The term “networking professional” is tossed around easily in the
IT industry, but often even those in human resources, who write the job
descriptions for the positions being referred to, don’t have a clear concept of
The term ‘networking professional’ is tossed around easily in the IT industry, but often even those in human resources, who write the job descriptions for the positions being referred to, don’t have a clear concept of it means.
Information technology is certainly one of the hottest occupations around
these days, but most of us “in the biz” rarely (if ever) bother to ask
ourselves whether or how our jobs fit into traditional professional models,
whether computer programming, network administration and the like can – or
should – actually be considered professions, and what such a
classification might mean to us and to the industry itself.
MCSEs, CCNAs, CNEs and others who have earned one or more strings of letters
to follow their names like to think of themselves as “certified
professionals.” On the other hand, many licensed engineers consider members
of the certified crowd to be “mere technicians,” and unworthy to call
themselves systems “engineers.” Indeed, in some states the
professional engineering associations legally prohibit the use of the word in
advertising by MCSEs and others who have not completed an engineering degree and
obtained state licensing.
Who’s right? Is networking really a profession? Are network administrators
“professionals” in the true sense of the word, or just well-paid
technicians? Are we even sure that the traditional professional model is one to
which we want to aspire, or are there benefits in being “only”
technicians? This article will examine those questions, and offer some opinions
and suggestions regarding professionalism in the IT industry, and the
ramifications for IT workers.