Definition of a Profession
A profession is a calling that requires an individual to have specific skills and knowledge; it is a job which needs an advanced set of particular skills and knowledge. A profession grows out of the needs that have been identified in the society for special services. The criteria that are used for professions are that they provide a needed service to the society, they protect the society’s members from harmful effects of the professions and the allow individuals to advance their knowledge in a particular professional field (Nursing Crib, 2010).
Profession is viewed to be a vocation in which the knowledge that a person has acquired on a particular field is used for the benefit of other people. The members of a profession are governed by codes of ethics and professional ethical standards. They are required to commit themselves to perform their professions in a manner that is of integrity and moral and perform their work with the highest level of competency. Such commitments form the foundation of a social contract between the members of the professional body and the society at large. This contract grants the members in return a monopoly over their professions together with the skills and knowledge that accompany the profession. The members of the professional world are held accountable to those they serve in the course of their work and the society (Cruess et al, 2004).
Characteristics of a Profession
The characteristics of a profession are that a basis profession requires one to have an extended period of education that was meant to improve on their skills and knowledge. A profession provides a specific service where members of the particular profession practice the skills and knowledge they have acquired to practice that profession. The members of a profession are supposed to have autonomy while conducting their duties as well as decision making practices. A profession has a code of ethics that should be followed for best practice of the job.
Kizlik (2010) views the characteristics of a profession as being concerned with one identified area of need or function. The members of the profession are involved in decision making activities that are made in accordance against a background of guiding principles and theories. The decision is made within a context that will impact on the other related decisions using the available knowledge. A profession is organized into one or more professional organizations that are given autonomy to control the work of the profession and the environment that surrounds it. An example is educational standards, ethical and performance standards and professional standards of discipline.
Another characteristic of a profession is that it has standards that have been generally agreed upon to be used for admission into a particular profession. The preparation of an individual to join a particular profession will involve being inducted into a preparation program in a professional school that will see the individual gain professional experience and accreditation (Kizlik, 2010).
Nursing is an art and science disciplined profession that involves the delivery of healthcare services to the society. Nursing is viewed as a helping; supporting or aiding profession that is service oriented meant to maintain the health and well being of the society and its individual members (Nursing Crib, 2007).
Characteristics of Nursing
The characteristics that define the profession of nursing are that it involves being caring and having a close personal contact with the person receiving the care; to add on this, nursing is deals with offering services to human beings taking into account their sociological, psychological and physiological compositions. Nursing as a profession is also considered to be committed to providing personalized services for all people without regard to their colour, gender, ethnicity, social status or their age; it is aimed at getting engaged in activities that are principled, lawful and biased in the delivery of healthcare (Nursing Crib, 2007).
The characteristics of nursing are similar to those of a profession in terms of nursing profession being based on a social institution which is a fundamental characteristic of professions. Profession requires the individual to be concerned with a particular area of need which nursing does. Nursing meets the caring needs of individuals and the society as well as providing them with close personal care. A profession requires an individual to possess a certain set of skills and knowledge. It also requires one to go for a professional program that will induct the person into their duties. Nursing requires its members to go for nursing courses that will equip them to deal with the profession and also enable them to get professional nursing experience. A profession requires one to follow ethical, social, moral and professional standards. Nursing requires its members to follow ethical and professional standards when carrying out their duties.
Definition of ICT
The acronyms stand for information and communication technology. This is a profession that deals with a set of technological tools and resources that are used by people to communicate disseminate and store information. Examples of these technological tools are computers, the Internet, telephones, televisions and the radio. An ICT professional is an individual who is involved with either or all of the technological tools and resources.
Characteristics of the ICT Profession
The qualities that are required for any person wishing to join the ICT profession is that they should be a good communicator able to relay themselves both orally and in written forms well at any level to end users and managers. They should also be good team players who are able to work in a team and be able to listen to instructions and carry out the instructions properly. ICT professional work in inflexible hours because of the user support aspect that runs on a 24 hour basis. Professionals who join this field have to work at odd hours to help customers install their software and correct any problems that might occur with the software. The profession also requires its members to be able work under pressure and handle themselves properly in challenging situations (Yull and Stump, 2003).
According to Hunter (2006), The ICT profession expects its members to possess characteristics such as carrying out or performing their work bearing the interest of the public or society at hand. ICT professionals should always ensure that they have put the interests of the people they are serving first. Professions in the ICT industry are required to have integrity as one of their qualities as well as exercise confidentiality when dealing with their clients or members of the society. Professionals should also be objective when carrying out their work as well as autonomous. Members of the profession should possess the skills, knowledge and capability to handle any matter that is related to information technology. While performing their professions, members are required to perform promotion activities where they relay information about their profession to the people who are concerned. The ICT profession requires its members to present a clean image of the profession to the society at large (Worthington, 2007).
The characteristics of ICT profession are similar to those of a general profession in that ICT requires its members to practice ethic and professional standards in their work thereby creating a good image of the industry. Profession requires its members to have integrity and competency while carrying out their work which is the same as the characteristics outlined for ICT professionals. A profession requires its members to gain professional education through a program or course offered in a college or university. The characteristic of an ICT professional is to acquire skills and knowledge that will allow them to practice the profession.
Contrast between the ICT and Nursing Profession
An ICT professional mostly deals with mechanical tools and resources such as computers, radios or televisions that require an aspect of technology while a nurse deals with human beings like patients who are ill and who need some care. The interaction of a nurse and technology is minimal while that of the ICT is high but their interaction with human beings is at times minimal. A nurse is responsible for the treatment, safety and recovery of an individual that is ill. An ICT professional is responsible for any aspect or activity that is related to information technology (ILO, 2006).
Comparison between ICT and Nursing
Both are professions that require their members to have professional knowledge and experience to practice the profession. The two professions also require their members to practice professional standards of ethics and morality in the course of their work. Information technology breakthroughs have seen their incorporation into nursing activities. Nursing now involves using computers to access patient information as well as create new patient records that will allow the tracking of patients as well as booking of appointments for doctor consultations. The incorporation of ICT into nursing also enables nurses to divert their manual operations into computerised operations reducing the amount of time they spend (Kaminski, 2010).
Challenges that face the ICT profession in Future
The next few years will see the ICT industry facing many global changes. This will be as a result of new and advanced ICT services that will be brought into the information technology market. The change will also be attributed to the adoption of information technology by many companies around the world, an activity that will see most of the ICT systems undergoing renovations to meet with the needs and demands of these organizations. The performance of businesses in the future will mostly depend on the ICT systems they have put in place to carry out their activities (Van der Mei and Gijsen, 2004).
The ICT profession has been characterised by a rapid rate of occupational change in the last 20 years. This rapid growth in employment in the ICT profession is a reflection of the increasing importance that has been placed on the profession by the global business world. The rate of occupational change has mostly been driven by the frequent emergence of new technological innovations and skills needed to use the new technologies. A result of this rapid growth has seen a serious skill shortage in the ICT sector with the ICT labour market being characterised with episodes of over and under abundance as a result of the fluctuations in the global world (ILO, 2006).
To stay in business, the ICT professionals have to offer a wider range of information technology services than they are providing now. They should diversify their operations and the current IT systems to incorporate more things that the individual, the society and the business world needs. The world is now at a stage of incorporating systems that have all in one features. To remain relevant the profession needs to move from the all in one innovation to one that ensures that the user enjoys a variety of services while enjoying the all in one benefit at the same time. The professionals should also update their skills and level of ICT knowledge to be up to date with the new technological advances that are occurring everyday.
Cruess, S.R., Johnston, S. and Cruess, R.L. (2004) Profession: a working definition for medical educators. Centre for Medical Education, McGill University: Quebec, Canada Teach Learn Medicine Journal, Vol.16, No.1, pp 74-6.
Hunter, D. (2006) Occupations in information and communications technology: options for updating the international standard classification of occupations. International Labour Organization: Policy Integration Department.
Kaminski, J. (2010) A revealing of nursing informatics. Web.
Kizlik, B. (2010) Characteristics of a profession. Web.
Nursing crib (2007) Nursing as a profession. Web.
Van der Mei, R.D. and Gijsen, B.M.M (2004) Trends and developments in ICT industry: new challenges for performance analysts. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Vrije Universitiet.
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Yull, S., and Stump, T. (2003) AS level ICT for AQA. Oxford, UK: Heinemann Educational Publishers.