Accreditations: Setting the standard or making us dumb?

While the IT industry is awash with accreditations and professional bodies, there’s little evidence to suggest that they are doing us any good. On the contrary, I think industry accreditations are driving us towards professional mediocrity.

The problem is that everything about industry accreditations is self-serving: Consultants and contractors want to differentiate themselves by having them, lazy recruiters use them to filter job applications, and industry bodies know that selling post-nominals is good business.

How exactly is business benefitting from all this?

Look, there’s nothing wrong people attending quality courses and demonstrating a base standard of knowledge; but there is something wrong when people are joining associations and doing courses and exams to get a particular brand of recognition in the hope of being considered for job that they are already experienced enough to do.

My stand is that the proliferation of industry credentials is putting us on the fast track to mediocrity. They do little more than alleviate the onus on the professional to develop their own body of knowledge. And worse, some newly anointed professionals gain a false sense of their expertise and ignore the need to break new ground.

Unfortunately the horse has bolted on this issue, and accreditations are here to stay, just don’t give them any more credence than they deserve.

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