Blog Idols: where do you stand on professional designations?

Welcome to the first week of Computerworld Canada’s Blog Idol contest.

This week’s topic is: Professional designation for IT managers: Why not?

The intent is to stimulate debate and discussion around professional certifications, such as the Canadian Information Processing Society’s Information Systems Professional designation, and what importance they have in recruiting, selection and quality control.

As a reminder, there are no length restrictions as you can post as often as you like. The only limit is the amount of time you have on your hands and the speed at which you can type.

The question of the professional designation has been the subject of some debate.

Every year the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) holds its Information Systems Professional (I.S.P.) week, aimed at highlighting the IT designation program. The I.S.P. designation was created to bring standards, professionalism and best practices to IT folks much in the same way other occupations, such as doctors and engineers, have their own professional designations.

So, how useful is an IT professional designation? Will an employer actually give a prospective candidate more credit for having an I.S.P. designation as opposed to someone who lacks it? And what does an I.S.P. designation even mean?

Last year, IT World Canada ran a piece which quoted Robert Fabian, a Toronto-based IT management and systems consultant, who said the designation was too vague and has failed to convince employers of its viability. Fabian argued the I.S.P. needs to say something about the individual that employers will respect. But how could this be done?

Another area worth exploring is what kind of checks and balances are in place to ensure the I.S.P. keeps its credibility. What’s to stop any IT pro from telling prospective employers that they’re I.S.P. certified?

Some would argue the program needs to be communicated to more people. Others say it’s useless.

Where do you stand on all of these issues?

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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