Lifting professional standards and bolstering education will top the agenda of new Australian Computer Society (ACS) president, Phillip Argy, when he takes up office on January 1.
Argy, a Sydney-based ICT lawyer, replaces Edward Mandla. His first points of focus will be improving levels of professionalism within the industry and increasing public awareness of ICT as a life skill. Like his predecessor, Argy said more needed to be done to ensure people were obtaining better skill sets, such as training up teachers as well as strengthening ethical and social standards.
He also threw his support behind a potential IT apprenticeship program.
IT skills could be taught in a similar fashion to more traditional trades, such as plumbing, Argy said. This would be an effective way to mitigate risks associated with ICT projects.
But he had no plans to implement a full licensing or certification program. ACS membership was not the be all and end all of IT accreditation, Argy said. "It's not politically malleable to promote mandatory ACS membership; it's not something we want to espouse," he said.
Argy is a senior partner for Mallesons Stephen Jaques and has worked with the firm for 20 years in the ICT field. He is also a programmer, holding a Bachelor of Commerce in Information Systems in addition to a Bachelor of Law.
Argy was previously the ACS NSW Branch Chair and served multiple terms as vice-president.