Professionalism In Information Technology (2022)

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Professionalism may be considered as behaving in an appropriate manner and adhering to accepted principles and practices. It is not only vital in the field of Information Technology but it is also very important in other fields. Some of the key aspects of IT Professionalism are competence in IT, knowledge, various skills such as soft skills, ethical behaviour and certification. Professionalism and ethics must be taught and practised at the secondary level of schooling. Professionalism is required not only in the field of Information Technology but also in other fields in order to bring about reputation, ethical behaviour and add value to any organization.

This paper discusses about IT Professionalism and Ethics and how professionalism is applicable in IT industry. With the help of class discussions, case study and literature review, ethics and professionalism in IT and other fields are discussed. In this paper, an effort has been made to answer some of the questions below:

  • Why IT professionalism is needed and why is it important?
  • What is ethics?
  • Why Ethics is needed?
  • Role of ethics in Information Technology

Discussion

IT professionals should not only have good technical knowledge and experience but also have right attitude with good soft skills such as communication, interpersonal, analytical, statistical, managerial, leadership skills etc.

Nowadays, businesses require professionalism in order to provide best quality service to the customers and to satisfy their requirements. Professionalism also provides a platform for ethical trade. It greatly increases profits, productivity and high market value in an organization. It greatly benefits the individuals who follow it and impacts society in a positive manner.

Let us look at some of the qualities which describe a professional (ACM, 2000)

Trustworthiness: Professional trusts himself in whatever he does and trusts other people.

Honesty: Professional is honest when working and follows right code of conduct.

Punctuality: It is one of the most important aspects of professionalism.

Responsibility: Professional is responsible towards his work and handles work effectively.

Leadership: Professional has good leadership skills and is a good team player.

(Video) MOOC UMS Montage (Ethics & Professionalism in Information Technology Industry)

Confidentiality: Maintains confidentiality of information in an organization.

Competency: Professional is technically competent in his field.

What is Ethics?

Ethics may be considered as regulations which differentiate between right and wrong. It also aims to differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

Why Ethics is needed?

Ethics helps people to respect and value themselves as well as others. It is based on core values such as Trust, simplicity, integrity, excellence, success and reputation. Ethics in an organization helps in retaining the talent and minimizes attrition rate of jobs. It aims to improve profits and increases productivity among the employees in an organization.

Why IT professionalism is needed and why is it important?

In order to enhance the growth and add value to an organization.

It helps to provide better services to clients

It increases trust with employers and employees within an organization

Create company’s own brand value

IT professionalism forms the pillar for company’s own vision and mission

It improves customer satisfaction

“They should be aware of the various types of educational programs, different job titles and functions, and some aspects of the employment supply and demand. They should be aware of the need for each computing worker to have professional responsibility for their work, and an awareness of the importance of appropriate ethical behaviour in the group. They must also have an awareness of the impact of information technology on society as a whole and on individuals, and be prepared to handle a variety of issues arising in the workplace.” (Little, J. C. and Granger, M. J., 1999)

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(Video) PROFESSIONALISM IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Role of Ethics and Professionalism in Information Technology

IT has modernized the living standards of mankind. In IT, professionalism plays a major role in bringing the changes to an organization and to the humanity. Technology can be used as a benefit or for destruction. Ethics play a major role in determining the right use of technology. There is a very fine line between professional and non-professional. IT professional must have proper code of conduct, right attitude and good moral values and should not misuse the technology.

Nowadays, due to the rapid advancement in technology there has been a widespread misuse of technology. With the rise of Internet there has been unethical and unprofessional behaviour which have led to severe problems such as computer viruses, Spamming and hacking.

In IT education, ethics should be taught and allowed to be practiced in all schools and institutions. Students must be made aware of the consequences which result due to unethical behaviour. It is in the early stage that these values should be inculcated within them which will lead a long way later in life. There has been an increase in cyber crimes due to the misuse of Internet. Many a time, students are unaware of ethics and professional behaviour. Professionalism must be strictly followed in schools and institutions and should be practised at an earlier stage. In universities, plagiarism is unethical. Copying others ideas and work, without proper acknowledgement to the original author it is unfair and severe action is observed and implemented.

Case Study and personal experience

Personally, it has been a wonderful learning experience studying the importance and role of ethics and professionalism in IT. As goes the famous quote, “Character, not circumstances, makes the man.” (Booker T. Washington), professionalism and ethics helps in making use of science and technology for noble purposes.

In our case study (Digital Artefact on IT Professionalism by Trailblazers, 2010), we discussed about non-professional behaviour and some of the reasons causing it. Non-professional behaviour mainly results due to lack of ethics and lack of soft skills.

Let us look at some of the differences between professional and non-professional

Professional

Has self respect and treats others with respect

Has honesty and performs his/her duties

Responsible and dedicated towards work

(Video) Professionalism for IT Professionals

Skilled, knowledgeable and experience

Team player and has good management skills

Good communicator

Right attitude and sound character

Non professional

Does not respect others

Lacks honesty and does not perform his duties

Not responsible or dedicated

Lack of knowledge, skills and experience

Not a team player and lacks management skills

Not a good communicator

Does not have right attitude, bad character

“The difference between a professional person and a technician is that a technician knows everything about his job except its ultimate purpose and his place in the scheme of things” (Livingston, 2010)

(Video) What does it take to be an Information Technology Professional?

An example of unethical behaviour in an organization

If an employee in an organization fails to follow the right code of conduct and does not follow ethics, he/she will be penalized. An individual will not be successful in his field if he does not have moral values.

An example of how atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima was completely unethical. People were not educated about the danger and the extent of damage that would be caused by atomic bombs. Had they been imparted proper knowledge and safety measures during the war, many peoples’ lives would have been saved (Matloff, 1966).

How IT professionalism is applicable to me?

IT professionalism helps me to advance in the IT industry and my aspiration is to become network support engineer. In order to be a professional in the networking field, developing a career development plan is useful. As change is rapid in IT industry, I need to constantly update my skills and knowledge to be proficient and successful. Certifications play a major role in the IT industry (Steven Philip, 2010) and by proper planning and management of daily activities, I will be able to obtain higher certifications and get hands-on-experience in networking field.

Network professionals provide and enforce security of confidential information over the Internet. They must adhere to ethics when performing their duties and also provide suitable advice to fellow employees or clients. (NPA, 2007)

Some of the important guidelines and practices for network professionals

Technical expertise and knowledge

Confidentiality to be maintained within an organization and with clients

Following proper ethical codes

Adherence to principles and practices

Conclusion

In the present world the role of an IT professional is vital. IT professionalism is not just about acquiring skills, knowledge, experience and certifications but also giving equal importance to core moral values, principles and ethical behaviour (Jide, 2010). This will have a huge impact on one’s personal life brings about positive changes in an organization and benefits the society. A true professional is a combination of excellent knowledge and skills with fine character and virtues. Government and organisation must promote IT professionalism and penalize the employees or workers who do not follow it. Professionalism and ethics is clearly defined in other professions such as doctors, advocates, engineers etc. IT professionalism is more concerned with technical skills, knowledge, expertise and certifications and no clear guidelines on ethical behaviour are defined. Professionalism is best learnt when one practices than by merely studying it.

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(Video) Ethical Issues on Information Technology and Intellectual Property

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FAQs

What is professionalism in information technology? ›

IT professionalism is more concerned with technical skills, knowledge, expertise and certifications and no clear guidelines on ethical behaviour are defined. Professionalism is best learnt when one practices than by merely studying it.

How do you practice professionalism in information technology? ›

Professionalism
  1. Be productive. Use your time productively at work. ...
  2. Develop a professional image. ...
  3. Take the initiative. ...
  4. Maintain effective work habits. ...
  5. Manage your time efficiently. ...
  6. Demonstrate integrity. ...
  7. Provide excellence. ...
  8. Be a problem-solver.

What is professionalism to you as an IT professional? ›

It means communicating effectively and appropriately and always finding a way to be productive. Employers want new workers to be responsible, ethical, and team oriented, and to possess strong communication, interpersonal, and problem solving skills. Wrap these skills up all together and you've got professionalism.

Why is professionalism important in ICT? ›

Professionals are accountable to themselves, the ICT Profession and society, through an agreed code of ethics/conduct or applicable regulatory practices. Competent practice communicates the concept of quality of products and services being delivered by practitioners.

What are ethics and professionalism of emerging technology? ›

The ethics of emerging technologies is focused in large part on emerging enabling technologies, which are expected to result in waves of innovations across different sectors in society and to raise a myriad of ethical issues in the process.

What do you understand by ethical dilemma for ICT professionals? ›

Ethical dilemma is a decision between two alternatives, both of which will bring an antagonistic outcome in light of society and individual rules. It is a basic leadership issue between two conceivable good objectives, neither of which is unambiguously worthy or ideal.

What is professionalism and why is IT important? ›

Professionalism involves consistently achieving high standards, both in the work you do and the way you behave. Being professional helps you to achieve high-quality results, while impressing and inspiring others – and feeling good about yourself.

What is professionalism example? ›

Take responsibility. Respected professionals set examples by taking responsibility for their actions. If you make a mistake, always admit it and then take steps to correct it or prevent it from happening again. Avoid blaming others, even if they contributed to an issue.

What are professionalism skills? ›

Professional skills are career competencies and abilities used in the workplace that are beneficial for nearly any job. Professional skills are a combination of both hard skills (job-specific duties that can be trained) and soft skills (transferable traits like work ethic, communication, and leadership).

Who is a professional in information technology domain? ›

IT professionals perform a number of different tasks – they are the people who test, build, install, repair, or maintain the hardware and software associated with complex computer systems in one or more locations.

What are the opinions of ICT professional regarding computer ethics? ›

The ethics for ICT professional is not different to that from the general people; they have much more responsibility as they are open to access lots of resources and information and their unethical behavior will have huge impact on either individual or the whole organization.

What is professionalism for the computer industry in South Africa? ›

1.1Describe professionalism for the computer industry in South AfricaCSSA aims are to further the study, and application of Information and Communications Technologies(ICTs); maintain and promote Codes of Conduct and Ethics for our members; define and promotestandards of ICT knowledge; promote the formulation of ...

Why is professionalism important for success? ›

In the working world, your professionalism encompasses the way you carry yourself, your attitude and the ways you communicate with others. Being professional can ensure a positive first impression, successful interpersonal relationships and a lasting reputation within your organization and industry.

What words describe professionalism? ›

synonyms for professionalism
  • civility.
  • expertise.
  • rectitude.
  • respectability.
  • competence.
  • probity.
  • steadiness.
  • thoroughness.

Is professionalism a skill or quality? ›

Professionalism is a skill that the modern workforce needs, no matter the job or career path. Professionalism encompasses the skills and attitudes necessary to do the job well.

What are professional ethical standards? ›

Professional ethics are principles that govern the behaviour of a person or group in a business environment. Like values, professional ethics provide rules on how a person should act towards other people and institutions in such an environment.

What are the five basic principles of professional ethics in technology? ›

It is divided into three sections, and is underpinned by the five fundamental principles of Integrity, Objectivity, Professional competence and due care, Confidentiality, and Professional behaviour.

What are the five basic principles in professional ethics? ›

The revised Code establishes a conceptual framework for all professional accountants to ensure compliance with the five fundamental principles of ethics:
  • Integrity.
  • Objectivity.
  • Professional Competence and Due Care.
  • Confidentiality.
  • Professional Behavior.

What are the professional issues in information technology? ›

Top 12 challenges facing IT professionals
  • Workload.
  • Cybersecurity.
  • Skills gaps.
  • Digital transformation.
  • Cloud computing.
  • Hiring.
  • Budget.
  • Leadership support.

What are some of the common ethical issues IT professionals and IT users face? ›

Most Important Ethical Issues in Technology
  • Misuse of Personal Information. ...
  • Misinformation and Deep Fakes. ...
  • Lack of Oversight and Acceptance of Responsibility. ...
  • Use of AI. ...
  • Autonomous Technology. ...
  • Respect for Employees and Customers. ...
  • Moral Use of Data and Resources. ...
  • Responsible Adoption of Disruptive Tech.
1 Jul 2021

What relationships must an IT professional manage? ›

Professional Relationships That Must Be Managed

IT professionals typically become involved in many different relationships: professional- employer, professional-client, professional-supplier, professional-professional, professional- IT user, and professional-society.

What is professionalism for the computer industry in South Africa? ›

1.1Describe professionalism for the computer industry in South AfricaCSSA aims are to further the study, and application of Information and Communications Technologies(ICTs); maintain and promote Codes of Conduct and Ethics for our members; define and promotestandards of ICT knowledge; promote the formulation of ...

What are the relationships in which an IT professional becomes involved? ›

IT workers have many different relationships, including those with employers, clients, suppliers, other professionals, IT users, and the society at large and that in each relationship, an ethical IT worker acts honestly and appropriately.

What is information technology in easy words? ›

Information technology (IT) is the use of any computers, storage, networking and other physical devices, infrastructure and processes to create, process, store, secure and exchange all forms of electronic data.

What are the moral responsibilities of computer professionals? ›

A computing professional should...
  • 1.1 Contribute to society and to human well-being, acknowledging that all people are stakeholders in computing. ...
  • 1.2 Avoid harm. ...
  • 1.3 Be honest and trustworthy. ...
  • 1.4 Be fair and take action not to discriminate.

What is the code of practice in the IT industry? ›

Industry codes of practice are enforceable rules and measures that regulate industry conduct, its workers, and their relationship with consumers. Above all, they ensure good industry practice by setting guidelines for fair dealing between you and your customers.

How information system may raise ethical issues? ›

Information systems raise new ethical questions for both individuals and societies because they create opportunities for intense social change, and thus threaten existing distributions of power, money, rights, and obligations.

How do you maintain professional relationship? ›

8 tips to build and maintain strong professional relationships
  1. Make a plan. ...
  2. Take responsibility. ...
  3. Don't gossip. ...
  4. Put in the time. ...
  5. Stay positive. ...
  6. Say “thank you” ...
  7. Be a good listener. ...
  8. Be exceptional.
12 May 2022

What should be the code of conduct of IT professionals? ›

Employees are often expected to uphold integrity, responsibility, and professionalism during work. This includes properly handling confidential information, maintaining a safe working environment, and avoiding unlawful conduct such as accepting bribes. Code of ethics also highlights ethical behaviors towards others.

What is an example of a professional relationship? ›

The team member relationship is another common professional relationship. This differs from the coworker relationship because coworkers are not always team members. For example, if you work for a large corporation with hundreds of employees, you may only have a small team of 10 or 20 people with whom you work directly.

What is a professional behaviour? ›

Professional behavior in the workplace is a combination of attitude, appearance and manners. It includes the way you speak, look, act and make decisions. The main principles of professional work behavior include: Treating your managers, colleagues and clients with respect. Projecting a positive attitude.

What are the basic principles of professional ethics? ›

The principles–Mission, Truth, Lawfulness, Integrity, Stewardship, Excellence and Diversity–reflect the standard of ethical conduct expected of all Intelligence Community personnel, regardless of individual role or agency affiliation.

What are examples of professional ethics? ›

However, there are some universal ethical principles that apply across all professions, including:
  • honesty.
  • trustworthiness.
  • loyalty.
  • respect for others.
  • adherence to the law.
  • doing good and avoiding harm to others.
  • accountability.

How important is information technology today? ›

Information technology helps to build and grow the commerce and business sector and generate the maximum possible output. The time taken by different sectors to generate business is now minimized with advancements in Information technology. It provides electronic security, storage, and efficient communication.

What are the benefits of information technology? ›

Let's look at the advantages of IT as they affect your business.
  • Increased Data Security. ...
  • Information Technology Can Help Your Business Save Money. ...
  • Information Technology Benefits Communication. ...
  • Improved Productivity. ...
  • A Wider Talent Net is One of the Biggest Advantages of Information Technology.
4 Feb 2021

How does information technology help you in your career? ›

Business rely on information technology to help them be more productive. This is a career that benefits any business by allowing companies to work more efficiently and to maximise productivity. And with that comes faster communication, electronic storage and the protection of important documentation.

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