Australian Computer Society and the ICT Industry

I caught a post on Mitch Denny’s site that piqued my interest.

The crux concerns the ACS requiring a degree for entry vs real world experience/ability whilst it’s membership is in steady decline. It also touches on, or comments on the post do, about whether IT is a trade or profession? What do you think?

My experience was like this. I applied to join the ACS. I jumped through all the hoops, supplied details of years of experience and prior learning, organised a couple of referees. What did it come down to? Yep, you guessed right, no degree, no entry. I was slighty peeved.

When I see people write “technically you don’t need a degree to join” I take it with a grain of salt. So who does get in without one? Fine, it’s your closed shop, you can do what you like with it but it will come at a cost. It has become rather irrelevant to me. I did a little asking around and found that most of the people I respect in this industry aren’t members. Even members said it was in decline and at the mercy of a bunch of old cronies.
I read they lost 3000 members since 2003, yet the ACS claims to represent the ICT sector in Australia, Hello!

The ethics of the ACS are also questionable in my opinion. On one hand they complain about the number of people getting visas whilst they make money from testing the applicants for these visas. So how do you reconcile that? How can you protect your members when you are actively helping undermine them? Here’s some reading on it. Seems they don’t like the reports they commision so they bury them. I wouldn’t mind hearing a response, after all what I have read is not validated as the truth. Let’s hear yours.

So what did I do? Well I joined the ACM instead. It’s the world’s oldest computing society and has a lot of resources. Then I joined and did a little bit of work helping the CompTIA launch IT Pro Australia. It seems more relevant to the average IT person and has the backing of some of the major players like Cisco, Microsoft, Apple, Sun and HP and even the ACS to be fair to them. I was in a room where the Microsoft & Sun reps actually agreed <g>. It has open membership maybe people will actually make use of it and turn it into the premier IT body in Australia.

Oh, I now have a postgraduate degree from CSU, thanks Irfan, that is accredited by the ACS and again you guessed right, I won’t be rushing to join. Of course you can feel free to try and change my mind, after all nothing is as dull as a closed mind. On second thought maybe I should join and take up the fight.