Journal of Information Systems Education (JISE)

Volume 19

Volume 19 Number 3, Pages 351-363

Fall 2008

Mapping the MIS Curriculum Based on Critical Skills of New Graduates: An Empirical Examination of IT Professionals

James P. Downey
Mark E. McMurtrey
Steven M. Zeltmann

University of Central Arkansas
Conway, AR 72035, USA

Abstract: MIS curricula research almost always focuses on either curriculum issues or the critical skills required of new MIS graduates, rarely both. This study examines both by determining the critical skills required of new graduates, from the perspective of IT professionals in the field, then uniquely mapping those skills into a comprehensive yet flexible MIS curriculum that could be used by any MIS department. Using a sample of 153 IT professionals from six organizations in the mid-South, the results are somewhat surprising. While personal attributes are important, IT workers clearly believe that technology skills are a critical component of an MIS education, in particular database skills (including SQL), computer languages (at least two), and web design proficiency. Results also stress the importance of foundational concepts and knowledge, preparing new graduates for careers and not merely their first job. The impact for MIS curriculum designers is clear: make the major technically robust while simultaneously providing a core foundation in both business and IT. The study strongly suggests that concentrations (two or more sequenced courses) are a must; four are recommended as a result of this study: programming/architecture, telecommunications/networks, database, and web design/e-commerce. Implications are discussed.

Keywords: MIS curriculum, IT critical skills, MIS curriculum development, Technology education, IS pedagogy

Download this article: JISE - Volume 19 Number 3, Page 351.pdf

Recommended Citation: Downey, J. P., McMurtrey, M. E., & Zeltmann, S. M. (2008). Mapping the MIS Curriculum Based on Critical Skills of New Graduates: An Empirical Examination of IT Professionals. Journal of Information Systems Education, 19(3), 351-363.