Employability is the name of the game in today’s competitive market, and there are a few ways you could add an edge to your credentials. Seeking chartered status as an ICT professional or training for a qualification in your particular field is one option for boosting your professional profile. [Published 04/06/2010]
The British Computer Society is currently on the road promoting its Transformation Programme and trying to persuade its membership that professional qualifications are the route ahead. A total of 20,000 have charted status out of a membership of 70,000.
A recent survey by Information Systems Audit and Control Association found that respondents felt continuing education was important for obtaining a job in information security (72%), and also for promotion within a career (78%). In addition, 84% of respondents stated that education was important because it added value to their role in security.
Tim Holyoake, head of strategic business services for Software AG, gained Chartered IT Professional (CITP) status in March and feels it is a formal recognition of his years of experience that customers and employers look for. The process required him to get up to speed in the less familiar area of service management as well as grounding him in techniques he was more comfortable with.
“It’s an important recognition of experience and skills. You wouldn’t hire an architect to design a new building unless they were charted and it should be the same with IT systems and architectures”, says Holyoake.
For those starting out in their IT career, a qualification to consider might be the City and Guilds ICT Practitioner Apprenticeships, or its equivalents around the country. The more experienced may want to try for Professional Certificate in ICT Practice, which is endorsed by the Professional Certificate in ICT Practice.
If you’ve limited funds or time, there are ways of other ways of ‘maxing’ your experience in a current job - and presenting a more professional face in your CV, too.
Flag up soft skills
As IT departments shrink and jobs shift to suppliers and contractors, workers will have to get better at relationship management and the softer skills. If you have any experience of leading a project, or working in teams, flag this up on your CV
Use your allowance
Large numbers of employees don’t take their full training quota because they’re too busy with the day or they run out of time. If you plan for training courses as you would do for a holiday and clear your desk and delegate your responsibilities, you’ll have a clear head for learning on the course.
Attend training freebies
Check out what suppliers are offering by way of free seminars as sweeteners to train in their new technology. The launch of SQL Server 2005 and Vista were accompanied by a road show of seminars and free training vouchers.
Check out what free training is available by your local council as inner city areas in regeneration zones may still have budget to spend. Even if it’s not possible to gain access to a .Net or C# course using this funding route, there will be a host of programmes available in soft skills.
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