I saw LinkedIn post today from Matt Barrie (head of freelancer.com) where he calls for the end of the ACS due to its questionable relevancy and the way in which it operates its Skills Assessment program. You should have a read.
So why am I blogging about it?
One item called out in the post is the sub-heading attached to each specialisation of “Network & Communications”, “Software Engineer”, “Electrical & Electronic Engineering”. Sure, they’re simplifications and questionably accurate, but for most people of any age they are as detailed as needed to provide a flavour of what each is about.
I think that as technology professionals and as citizens in a very tech-savvy world we assume the detail of what we do for a job can be explained to and comprehended by most of the population around us. While this may be true to a degree, I bet if you asked most non-tech people you know to explain what you do for a job (without you first giving them a detailed refresher) they may explain it as:
“Writes software for computers”
“Looks after networking at company X”
“Helps people access the internet”.
Sure, they’re not detailed and they most likely fail to capture in any way the complexity of your job. But they are the way those people have understood what you do for a job and most likely reflect how most people would interpret it.
As professionals we should not be insulted by this.
A key role for the ACS is to help drive the next generation of professionals into our businesses whatever their background. The ACS simplify the descriptions because they must. You cannot explain a new concept with another in less characters than a Tweet.
Here’s a challenge – come up with a sub-heading that describes those specialisations in terms that the general public can understand, that captures the job’s main purpose and that fits in that space. Then Tweet it to the ACS.