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Should i join the BCS?

Discussion in 'Professional Associations' started by Big_nath, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Big_nath

    Big_nath Kilobyte Poster

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    I have been thinking about joining, but wondered if it is worth it?
     
    Certifications: MCP, MCSA, MCSA:M, MCSE, MCTS
    WIP: A few
  2. dalsoth

    dalsoth Kilobyte Poster

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    I have thought the same thing after reading about it on here. Have seen some on here praise it and have seen others dismiss it. I had a very brief look at the BCS site and it appeared that i would have to pay to join or continue to pay for membership and the only "real" benefits i would get were to tell people i am a member or attend meetings with other members (not really my thing). I have heard it said that to be a member is to show others that you take your IT career seriously.

    I don't really agree with that. I take my career seriously. I try to network where possible, improve my people skills and am currently trying to improve my technical skills and academic qualifications. I just don't see how it could actually do anything for me. Another logo on the CV?

    As complained about on these forums, recruitment agencies would probably not know anything about it so it may not help with job applications if you go through an agency. Maybe someone who gets your CV would have heard of it and is a member... maybe.....

    I am speaking from a certain level of ignorance as i am no expert on the BCS and invite anyone to give some real world reasons why i would want to join.

    I don't mean to sound like i am knocking the BCS and hope members on here take no offense from my comments and perhaps enlighten those of us not in the know.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCP, MCDST, MCSA, ITIL v3
    WIP: MCITP EA
  3. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    Short answer - No.

    Long answer - If you're going to only get Associate (AMBCS), Student, Affiliate then no. Anything higher is good if it benefits (and complements) your current qualifications and level of experience.


    Qs
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  4. Gingerdave

    Gingerdave Megabyte Poster

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    QS

    Why do you dismiss the more "junior" levels of membership?
     
    Certifications: A+,MCP, MCDST, VCP5 /VCP-DV 5, MCTS AD+ Net Inf 2008, MCSA 2008
    WIP: MCSA 2012
  5. Evilwheato

    Evilwheato Kilobyte Poster

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    I was looking at it, but I decided it was worth the money at this point in my career- especially after reading some recruitment consultants didn't even know what it was.
    Perhaps when I get several years IT experience :)
     
  6. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    Honestly? I think they're a waste of money.

    I don't believe that employers currently value the lower levels of membership (hell, they don't widely recognize the higher ones!)

    Obviously higher levels of membership are more worthwhile, especially when combined with industry certs such as MCSE/MCSA etc.


    My two cents.

    Qs
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  7. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Me personally, I believe that it is worth it. However it does depend on what you want out of it.

    Me, my aim was for Chartered Status (CITP), which I received last year. The CITP is the CEng of IT, both the ECUK & IET have recognised that in communication, and as the CEng is Masters level - thats a good thing. And another reason why I joined was to show my support for the professionalism of IT, there are too many "cowboys" in IT.

    However there are other reasons:

    1. Discounted training, free/discounted meetings (meeting to cover alot of different topics) plus networking opportunies.
    2. Legal cover & advice.
    3. Free access to online books & technical reports.
    4. Access to recognised Chartered (& other level) programs: CEng, IEng, CSci and the ICTTech (coming soon), as well as the already mentioned CITP.
    5. Demonstrate that you follow a code of conduct.
    6. The ability to join specialist groups, covering AI to management and more.
    7. International recognition, the BCS has links with other organisations in other countries like the US, Oz, Canada to name a few *dependant on membership level.

    Alot, if not all professions have some sort of Governing body, here are a few:

    1. Electricans, there's the IET and NICEIC.
    2. Engineers, there's the IET and ECUK.
    3. Plumbers, there's the APHC and the Corgi mark (ok, the latter is a legal requirement but the point is the same).
    4. Lawyers, there's The Law Society.
    5. Nursing, there's the RCN.
    6. Doctors, there's BMA and the GMC.
    7. IT, there's the BCS, IET, and soon the ECUK, etc.

    Why do we use trained professionals, like the above who have joined schemes/oganisations/associations like the mentioned? For peace of mind, to show that they aren't cowboys, because they follow a code of conduct, to show that if something untowards happens something can be done, etc... Granted the IT profession has a long way to go, after all it's the youngest profession with only about 50 years under its belt, but it has to start somewhere.

    While there are still a few recruitment companies that don't know what the CITP is, I have seen quite a few high level IT jobs requesting it.

    As you can tell I am a strong believer in the BCS, but I am equally fond/respectful of the IET, after all I believe that IT is an off shoot of the engineering field, but now a profession in it's own right. So if you were to join a professional IT association I would recommend either one.

    However actually joining one, is down to the individual, I've stated my two reasons for joining, but that doesn't mean that everyone has the same views. The benefits of joining has to be something you want, if you're not going to get any benefits out of it, is it worth joining up? Only you can answer that. No-one is going to shoot you if you don't join and no-one is going to sing your praises on the highest hill if you do.

    To sum it up, cost of membership vs benefits. If you want to join - great; if you don't, that's your choice :)

    -ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  8. Big_nath

    Big_nath Kilobyte Poster

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    Thanks guys for you replies.

    I think i will join, the main reasons are Networking and it can only help on a CV. I don't really have many friends working in the IT industry, so it is sometime hard to find out about opportunities in my area and to meet like minded people. Thats why i like this forum so much. I get to communicate with like minded people and i learn loads from it.
     
    Certifications: MCP, MCSA, MCSA:M, MCSE, MCTS
    WIP: A few
  9. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Cool, glad you've decided to join the BCS and that you like this forum :)

    -ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  10. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    If you don't have many contacts then throw yourself in deep with your local BCS branch. Suggest topics for meetings if you don't like what's being put on.

    I come from an age where you joined your professional body to show your professionalism and I still believe that. As to those who don't know about it (recruiters etc.) then TELL THEM - that's what I do and it all helps to raise the profile.

    You may also want to join LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) if you haven't already. There's loads of us from Certforums on there and a big IT section.

    Apart from that I endorse what Ken has said plus you can read some of my other posts on the BCS and my local branch in Dorset.
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  11. dalsoth

    dalsoth Kilobyte Poster

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    Good points Ken. I do believe that the IT industry needs some sort of official governing body to give it credibility to the non IT world. Perhaps the government should make it compulsory for all companies to sign up to a charter and adhere to a specific code of practice.

    Without something forcing it to happen, i believe the process of real recognition will take a very long time. I suppose it is those with your own attitude that will speed up that process.

    I still can't see that i will get any real benefit in the near future but i feel suitably educated now :D.

    I will give it a miss for now and revisit it again when i have the certifications i require. I am feeling slightly addicted to badges and logos so you never know!

    Thanks for the info.:biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCP, MCDST, MCSA, ITIL v3
    WIP: MCITP EA
  12. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    lol, I forgot to mention: you get a nice cert of membership, a nice logo and a wallet card :biggrin

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  13. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    a GOLD one for some of us Ken :dry :p
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  14. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Of course, lol... Not to mention the certification framing or plaque service :)

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  15. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    You haven't have you ?! My cert is just in my folder with others so it's easy to bring out at interview (got caught out a few times with my Degree one being sealed in a frame). Figured I'd wait to get the plaque until I get a new job - then it can go in my office ! :p
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  16. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Na, like you, they're in a folder, couldn't be bothered (sounds bad, I guess). I don't display my other certs/awards on the wall (I use to at work, but then slowly I just removed them, again "cantbebothered-itis"), and I can just see it gathering dust at this moment in time, although a gold plaque... :hhhmmm:lol:

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip

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