Path to becoming CIO opened up

The Open University and CIO Executive Council look to help IT pros reach the top of the ladder.


IT workers aspiring to become a chief information officer (CIO) will be able to take advantage of a new initiative designed to help them attain their goal.

The Open University has hooked up with the CIO Executive Council on the project to get IT pros on the path to reaching the pinnacle of the profession.

The Pathways competency framework, which contains 10 key attributes needed to become a CIO, can now be accessed through the Open University's online industry curriculum.

Kevin Streater, executive director for IT and telecoms at The Open University, told IT PRO that budding CIOs should look to role models such as the incoming and outgoing Government CIOs, Joe Harley and John Suffolk, for inspiration.

He claimed most IT professionals see the position of CIO as "unattainable," yet there is plenty of interest in the role.

"Every community I go to I see people wanting to be at the top. It's the place people want to get to," Streater said.

"The way to address skills shortages is to help people at the beginning of their careers."

He said it would be great if the Government could get more involved with providing stimulus to the IT jobs market.

So far, the Open University has carried out work in the sector with minimal Government assistance, Streater added.

Reed's annual job index showed the UK's need for IT professionals was 23 per cent higher at the start of 2011 when compared to early 2010.

Meanwhile, E-skills said the number of IT and telecoms professionals will grow at four times the rate of other sectors.

Streater said the Open University is placing stronger emphasis on two other areas of the IT jobs market other than CIOs cyber security and service management.

The educational institution has been involved with the first Cyber Security Challenge UK, which is heading towards its conclusion in March.

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