Certifying Help | MacUser

Universities are churning out students with computing degrees, but these mean little until a universal certification standard is introduced.

The past couple of decades have seen an explosion in qualifications. Whereas degrees used to be the prerogative of the few, everyone now seems to have gone to university; even your postman may sport a degree in psychology or economics from an institution that until a few years ago was a down-at-heel college coaching school drop-outs. Electricians and gas installers have to periodically repeat their trade certificates lest they be deemed unfit to practise, as will doctors who want to maintain their licence. Inevitably, bankers, still living in a charmed alternative universe, are now less likely to obtain professional qualifications than they used to, and politicians seem a lost cause for fear they might forge or purchase such credentials.

So what qualifications should you seek in a computer consultant, network wizard, software developer or even the salesperson whose advice you want to trust?

Although our new and vivacious, if underfunded, universities seem able to pump out thousands with natty certificates claiming competence in sports sciences or media studies, practical aspects of computing are almost entirely lacking. Heavyweight software development, …

[Editor: This article is a nice launch point for discussing the education standards for industrial application. The ad hoc methods that the audio, video, exhibition world have evolved with may be past their due date: parse and discuss.]

Read the entire MacUser UK article at:
HELP – Universities are churning out students with computing degrees, but these mean little until…


In some senses, computer qualifications aren’t essential to the safety and well-being of society. The competence of the electrician re-wiring your office or home, or the gas installer plumbing in a replacement boiler, has immediate bearing on your safety. …

There are plenty of other computer-related tasks that have more serious implications. How, for example, can we tell whether a selfprofessed security expert is both speaking with authority and …

I’m no fan of the proliferation of qualifications, nor of meaningless recertification schemes that afford the incompetent false authority to continue to practise. However, Europe needs to move with the times and bring in something more useful and recognised than the minimal European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL). It’s time to develop some meaningful qualifications to bring credence to those whose occupation requires technical knowledge of Macs and other computer systems.

Howard Oakley

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