Information Technology

The IT Committee of the Professional Activities Board (PAB-IT) was established in 2009 to provide leadership and suggested course(s) of action for the IEEE Computer Society in the IT field of computing.  The PAB-IT committee was asked to consider the needs of computing professionals (specifically in the IT field) that haven't yet been addressed by IEEE CS products and services.  In order to establish a solid foundation for this work, we took  into consideration the broader issue of an "IT Profession," much as IEEE CS had done already in establishing software engineering as a profession, particularly with the publication of the SWEBOK.  Our research results are recorded in this report.
In 2010, our proposed model was presented to the IEEE CS Board of Governors and won their approval. This model has become the touchstone of our further efforts, such as the creation of an IT Body of Knowledge and an IT Competency model, currently underway.  If you are interested in participating in this work, please contact the PAB-IT Chair, Chuck Walrad.

Model of a Profession

The required elements of an IT Profession include:

Professional Societies

Code of Ethics

  • Common code of ethics to all IT sub-disciplines.
  • A code of ethics which specifies appropriate professional conduct to engage in the profession.


  • Specification, development, testing, operation, support and maintenance of information technologies as well as the application and management of such technologies.

Standards of practice

  • Application of current best practice.
  • Means to track evolving technologies, methods.
  • Standards that specify techniques, methods, procedures and performance norms, agreed to by the profession, which supports the best in professional practice.

Competency definitions (Competence Model)

  • Comprehensive competence architecture in place.
  • Ongoing maintenance regime for the competence architecture.

Body of Knowledge

  • Clearly defined core body of knowledge.
  • Specialized bodies of knowledge beyond "core".
  • Supporting knowledge areas such as technical management, etc.
  • A description of the knowledge, methods, and practices that define the content of the profession.
  • Consensual validation of the knowledge.
  • A rational and scientific foundation for the knowledge.


  • Defined by recognized, authoritative bodies.
  • Curriculum models that support the establishment and improvement of educational programs.

Accreditation criteria

  • Aligned to certification regimes.
  • An accreditation system that assures the quality and suitability of the preparatory education.

Preparatory Education

  • Readily available programs that comply with curriculum and accreditation criteria.
  • The education and training necessary to be employed in an entry level position in the profession.


  • The ability to influence things; to take what you know and apply it so as to cause a real effect to occur.
  • A certain amount of knowledge is a prerequisite of skill; you can't be skillful without first being knowledgeable; however, you can easily be knowledgeable without being very skillful.

Professional Development

  • Multiple means to maintain and advance skills and knowledge.
  • Education, training and experience necessary to keep current and advance in the profession.


  • Standard and recognized certification regime.
  • Consistent with body of knowledge.
  • Mechanisms for certification (to prove competence) that do not require compliance with education requirements.
  • Defined means of re-certification/CPD & de-certification.
  • Includes professionalism aspects.
  • Includes demonstration of competency through practice (apprenticeship / experience).
  • Mechanisms to support specialist competence areas.
  • Validation, by a community of peers, that an individual possesses the knowledge and competence of a professional.


  • Implemented by other authoritative bodies.
  • Supported by clear body of knowledge, certification standards, competency standards, code of ethics and a clear boundary of a licensed discipline.
  • Validation, by a community of peers, that an individual possesses the knowledge and competence of a professional.

Job Roles

  • A type of position in an organization characterized by the responsibilities for performance of activities assigned to the position.
  • Level of responsibility varies between job roles.
  • Job roles should be clearly defined in terms of responsibilities and the competencies required.

Career Paths

  • The series of jobs a person holds in their life is their career.
  • A career path is a pre-defined series of job roles where experience in previous job roles is relevant to subsequent job roles.


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