Engineer. It sounds like a title to me. Like Knight. A title you have to be trained to earn and have another engineer bestow it upon you with a graphing calculator tap to the shoulders. I’m sure in some fields, it probably is that way, like in nuclear or chemical engineering. I don’t think you can go out, take some books from the library, take a few tests from a company making products for the nuclear power plants, can call yourself a nuclear engineer.
In systems, this is COMPLETELY not the case. Many of the folks I’ve worked with have had nothing more than a high school diploma. Some have had some college coursework and either quit or just got an associate’s degree, and many with Bachelor’s degrees don’t have them in any kind of IT field of study. Not computer science, information systems, or even electronics.
I’m of the latter type. I have a degree in mathematics. I did some programming in my mathematics study for things like numerical analysis or whatever, but it was straight programming in FORTRAN…nothing anyone would do professionally in an IT-type role. I got my first job out of college as a student trainee working for the Army as a civilian employee. Being a student was required, but not being a student in any particular field.
I had a guy teach me in my first week how to load Windows NT 4.0 onto a bare metal server. He did that once. Soon thereafter, we did a huge PC upgrade for 1/3 of the entire division, and I was staring at a room full of Dell PCs to image with Ghost. Unbox, boot it up with the boot floppy, pull down the image, reboot, and join it to the domain. This is before anything like SCCM could help with this, and I did over 300 machines this way manually. I helped load them on the truck, rode up to the Pentagon, and worked throughout the building replacing machines. Being the military, of course, the generals and colonels got theirs first, then their machines went down the line, and so on. We replaced 1/3 a year, and ended up touching and moving Every. Single. One., Every. Single. Year.