would probably get you the job. However, we are not considering such basic jobs into account. A secretary working in a law firm does not require a degree in law and a cashier in a retail store does not require a CPA certification.
A minority of people are exceptionally smart, those are the individuals who can write programs at the age of ten. Such kids/teenagers have extraordinary talents when it comes to math, computers or any sort of analytical thinking. Such individuals do get hired without a degree or a certification, their dedication to self-learning and improvement inspires all of us. These individuals are the exception to the rule and should not be used to generalize the statement that a degree is not mandatory for one to become a successful IT professional.
Certifications on the other hand have played a major role since the early nineties and even today. Large organizations such as Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco and CompTIA have been providing certifications in their own technologies to help engineers gain a solid understanding of IT. Many companies do encourage their team of developers to go through certain certification programs to ensure the quality of their software products.
A Study conducted in March 2015 and released to the public in June 2015 by CompTIA revealed recent facts about Certification in the IT field. According to the study made: “IT certifications are growing in importance in the eyes of hiring managers and human resources professionals. Nearly Two-thirds of HR professionals surveyed believed in the importance of IT certifications. In addition, 94 percent believed that the importance of IT certifications will grow over the next two years”.
The Computing field might not have matured enough according to the ACM, IEEE-CS and other experts, but advances in technology and complexity of software make this profession difficult to reach the stages other professions have. Maturity is attained when things become more stable, when people are able to observe certain patterns and turn them into norms. In the field of Information Technology this is not possible, since the field by itself is based on change. It may or may never reach a level of maturity compared to other professional fields such as Law or Medicine.
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