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Journal of Information Systems Education

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.

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