Jinfo BlogWhat is an information professional?

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By Dale Moore

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Abstract

What is the role of the information professional? AIIM believes that certification for individuals is essential to changing the way the business world thinks about enterprise information and IT. Will this accreditation be recognised and hold value by prospective employers? It's worth looking into.

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The role of the information professional is changing. It's time for information professionals to change the way the business world thinks about enterprise information and IT. This is the belief of AIIM – the global community of information professionals – which exhorts us to get certified.

Getting certified means registering and paying $265.00, attending an accredited test centre and answering 100 multiple choice questions in two hours. To prepare for the exam, prospective candidate are invited to prepare by watching a series of video clips covering the syllabus.  

Is this hot air, an excuse for yet another professional qualification, or it is a necessity in today’s increasingly fragmented information landscape? Information, in its many guises, is everywhere and people and organisations are swamped by the constant deluge of data. This is a fact that faces us all and the truth is that we are now all information workers in some sense.

But what is an information professional? What does it mean to be recognised as such and what are information professionals expected to know? AIIM has a pretty good idea and categorises the modern profession into six major themes: 

1. Access/Use
2. Capture/Manage
3. Collaborate/Deliver
4. Secure/Preserve
5. Architecture/Systems
6. Plan/Implement 

These are further sub-divided and weighted according to their perceived importance with 2, 3 and 4 receiving the highest weighting. These three are of course the traditional domain of librarianship/information science, so no real surprises there.

The others add business intelligence, social and cloud computing, change management and related business disciplines to the mix and continues the theme of systems of engagement (login required) now replacing systems of record. This central idea is framed in a recent white paper by John Mancini called, Rise of the Information Professional: A Career Path for the Digital Economy (login required).  

It’s all heady stuff and makes complete sense, since the information profession as many of us know it is changing and, as ever, we need to keep up with the trends or get left behind. AIIM is well known and well respected across the information/content spectrum (though perhaps more so in the United States than in the United Kingdom), so worth listening to.  

This is all really good stuff but the big question – other than the increase in professional knowledge, personal satisfaction and achievement –  is, will it be recognised by current and prospective employers or clients and is there really anything here you can’t find anywhere else?

Only the individual can answer this question but, given the influence of the organisation, the breadth of content coverage and received testimonials across a wide range of industry sectors, it’s well worth checking out.

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