Nurturing talents and professionals for the digital age

Common Career/Skill Framework

To develop world-class IT human resources, IPA has established the Common Career/Skill Framework to serve as a reference model for ITEE and three skill standards (ITSS, ETSS and UISS). This framework serves as the foundation for developing highly skilled IT human resources.

  • Structure of the Common Career/Skill Framework

Skill Standards for IT Professionals (ITSS)

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  • ITSS and its related documents English edition are available here.

Intensifying competition in the IT industry has prompted companies to shift their development bases overseas to avoid high personnel expenses in Japan, and in turn is causing a so-called hollowing-out of the industry. To prevent this shift, there have been calls for urgent action to develop essential IT human resources. In response, METI established ITSS as an industry skill standard in 2002. METI subsequently transferred the control of ITSS to IPA and entrusted IPA with the administration of these standards.

Specifically, ITSS is a set of systematic indices that clarify and systemize the skills needed for people working in the IT services industry. ITSS is utilized as a tool for developing professional human resources to implement corporate strategies. Organized into a career framework, ITSS classifies the information services industry into 11 job categories and 35 specialty fields. In each field, there are seven levels based on individual experience and results. One appealing feature of ITSS is that this standard allows engineers to draw roadmaps for their own futures and career advancement (Career Path).

Approximately 90% of large enterprises and over 60% of SMEs have introduced or are considering using ITSS. As reflected by these figures, ITSS is being effectively utilized as an indicator for business managers and engineers to systematically consider both their own and the future of their respective companies.

Users' Information Systems Skill Standards (UISS)

Users' Information Systems Skill Standards (UISS) serves as metrics for use in the optimal placement of corporate information systems and the identification and proper training of necessary human resources. With the aim of bolstering corporate competitiveness, this standard exhaustively and systematically arranges and lists the skills and knowledge required for organizations and people.

Making Three Skill Standards Consistent

The three skill standards (ETSS, ITSS and UISS) along with ITEE have been revised to maintain consistency with the Common Career/Skill Framework. These revisions centered on level assessment methods and terminology.

  • ITSS Career Framework