1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is IT consultant, Java Programmer considered as professional?

  1. Dec 7, 2014 #1
    It's a well known fact that those mechanical engineer, civil engineer , EE engineer are regarded as professional. Is IT consultant and computer programmer considered as professional as well?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    "Professional" is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot.

    Technically speaking, the definition of a profession comes with a variety of legal ramifications. For example the profession will be officially recognized by the government and this enables legal protection of title. A certifying college will establish competence in the field and supervise the maintenance of that competence. It will also provide recourse for complaints and investigations in the form of a disciplinary committee.

    By this definition, an IT consultant or programmer would not generally be considered a professional. No one has the legal authority to prevent someone else from using the designation "programmer" (at least not that I'm aware of).

    That said, they term professional is often less formally used as a reference to a white collar worker, usually someone who makes a good living by providing services with a strong intellectual component. In that sense an IT consultant or programmer may be lumped in with the term "professional."
  4. Dec 8, 2014 #3
    I'd say yes and agree with Choppy's information definition as the services provided by IT consultants or programmers is usually offered as Professional Services by large vendors of IT solutions. It seems to me that terminology and job titles in software engineering and other engineering is often similar (E.g.: Field engineer...).
  5. Dec 8, 2014 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Similar to the above, I would say that in the absence of legal registration requirements, anyone who gets paid to do something is a professional at it.
  6. Dec 8, 2014 #5
    Can't edit that any more - I meant: informal definition.
  7. Dec 9, 2014 #6
    If you're an expert in cleaning toilets that makes you a toilet cleaning professional, it's just a buzzword these days imho.

    Its strict meaning would be someone who has specialized knowledge and maybe has some sort of certification. But there isn't a stone-set limit.

    Programmers can offer professional services just like fiscal consultants. What this means is that companies buy those services. Then they're just as much of a professional as the tax lawyer. It's just that they do not require special pieces of papers. Anybody can declare himself an IT professional. Not everyone can say he's a chartered accountant. I do not think this changes the real meaning of the word though.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook