GuidesOn The Job: Are Networkers Technicians or Professionals? Page 5

On The Job: Are Networkers Technicians or Professionals? Page 5




Deb Shinder

A new model

Perhaps the answer is for the IT world to get itself organized – but not too
organized. To put in place mechanisms for standardizing testing and
maintaining professional credentials, as companies such as Microsoft, Novell and
Cisco have attempted to do with their certification programs. The multi-tiered
Cisco program that offers a difficult-to-obtain, premium certification (CCIE),
and the recent changes to the MCSE and MCT programs are, in my opinion, steps in
the right direction. Government intervention and regulation (again in my
opinion) are not.

I also believe it’s time for the industry to address the many ethical issues
that arise in the working life of an IT pro. We will never have the respect of
other professionals unless we do so. Ethics and legal issues (which are not the
same) should be part of network administration training curriculums just as they
are part of the educational process for aspiring doctors, lawyers, police
officers, etc. We work in a world where often nebulous laws govern transactions
involving intangible intellectual “property,” where legal jurisdiction
is often unclear due to the global nature of the Internet, where the line
between the world inside the computer screen and the “real” world is
often blurred. 

New entrants into this complex field need guidance – not just
in how to configure a router or calculate an IP subnet, but in how to navigate
the turbulent waters where man and machine interact and the former’s master of
the latter confers a great deal of power – and responsibility.

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