- September 2009
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- During last few years, the competential paradigm has become a standard for modern Human Resources Management. The importance and the impact of this concept have led higher education institutions to adopt this concept in the definition of educational resources. In this scenario, knowing which competencies and characteristics define professionals in any position is fundamental, not only for organizations and academic institutions, but also for the professionals of the future.In today's environment, with its shortages of professionals in the IT sector, attracting students in order to shape tomorrow's labor force has become a major issue of concern in educational institutions.Within the set of elements employed by such institutions to attract future students, one significant issue is how to convey the professional reality that is faced by prospective students. IT professionals are often subject to negative social stigmas. And this negative view creates negative stereotypes, which are on one hand, generally adopted, and on the other, they don't accurately portray the employees' the working life.This research presents a study that investigates the perception of the characteristics of IT professionals from the perspective of future professionals: students in their final year of high school. The results indicate that the students generally hold a stereotyped vision regarding the characteristics that are typical of professionals in industry. With the objective of improving the specific knowledge of the professional reality of IT workers, the current paper proposes a number of measures in order to attract students to the profession and inform them of the true professional characteristics of IT professionals. One suggestion is to encourage collaboration between organizations and academic institutions in attracting new people to IT roles and for professional associations to assume a much more active role in communicating IT working styles appropriately.