Doctors and Lawyers go to school and learn a profession where that knowledge can be pretty much used for the entire career. Sure there are changes and advancements, but for the most part they happen slowly. IT on the other hand changes so much in 5 years that it would be nearly impossible to go to school for eight years (like a lawyer or Doctor) and have the knowledge you need for the career. IT is a fast changing industry, Microsoft dumps main support for a product after 5 year and all support after 10 years. Then you have all the new technologies and languages.
When I started in IT PC's didn't even exist yet, let alone 'networking', WIFI wasn't even a dream. I was taught COBOL and RPG2 (bet you have never even heard of RPG) when I was in school. When I got out in the real world I never used RPG2 and only barely used COBOL. They were DOA by the time I got though school.
There are several keys to being good in IT. You need to be able to think logically. You need to know a little about a lot so you always know what is new and what is possible. You need to know a lot about a little, but that has to change fairly rapidly and frequently based on your current job, current company goals... You need to be able to see the big picture, but also the tiniest detail. You need to know not only what the company wants to accomplish, but you need to know what tools are at your disposal and you need to be able to adapt those tools to the task at hand.
I certainly agree that unions are no answer to IT, but truly there would be no way to license IT professionals like doctors or lawyers or even engineers. Are you truly expecting a state agency to administer license exams, continuing education, competency hearings...? Do you really want to have to carry professional mal-practice insurance like doctors and lawyers?
I mean a lawyer must have a good foundation to do his job. He must understand concepts in the law that he then extrapolates to apply to a given position. Doctors know there is a basic procedure to diagnose and treat nearly everything. But IT is a little different, it changes so fast, and more often than not you don???t need to understand the SMTP protocol or even the differences between SMTP and ESMTP let alone TCP to successfully setup and deploy a mail server. If I know an IP Address, Subnet mask and gateway and can setup (or have my provider set up) forward and reverse DNS, I am in business.
How often do I need to understand every bit in a TCP packet? Understand framing? For the most part even programmers don???t care, there is a library to handle that (this is even true on many microcontrollers). If I need to know, I know where to go look and I can quickly find out just how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Many of us know what the Best Practices are for a given situation, that doesn???t mean the company will be willing to pay for the best practice. I may have to come up with a different solution.
No, licensing IT professionals is not an answer. It would stifle innovation, and add un-needed costs to a system that already eats far too much from the company???s bottom line. If you don't believe me just ask any CEO if he is happy with the cost of IT in his organization. Then ask would they be willing to pay more.
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