The Institute of IT Professionals is embarking on a major survey exercise in cooperation with the Auckland University of Technology, to uncover what ICT practitioners actually do in their working day and the attitudes they bring to their job.
The detailed survey will not be just a one-time “snapshot”, says IITP CEO Paul Matthews. It will be repeated annually to track any movement in content of the job and career mobility of ICT professionals and changes in their views of the industry. There is also an international dimension to the exercise, as similar surveys are conducted in Australia and Singapore, he says.
IITP is aware there’s a lack of meaningful data to back up decisions on what projects the Institute initiates and supports, Matthews says – projects such as mentoring and the schools-based ICT-Connect programme. So it is establishing an “ongoing comprehensive research project” on how the people in the industry perceive it and themselves. AUT’s contribution to the project will be coordinated by AUT’s Centre for Research on Information Systems Management (CRISM) under its director, Felix Tan.
“We suspect inaccurate perceptions of the ICT industry may be one of the factors that prevent people getting into that space,” Matthews says. “We’re asking what people think about their current roles and how they see their further progression. We want to know what will help get more people into the profession, but we want [potential new entrants] to make an informed decision.”
The Institute and AUT also hope to get a finger on movement in pay-scales and gender and cultural mix, he says.
Among other questions, professionals will be asked what factors attracted them to the ICT profession (for example, potential earnings, respect or continued innovation) and what keeps them there. Their goals, confidence in reaching them and work-life balance will also be explored.