Are you a Human Resources (HR) person or an “in the trenches” ICT professional at the managerial level, who has technical knowledge and understanding of Business Technology Management (BTM) related occupations under your jurisdiction or perhaps you know an individual within your company who fits this profile? The BTM area includes occupations such as business analysis, project management, change management, consulting, entrepreneurship, and IT management. If you do, we would like to ask you (or your colleague) to participate in a brief 30 minute survey, dealing with BTM type occupations in your organization. The survey will ask you to respond to two main issues:

1.       Identify a small number of key BTM related occupations within your organization, emphasizing those occupations that are current, but also including any “future” occupations of particular importance to you;

2.       Identify the skill sets needed by individuals for the satisfactory performance of the occupations that have been identified.

Here is the link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KKJP78Y

Background

In 2009, the Canadian Coalition for Tomorrow’s ICT Skills (CCICT now called ITAC Talent following a merger with the Information Technology Association of Canada in May) launched the Business Technology Management (BTM) initiative to revitalize and rebrand the field of Management Information Systems (MIS), and improve the quality and quantity of students who choose it. A steering committee comprising over fifteen (15) leading employers and university educators from across Canada defined a set of BTM program learning outcomes and competency standards. Fourteen (14) universities, now offer an undergraduate BTM. They see signs of improved enrolments, student quality, gender diversity and graduate placements. Another half dozen are on the way. CCICT partnered with the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) on BTM accreditation.

BTM programs have increased enrolments and graduations in this area, but they lack the capacity to meet current and anticipated demand. Estimates vary, but they agree that the number of people employed in BTM-related occupations has grown substantially – perhaps as much as doubling from 100,000 to 200,000 over ten years. In many organizations, BTM-type jobs replace programming roles that are offshored or eliminated. The demand far exceeds the supply: today’s BTM and MIS university programs produce fewer than 2,000 graduates per year.

Therefore, in 2013 CCICT, in partnership with CIPS, submitted a proposal to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to expand the BTM program. The proposal was granted and some of the following initiatives will be rolled out in the next three years.

•        Building a prioritized list of National Occupational Standards (NOS) within the BTM category;

•        Reviewing the BTM learning outcomes in light of changing technologies and labour market needs;

•        Expanding availability of actual BTM programs in two ways: 'vertically' - into colleges, polytechnics, graduate education, continuing education, and more university undergraduate programs - and 'horizontally' - into select specialty versions like digital media, operations/logistics, entrepreneurship, project management.

•        Informing and involving students, educators, and employers in collaborative program activities, conferences and special events, in order to foster quality, engagement, adoption, and the flourishing of the BTM brand.

Taken together, these initiatives will lead to broader recognition of BTM-type careers as a distinctive, attractive and prestigious family of professions for Canadian students, career changers, educators, employers, and families. This, in turn, will result in better availability of these high leverage skill sets to employers and the Canadian economy.

The aforementioned survey deals specifically with the NOS. They exist in a number of other Canadian and overseas industries, but at this time there is no generally available Canadian NOS in the BTM area. The NOS project is designed specifically to fill this gap. The NOS will be made freely available under Creative Commons licenses and it will provide useful data and information to at least four sets of stakeholders:

•        Assist organizations in recruitment and HR planning;

•        Identify career paths for actual and potential employees, and thereby help to promote employee retention;

•        Help to educate educators/students/parents and the public at large about BTM as a career, to help “demystify” IT by making it more transparent;

•        Assist in the development of BTM educational programs, including those that target specific business requirements and those that provide CPD opportunities for employees.

For more information contact Gina van Dalen at gina@cips.ca or gvandalen@itac.ca