Journal of Information Systems Education


The focus of most academic Information Systems (IS) programs is to teach computer usage, systems analysis and design, application programming, and business management concepts. The focus of such program is to train IS students to analyze organizational systems and understand user needs. The job functions of systems analysts in today’s organizations are demanding. The need to understand changing user requirements as well as how to maintain existing systems. Additionally they must be able to develop innovative applications integrating new technologies such as Neural Networks, Expert Systems, Distributed Processing, Distributed Artificial Intelligence, and CASE tools. Often they will have to implement prototypes using traditional development approaches. Further, organizational users today (and more so in future) are themselves highly computer literate, and may be experts in specific areas of computing. To cope with these increasing demands, IS professionals need to have an understanding of the technical aspects of computing technology. In this paper we focus on a particular aspect of software technology, namely data structures. To demonstrate the need for a data structures course in IS programs, we examine situations where knowledge of data structures is needed by the IS professional. We also provide some high level directions for developing a data structures course appropriate for IS students.



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