We all have marketing problem
A people that studied computer science in their undergraduate rarely called computer scientist. To call a person that know about programming language build some application as programmer is inaccurate, the same as calling admin or IT person. Some other version such as analyst, which bridging between user and technical is also to generalization. In Indonesia cases, even the use of consultant has a negative term, as it might relate with freelance job, or it refer to programming, or reference to MLM / insurance agent.
So, for average computer science graduate, the safe way is to describe their profession is with the name of company. For example I work in Pertamina (as Pertamina employee), or I work helping Bank Mandiri (as a vendor, guaranted people will forget the vendor name), and the most used term is ‘consultant’ which because of there are a lot of computer science graduate, the term is become less prestigious.
However some lesson to remember, that most of question asking about profession in Indonesia is for small talk only. So if the person sit next to you on the bus (of course on friendly atmosphere), it is better to explain the profession by saying “I work in computer department or I work by develop computer program”
A similar case like above, where a person that study computer might have stereotype as ‘programmer’ or ‘IT guy’ and has a risk that might be delegated doing admin works, or might be expected to be able to solve computer problem, which is nothing to do with the degree background. A person that study environment science also might be called environmentalist,and accused to have environmentalism ideology.
In Indonesia case, the word environment is translated as ‘lingkungan’ which has synonim with ‘clean’, thus regarded as unimportant. Although the word lingkungan in Indonesia is not related with ideology, however the word Non Government Organization / LSM, has a negative marketing image which related with ‘foreign intervention’.
In the much broader scale, the marketing problem is real and more difficult. For example the use of Education ‘Liberalism’, which in a sense is expecting that University has a right to change the curriculum, made a research strategy, will shifting the use of term becoming ‘Deregulation’, or it can be use as separation of religion and science.
Who’s to blame in Marketing problem?
Customer never wrong, if a graduate in Computer Science being stereotyped as nerd it has nothing to do with the person personality, and most of the time is just as joke in small talk conversation, and of course a person should never be angry if bullied because of the ‘image’. A person might just say “Well I am only doing a small part in computer department, so I am sorry I didn’t know”. Or in case of environmentalist, a person might just say “Well, I am just environment student, so my position at this issues is neutral”.
There is nothing wrong with saying “I don’t know” or “I am neutral” as people easier to accept that some people in that stereotype is different. It is more difficult to change the perceived stereotype in that person.
So in conclusion, never, ever influence people to change their stereotype perception, or by saying that their stereotype model is wrong. Instead, it is more acceptable their stereotype model is right, but I am different person.
How about the real life situation for example?
Well it might be not accurate, but back in 90s. Top 1 Oil is has a very good image. But sooner or later, people will realize something wrong with Top 1. In this case, the owner should prepare for the worst and manage their operation as efficient as possible, without putting to much effort.
How about bad marketing image in politician?
Well its the same. Customer never wrong, even if we choose the hard way, it will be very costly. If you have resources (time & money) you can make something, if not, do not expecting to high.