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Computer Science Professional

Characteristics of a profession

What is a profession

a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation

the whole body of persons engaged in a calling

Characteristics of a IT/Computer Science profession

Great responsibility

Professionals deal in matters of vital importance to their clients and are therefore entrusted with grave responsibilities and obligations. Given these inherent obligations, professional work typically involves circumstances where carelessness, inadequate skill, or breach of ethics would be significantly damaging to the client and/or his fortunes.

Accountability

  • Professionals hold themselves ultimately accountable for the quality of their work with the client. The profession may or may not have mechanisms in place to reinforce and ensure adherence to this principle among its members. If not, the individual professional will (e.g. guarantees and/or contractual provisions).

Based on specialized, theoretical knowledge

  • Professionals render specialized services based on theory, knowledge, and skills that are most often peculiar to their profession and generally beyond the understanding and/or capability of those outside of the profession. Sometimes, this specialization will extend to access to the tools and technologies used in the profession (e.g. medical equipment).
Characteristics of a profession
Characteristics of a profession

Institutional preparation

  • Professions typically require a significant period of hands-on, practical experience in the protected company of senior members before aspirants are recognized as professionals. After this provisional period, ongoing education toward professional development is compulsory. A profession may or may not require formal credentials and/or other standards for admission.
Characteristics of a profession
Characteristics of a profession

Autonomy

  • Professionals have control over and, correspondingly, ultimate responsibility for their own work. Professionals tend to define the terms, processes, and conditions of work to be performed for clients (either directly or as preconditions for their ongoing agency employment).

Clients rather than customers

  • Members of a profession exercise discrimination in choosing clients rather than simply accepting any interested party as a customer (as merchants do).

Direct working relationships

  •  Professionals habitually work directly with their clients rather than through intermediaries or proxies.

Direct working relationships

  • Due to the other characteristics on this list, there is a clear requirement for ethical constraints in the professions. Professionals are bound to a code of conduct or ethics specific to the distinct profession (and sometimes the individual). Professionals also aspire toward a general body of core values, which are centered upon an uncompromising and uncomplicated regard for the client’s benefit and best interests.

Merit-based

  • In a profession, members achieve employment and success based on merit and corresponding voluntary relationships rather than on corrupted ideals such as social principle, mandated support, or extortion (e.g. union members are not professionals). Therefore, a professional is one who must attract clients and profits due to the merits of his work. In the absence of this characteristic, issues of responsibility, accountability, and ethical constraints become irrelevant, negating any otherwise-professional characteristics.

Capitalist morality

  • The responsibilities inherent to the practice of a profession are impossible to rationally maintain without a moral foundation that flows from a recognition of the singular right of the individual to his own life, along with all of its inherent and potential sovereign value; a concept that only capitalism recognizes, upholds and protects.
Characteristics of a profession
Characteristics of a profession

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