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  • Bio: Gordon Paterson after a range of different IT roles now works in the office of Michael McCann MP as a Parliamentary Assistant.
  • Role: Parlimentary Assistant

Gordon Paterson

I have just embarked on an exciting new job challenge as Parliamentary Assistant, running the Westminster office for Michael McCann MP who was elected for the first time in May 2010. This is a career change for me, having spent the past 25 years working in IT.

Having graduated from Glasgow University with a degree in Computing Science my career progressed from work as a programmer to computer manager for a FE college, Head of IT for COHSE the nurse’s trade union (now part of Unison), to Director of ICT for civil service trade union PCS, where I spent the last 16 years.

I joined the Chartered Institute for IT (BCS) and have been registered as a CEng through them since 1996. CEng status has generally provided a means of demonstrating my professionalism to potential employers and been a useful source of information about my career. However, a number of years ago it proved extremely beneficial in protecting my existing terms and conditions of employment.

My employer was undertaking an organisational wide job evaluation exercise where all roles were scored and re-graded. During this type of exercise IT jobs are often downgraded as the specialised knowledge and experience inherent in these roles is not recognised. Membership of a professional body with chartered status helped boost the scoring, not only for my own position but also that of a colleague who I had encouraged to join the BCS and become registered. In addition, the BCS was able to provide material on the problems with job evaluation in an IT environment, which was instrumental in building a case to prevent any downgrading of IT jobs.

So although the benefits of registration might not be immediately apparent, for me it took something unexpected and unforeseen to make me realise just how useful it is. And I would say to others, that as part of your CV it has the potential to give you the edge over your competitors and helps to emphasise your professionalism.

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