IT Professional?

Way back when we were known as Administrators. Then the term IT Professional (often irritatingly shortened to IT Pro) appeared. We’re doing the same job but have a fancy new title.

Are System Administrators really professionals in the true sense of the word.

I would argue no.

– We don’t have universally recognised certification/qualification requirement

– We don’t have a professional body

– We don’t have an continuous learning requirement to maintain the title

– We don’t have a recognised body of knowledge that accurately defines how and what we should do

You may argue with these points and say for instance that you do keep learning – congratulations – you’re in the minority that does.

We have partial answers to my points for instance vendor certifications and best practice documentation but at the moment its all very piecemeal.

If IT wants to be treated as a profession its practitioners have to behave as professionals and at the moment I don’t think that happens in the vast majority of cases. There are exceptions and hopefully over time that behaviour will become the norm. Until then I’m going to stick with Administrators.

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3 Responses to IT Professional?

  1. richjackman says:

    you say “If IT wants to be treated as a profession its practitioners have to behave as professionals…”
    This statement puts the onus on the individual.

    Yet ALL of the points you cite as a definition of a professional are NOT individual in nature, but collective requiring organization.

    Instead of blaming individuals, how about offering solutions for the collective definitions you cite?

    • In the end it comes down to the individual owning their career. Most admins don’t in my experience. The ones that do own their career tend to make sure they keep up to date and adopt best practices rather than relying on the “we’ve always done it that way mantra” that is so prevalent

  2. Brandon says:

    With the anti-unionization sentiment in the US I don’t expect an association of IT Administrators to coalesce any time soon. I work in the field and would love to support a legitimizing body.

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