Journal of Information Systems Education (JISE)

Volume 29

Volume 29 Issue 3, Pages 169-182

Summer 2018


Aligning IS Master's Programs with Industry


Yin L. Tan
Keiichi Nakata
University of Reading
Reading, RG6 6UD, UK

Debra Paul
AssistKD
Thame, OX9 3EX, UK

Abstract: Information Systems (IS) programs in Higher Education (HE) institutions have a long tradition of enabling graduates to develop the appropriate skills needed for their future careers. Nevertheless, previous studies suggest that IS curricula are not always well-aligned with industry/business needs. At the same time, universities increasingly have to deal with issues concerning the quality of their degrees and whether students earning the degrees obtain high-quality employment with good employers. This study thus sets out to achieve two objectives: 1) to better re-align the IS programs with business needs/standard work practice and 2) to provide students with an opportunity to earn a professional practitioner certification prior to their graduation. We present an approach to, and an example of, aligning a Master’s Business Analysis curriculum with practitioner certification of a key professional body for the IS industry. The approach to alignment was grounded by theory in teaching and learning in HE. We provide a detailed description of the process of embedding and aligning the business analysis certification objectives within the course curriculum, which can be replicated by IS educators in other universities. Our results show a positive outcome for the HE institution and professional body partnership. We conclude the paper with a discussion of the wider implications for IS curricula design.

Keywords: Curriculum design & development, Business relevance, Accreditation, Requirements analysis & specification

Download this article: JISE - Volume 29 Issue 3, Page 169.pdf


Recommended Citation: Tan, Y. L., Nakata, K., & Paul, D. (2018). Aligning IS Master's Programs with Industry. Journal of Information Systems Education, 29(3), pp. 169-182.