e-SKILLS AND ICT Professionalism. Fostering the ICT Profession in Europe. Final Report 2012.

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McLaughlin, Stephen ; Sherry, Martin ; Carcary, Marian ; O'Brien, Conor (2012)
  • Publisher: European Commission
  • Subject: IVI-Innovation Value Institute
    acm: ComputingMilieux_THECOMPUTINGPROFESSION

This research project, launched by the European Commission Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry as part of the European Commission’s on-going e-skills agenda is aimed at helping to mature the ICT profession within Europe. This objective of maturing the ICT profession is not unique to Europe: indeed, the project reflects parallel efforts to mature the ICT profession in other parts of the world, such as TechAmerica in United States and ITA in Japan. This current project is aimed at supporting the development of a European framework for ICT professionalism, with the goal of enhancing professionalism and mobility across Europe. The project also incorporates proposals to support the development of a European training programme for ICT managers. There are strong motives for maturing the ICT profession:- ICT Skills Gaps - Skills gaps of up to 13% are forecast over the period 2010-20151, potentially acting as a brake on European competitiveness and recovery given ICT’s role as an enabler of business value - Poor image of ICT profession – A poor public perception of the ICT profession is impacting on the numbers entering the profession - ICT Knowledge Deficiencies - Low levels of ICT knowledge amongst ICT practitioners, and/or knowledge silos, preventing a view of the “big picture” of ICT, its interconnectedness, and its role in enabling organisational capability planning. In this respect, a 2011 CEPIS survey suggested that “79% of respondents may not have the breadth of e-competences required by their role”2 - Traditional focus and reliance on Computing Science degrees – Tertiary education providers need to adapt in order to meet the growing industry demand for ICT professionals; moreover, industry demands people from alternative professions/disciplines - ICT Project Failures – Recent research from Saïd Business School3 identified cost overruns in 8 out of 10 ICT projects, and a disproportionate number of so-called “ICT black swans”, with one in six projects experiencing a cost overrun of 200%. The most important reason for change however, stems from the extent to which ICT has the potential to harm society. Professions have traditionally emerged when failure to apply domain-specific knowledge successfully would have had an adverse impact on society. As we now enter the next wave of computing, known as pervasive computing, the extent to which ICT is embedded in society will inevitably grow. If we fail to take steps to mature the profession now, it is likely that the risks to society from ICT will grow to unacceptable levels – as such, the call for action is clear. The project work was undertaken in two phases: phase I comprised desktop research and analysis, combined with a survey of over 300 ICT experts and practitioners, in order to create the synthesis report on the state of play of ICT Professionalism. In contrast, the second phase focused on the preparation of detailed proposals for a European framework for ICT professionalism, based on the desktop research and analysis, and iterating these proposals with relevant stakeholder groups, the results of which are contained in this document.
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