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Comp.software-eng FAQ (Part 1): questions and answers
Section - Should software professionals be licenced/certified?

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Date: 24 Feb 1998

This is a very controversial and political question.  Generally, certification
is something voluntary, while licencing is regulated by governments.
Certification generally means some agency warrants you meet its standards;
licencing generally means that to claim to practice a certain profession
requires a government licence, often administered through a professional
organization.  In theory both are supposed to help judge if someone is capable
of doing certain jobs.

Licencing isn't currently required for computing professionals;  some people
would like to see some jobs require it, as with established branches of
engineering.  Others don't like government intervention, and/or believe many
people who wouldn't get licenced are perfectly competent.

Computing professionals in the USA have had a certification program for years,
administered by the Institute for Certification of Computer Professionals
(708-299-4227), a meta-organization with representatives from ACM, IEEE-CS,
ADAPSO, ICCA, IACE, AIM, DPMA, AISP, COMMON, ASM, CIPS, and AWC.  There are
three certificates aimed at different broad types of practitioner, and many
areas of specialization.  To keep a certificate requires at least 40 hours of
continuing education each year; credit can also be obtained for self-study,
teaching, publication, etc.


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Top Document: Comp.software-eng FAQ (Part 1): questions and answers
Previous Document: Are lines-of-code (LOC) a useful productivity measure?
Next Document: How do I get in touch with the SEI?

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