9 reasons why you should consider Professional Registration

Many of our members are professionally registered with letters after their name such as CEng, IEng, EngTech and ICTTech. But what are the benefits of professional registration, and how can it help you further your career?

 
9 reasons to consider:

 
1. It looks impressive on your CV and distinguishes you from other candidates.

2. It identifies you as having competencies that employers value.

3. It confirms that your commitment to professionalism is underwritten by the support of a national engineering institution, licensed by the Engineering Council.

4. It gives you international recognition of your qualifications which can help you to find work abroad more easily.

5. Pay rates can compare more favourably with non-registered engineers.

6. It offers access to a network of similarly qualified and experienced experts in their field through the ITP (membership is automatic when undertaking professional registration).

7. It opens up ITP member benefits of quarterly magazines, telecoms-specific events and the chance to become a mentor or mentee.

8. It offers the chance to gain accreditation even if you don’t have formal qualifications, as you may be able to demonstrate your skills through work-based learning.

9. Your employer benefits too by as increasingly, tendering or post-tender contract compliance requires key members of the project team to have professional registration.
What are you waiting for? Find out more today.

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Why become an apprentice?

With the cost of university increasing year on year, more and more young people are choosing  apprenticeships rather than going to university.

Apprenticeships are a great way to learn a trade – but is an apprenticeship for you?

Here are five good reasons why they are:

1. The chance to shine.  When you start an apprenticeship, you will learn your trade from a master.  You will work with someone who’s an expert and will help you learn how to be an expert too.

ITP apprentice Aneel says: “As an apprentice it’s great that you can gain valuable knowledge from experienced seniors. It’s also a great chance to earn as you learn, which is a real advantage. I decided to take the apprenticeship with Green Telecom because I really enjoyed the support I already had received from the ITP, helping me prepare for the Assessment Day. I also enjoyed the session during the day with Steve Hayden, MD of Green Telecom. I felt he was really down to earth and I could see myself working with him.”

2. A skill you can use.  Jobs that start with an apprenticeship are highly skilled, and they are in high demand.  After all, not everyone can be an engineer!  It takes specialised training, which you’ll gain through your apprenticeship.  Once you’ve completed the apprenticeship, you’ll have credentials that will be valued anywhere you go.

Sara Maitland says “I decided to apply for the apprenticeship because it is technical, and offers exactly the kind of role I am looking for. I know it will challenge me; I won’t get bored. Telecoms is not only interesting but gives me excellent career prospects. It’s important to me that I find my job stimulating, and this one really is. By the end of my apprenticeship I will not only have a relevant qualification, but some real experience in the field.”

3. Earn while you learn.  People don’t usually get paid to learn something new!  But as an apprentice, you’ll learn a new skill and get paid whilst you do it.

4. Great opportunities.  83% of apprentices have said that their career prospects have improved due to completing their apprenticeship.

5. A secure future.  With an apprenticeship, you’ll have the chance to gain the skills and technical know-how to become one of the best in your field.  Achieving such a high level of skill will lead to a higher salary and greater job opportunities.

Apprenticeships are a great way to start in the telecoms industry.  It won’t be easy – you will have to work hard, but the rewards are huge!

The ITP is regularly recruiting for apprentices in the telecoms industry, check out the latest vacancies

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Why mentoring is good for your business

Richard Branson, Larry Page and Steve Jobs have all acknowledged the mentors who supported and advised them in their early days. Providing guidance to younger professionals offers the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping a young professional take their first steps onto the career ladder, and who knows where that ladder may lead to. During our busy working lives, taking the time out to mentor can seem hard to justify in terms of ROI, particularly if you are an SME with limited time and resource.

Mentoring doesn’t have to be hugely time consuming however, and it’s much more than simply helping a junior professional to progress their career. A  study by Gartner revealed that:

  • Employees who mentored were promoted six times more often than their peers who didn’t mentor
  • Mentees were promoted five times more
  • Employees involved in a mentoring scheme had a 20% higher retention rate than those who didn’t.

So whilst there may be many reasons to justify why you shouldn’t mentor, there are even more to justify why you should:

  • Improve your own learning

Flipped on its edge, ‘reverse mentoring’ allows you, the mentor, to gain something from your mentee. Young professionals are often up to speed on emerging technologies, social media and the latest communications tools. In many cases, the mentor can benefit from the mentee’s insight and the relationship then becomes a mutual learning exercise.

What’s more, offering advice and insight to others can sometimes lead to a re-evaluation of your own business strategy. Dave Davis, Senior Systems Engineer, iDirect and the ITP’s Mentor of the Year 2015 agrees, “Without doubt mentoring also helps me. Many a time have I given a piece of advice, or pointed out a different perspective only to think “maybe I should heed my own advice”. It makes you question the norm and constantly look for ways of improving yourself.”

  • Broaden your Network

Tracy Costa, a Manager at BT, took part as a mentee. She said: “The ITP mentoring programme gave me access to someone outside of my own network of contacts with the skills and knowledge to help me develop and to think about things in a different way.  It’s been really good having someone else there to ask the difficult questions, to make me think about my own values and opinions, but also to have the knowledge to point me in different directions to go and find the answers myself.”

  • Develop your own skills

Mentoring requires a set of skills to run a session, engage with the mentee and effectively organise and review his or her development. Some potential mentors may feel they don’t have the experience to be able to guide someone else, but every relationship can open up opportunities and imparting guidance on lessons you’ve learned, or mistakes you’ve made, can be immensely valuable to a mentee. Mentoring brings a new dimension to the skills you’ve acquired and no doubt have been using for some time.

  • Build professional networks

The ITP’s mentoring scheme is cross-industry, meaning mentors meet mentees from different businesses. Not only is this mutually beneficial for gaining insights into how other organisations work, but it can build powerful relationships between one company and another where traditionally there may have been little interaction.

Dave Davis concludes “I firmly believe that we have a responsibility to make sure those following up the ladder are supported, encouraged and inspired to be professionals we can be proud of. It’s not a case of ‘why should I mentor’ – it’s a case of ‘why not?”

The ITP has been running a successful mentoring scheme since 2007. To find out more and read case studies visit our website

 

Lateral security: networked immunity everywhere!

At a modest estimate the ‘Dark Side’ should be overpowered by the ‘Good’ of the computing world by at least 3000:1. But how well is the ‘Good’ doing? Peter Cochrane explains…

Our governments, companies, banks, institutions and security services are more than a match for the rogue states, organised crime, hacker groups, and those lone sharks huddled over screens in a multitude of bedrooms. The Good has more manpower, compute power, facilities, knowledge and money by a huge degree, and yet the Dark Side continues to prosper! How come?

It is all down to the power of networking. One side operates in a secret ‘need to know’ mode whilst the other is of necessity ‘need to share’ – it is as simple as that. The Dark Side are the ultimate networkers and sharers, and the magnification effect is exponential.

So what can the Good do to win? Firewalls don’t work and malware protection is always after the fact, a band aid applied to a known and already serious threat. The Good are also slow to detect incursions and even slower to respond, in effect, always on the back foot. We need to be pro-active, fast and anticipatory; then and only then can we hope to turn back the tide of the Dark. If we do not, we are already hatching a new and far worse nightmare called the ‘Internet of Things’ – or more correctly, ‘Clouds of Things’. The potential risks are obvious and the solutions non-existent. Today’s design and build of the IoT is so badly flawed it is bound to end in tears.

We probably have one big shot at creating an effective defence mechanism. This is founded on the established biological principles of white cells and auto-immunity.

Building hard and soft malware traps into every chip, card, device, shelf, rack, suite, room, building and network will cure the problem. The automatic detection and isolation of malware, followed by removal and destruction is a necessity because people cannot do it; this appears to be the only response likely to disrupt and put the Dark Side on the back foot. If the organisations and people of the Good will not network and share, then their hardware and software has to do it for them.

Is such a proposition viable? Some big players are looking at it already and the hardware and software overhead appears minimal. And so we might conjure a number of future scenarios, but the most iconic goes something like this. A man walks into a coffee shop with an infected mobile which tries to infect everything on WiFi and Bluetooth that is in range.

But these devices recognise or suspect an attack and isolate the infected device. They then collectively search out the ‘antidote malware remedy’, and upload it to attack the infection. Once confirmed as clean, the mobile device is accepted back into the community and allowed to connect and communicate.

This might all sound complex and cumbersome, but it turns out not to be so and such detection and immunisation cycles can occur in seconds unnoticed by the human owner. Better still, we no longer need to get involved in security as individuals; displaced by machine intelligence we are left to get on with what we do best – creating, solving, building and changing. Where does the ultimate responsibility then lie? The producers and supplier of hardware and software have a new product line, service and responsibility

Of course, the Dark Side will try to subvert all this, but by then it could be ‘game over’ and too late. I just hope the Good get off the grid and cross the winning line really soon!

This article first appeared in The Journal, Volume 10, Part 1 – 2016. The Journal is free to all ITP members, to find out about joining visit our website

Dr Peter Cochrane, OBE, BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc, CGIA, FREng, FRSA, FIEE, FIEEE.peter

Peter is an entrepreneur, business and engineering advisor to international industries and governments. He has worked across: hardware, software, systems, network, adaptive system design and operations. He currently runs his own company across four continents, is a visiting Professor at Hertfordshire University and was formerly CTO at BT and has received numerous awards including an OBE and IEEE Millennium Medal.