A new generation of professional development

Innovative employers find a secret weapon in professions programs
By David Foote
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/17/2006

In response to rising interest in career development and training among information technology professionals, a number of companies have become more creative with retention strategies.

A comprehensive IT talent management study published recently by Foote Partners found renewed interest in so-called professions programs. These can be as simple as well-organized communities of interest — sometimes called communities of professions — that promote networking and cross-learning between IT professionals.

At their most robust, professions programs integrate career paths, compensation, learning programs, knowledge management, and performance management systems, and closely link them to business strategies and customer satisfaction. They’re built around employee roles — instead of specific job titles — and include well-organized, structured internal certifications processes and lots of tools and methods to grow professionally within a role.