The purpose of vocations is not to serve God but other people who are our neighbours and this is the true test for ones vocation. God is the giver of knowledge and thus an IT profession is just another profession. In this modern era, it is communication systems that keep people connected, life support systems have software designed by IT professionals. This shows that even if the IT profession is not a historically recognised vocation, people still benefit from it (Bynum and Simon, 10). In this era where everything is automated, information systems are also being used to spread Gods word, maintain love and friendship bonds between families separated by distance. While the above examples are evidently direct, the IT profession still helps many people indirectly since it is applied in banking, engineering, disaster prediction, medical research etc. While some may argue that science conflicts religion, the question would be why God gave man so much knowledge if he did not want him to use it to help others.
An IT professional may also handle a lot of private information about companies and individuals and like any other calling such as preaching, high moral standards and strong ethical behaviours are necessary. Morality is based on the absoluteness of moral behaviours and not human desires thus one should be able to maintain a high level of responsibility and ethical behaviour (Veith, 18). Any profession in IT requires a lot of dedication, knowledge and ethics, as such; it is a calling like any other (Bynum and Simon, 10). Pursuing an IT degree with poor performance in mathematics and physics may lead to failure in the venture since the profession requires alertness and fast thinking. This shows that vocation is out of our control and that whatever we do; we are dependent on God (Veith, 19-22).
A hacker may claim to be an IT specialist but definitely not a professional. Even in the secular world, professional ethics are based on good moral standards and as such an IT professional should only engage in the line of work that shows love and service; “love your neighbour as you love yourself” (Matthew 22:39). Again, doing something legal but harmful is not a vocation e.g. designing an adult content website may show the IT skills but then, it does not reflect the love of God (Veith, 21). An information security professional however, has a vocation since he is just a good hacker who understands the thinking of hackers with malicious intent and as such, uses these skills to protect information and properties of people who have entrusted him with their information and properties.
Success in a vocation in IT is achieved when the professional observes honesty, integrity and bears enough will and faith in God to resist temptation of abusing the vocation (Veith, 38-42). While managing bank account passwords that protect accounts worth millions, only the grace of God and a true calling would help one evade the temptation of stealing funds. By living as called, having faith and praying, a person can be successful in their vocation and God grants them more knowledge and skills to help others as was the case of Bezalel, the craftsman chosen by God to design the ark of the covenants and items in the tabernacle (Veith, 44).
Bynum, Terrell , and Simon Rogerson. Computer Ethics and Professional Responsibility. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub, 2004. Print.
Pojman, Louis Ethics: Discovering Right and Wrong. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, 2012. Print.
Veith,, Gene God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life. Crossway Books, Good News Publishers, 2002. Print.