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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

In many firms, Information Technology (IT) leaders assume different titles, the most common ones being Chief Information Officer or Chief Technology Officer. These leaders are usually the highest ranked executives in-charge of the IT governance practices in their firms. The job designations held by these IT leaders have been in existence for the last three decades. The objective of this research is to investigate the hiring trends of IT leaders, as well as their educational backgrounds. Since the findings of this study have the potential to influence the education, training, and hiring of potential IT leaders, these results are beneficial to both educators and practitioners. This exploratory study uses objective firm level longitudinal data spanning a period of 11 years (1997-2007) that includes the pre and post Year 2000 (Y2K), the dot com boom and bust years, and other significant events which have influenced the overall US economy and the IT industry. Using 1299 instances of IT leader hires, the results show that many firms have a top management position in charge of IT. Many of these IT leaders have a technical undergraduate degree and a business graduate degree. The research also reveals that most of these IT leaders did not obtain either their undergraduate or graduate degrees from the top tier schools as classified by the US World News and Report, BusinessWeek or Financial Times.

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