The Career Framework was an initiative of UBC’s Focus on People Initiatives www.focusonpeople.ubc.ca. The Career Framework is the result of an exciting collaboration of HR and IT professionals at all levels at UBC. It reflects Human Resources expertise in compensation, change management, systems and organizational development as well as the knowledge of IT hiring and management contributed by four IT groups on campus including MedIT, UBC Okanagan, Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology (CTLT) and UBC IT. Together we studied work done in other educational institutions, best practices and ran a series of interactive focus groups across the organization.

UBC is consistently the second largest employer of IT professionals in British Columbia. Within our many departments there are numerous career-building opportunities but it was difficult to identify what positions existed across the geographically dispersed and decentralized IT function. The framework provides a standardized method of assigning business titles for IT professionals therefore providing clarity of the types of positions available. In addition, it clearly identifies the skills and competencies required for the various positions. This clarity makes a number of things possible:

  • Staff members whose positions are aligned to the Framework can see their current position in the context of the entire IT workforce, its core competencies and its specialties – therefore, where they have come from and where their next career step might be. Allowing staff to build a rewarding and fulfilling career at UBC.
  • Recruiting Managers can highlight the competencies they are seeking and their postings will attract staff who have been building proficiency in that area.
  • IT at UBC can efficiently implement its strategy for maintaining superiority as an organization which depends on gaining, retaining, motivating and developing outstanding talent – and by doing so, meet and exceed its responsibility to the university’s stakeholders.

The Career Framework is intended to be a developmental tool. Staff members still need to apply for positions, but the Career Framework can help individuals identify where their current job is located on a career ladder and what positions might be a good fit in the future. By looking at current skills and competencies, and then identifying where to focus your development efforts, individuals will be able to align development plans more closely to career aspirations. This can be done independently or in conjunction with a manager.

After a staff member determines their career aspirations and assesses their current knowledge, skills and competencies, the next step it to write a personal development plan. Then meet with your manager. Managers will assess the staff members strengths and potential, against current opportunities available to learn new skills and competencies; this might include being paired with a mentor or new tasks, or independent learning through courses or reading. Staff members may also choose to initiate a discussion with the Manager(s) responsible for the function or of the position(s) in line with their interested. Ask for their advice on how to position and prepare for when a vacancy becomes available.

We recognize how important it is that job titles and descriptions are meaningful inside and outside UBC. Many of our IT professionals are called up for speaking engagements, attend industry conferences, and support partner organizations. In addition to the Gardner Group identifying competencies specific to IT professionals globally, we also referred to HR consulting firms such as Towers Perrin and Robert Half for their glossaries of IT business titles and job descriptions.

IT positions at UBC not listed in the career framework are “one-of” positions, these may be focused on activities which are truly unique or that span the functions of three or more of the career ladders; the ladders only include positions wherein there is a critical mass or a generic way to describe the activities and skills as applied across UBC. Staff members in one of these positions can still use the Career Framework to help with goal setting, career planning, and development planning. The resources can also help should an individual choose to move into a career ladder position.

One of the key principles of the career framework is standardized job titles; these allow staff members to easily find their community of practice, simply by searching the UBC Directory for a job title as listed on the framework. Titles can also be searched for directly from an IT department’s organizational chart on their website.

A: The overwhelming majority of M&P, IT roles at UBC are aligned to the Career Framework, however not all units have joined.  While the Career Framework was developed for the IT at UBC community not all units have the breadth of IT functions to specialize in a particular area of IT.  These can sometimes sit outside the Career Framework as more generalist roles.   Any UBC staff members in the M&P IT job family at wishing to align their position description to the career framework should consult their manager or HR representative.

Have a question that you’d like answered? Email us at career.framework@ubc.ca