• United States

CompTIA needs your help

Jan 27, 20033 mins

* Your chance to help set the standards for occupational skills

CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association, has been tapped by the U.S. federal government to conduct a nationwide research program on occupational skills and knowledge in the information and communication technology industry.  CompTIA needs your help in conducting this research.  In return for a small investment of your time (approximately 40 minutes), CompTIA will give you the detailed results of its study.  This report promises to help you in hiring, evaluating, training and managing technical professionals.

The goal of this research is to validate the framework of standards for the skills and knowledge needed for seven common categories of technical jobs.  The categories include: database development and administration, Web development, technical writer, network devices, network infrastructure, programming, and digital media.

Unlike many other professions that also require in-depth skills and knowledge, the information and communication industry does not have a nationwide standard for the base level of occupational skills necessary to do a job.  This makes it hard to evaluate a candidate or employee and to know if he or she is qualified for a specific position. 

For example, if your company advertises an opening for a “network administrator” who would primarily manage all network devices, you could get hundred of responses from people with vastly varying skills and experience.  How can your human resources department even begin to compare one candidate to another when there are no nationwide standards for skill levels for this position? You could overlook great candidates or waste time on the wrong ones because there’s no common measure of what people should know to do the job.

CompTIA hopes to survey more than 24,000 ICT professionals and their managers throughout the U.S. between now and the end of February.  The scope of the research is only for the U.S., with the intent of improving the American workforce.  The study is underwritten by the National Skills Standards Board.

“We would like to get as many ICT staff members in a company as we can to complete the survey,” says John Engman, CompaTIA’s Director of Workforce Development.  “This gives us the chance to validate the daily activities of technical workers across a spectrum of job positions.”

The ideal candidate for completing the survey includes a technician with at least 18 months of experience or a supervisor or trainer who has at least three years of experience training or supervising technician work within the past five years in one of the seven target job concentrations listed above.  For a complete description of each target job concentration go to:

If you meet these criteria, email the survey coordinator, Dan Schoonhen, at or call him (from 9a.m.-5p.m. EST, Mon-Fri) at (973) 631-1607, ext. 103 to convey your name, title and contact information and your interest in participating.  Dan will ask you a few short questions to prequalify you and/or your employees.  Once you are prequalified, you will be sent a Web site address, username and password to go online and take the survey.  The survey is “self-administered” online, and is structured so that respondents complete it in about 40 minutes.

When the study is completed, all participating companies will get access to the validated standards to update their job descriptions and improve their training programs.  Individual survey takers will be entered into a lottery for a digital camera ($500 value).  Perhaps best of all, participants can know they are helping to improve the productivity of U.S. businesses and strengthen the economic security of American workers.