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					                               Drew Hwang
                     dhwang@csupomona.edu

                                    Louise Soe
                         llsoe@csupomona.edu
Computer Information Systems, Cal Poly Pomona




                              12/10/2011         1
   Background of study
   Literature Review
   Research methods
   Findings
    Career Track Categories
    Career Track Frequencies
   Conclusions / Recommendations
    Naming strategies & numbers
    Career Track Structures



                                    12/10/2011   2
   Study began in 2006 when our department was
    reviewing and changing its curriculum
    What do other programs offer?
    How do we compare?
    What should we change?
   Drew reviewed career tracks in 4-year schools
    with MIS/IS/CIS majors or programs
    “Career Track Design in IS Curriculum: A Case Study,”
     Information Systems Education Journal, November 2007,
     5(29), 1-18
    Presented at ISECON 2007
   Drew updated data for this paper in Feb-May
          2009

                                             12/10/2011      3
1. Normative – develop normative standards to
   ensure “body of knowledge” and skill sets
   are part of the curriculum
  Model curricula
   IS 2002
   IT 2004
   Working group on new model curriculum:
    Topi, Valacich, Kaiser, Nunamaker, Sipior, de Vreede,
    and Wright. “”Revising the IS Model Curriculum:
    Rethinking the Approach and the Process.”
     Communications of the Association for Information
     Systems, Vol. 20, pp 728-740.


                                             12/10/2011     4
2. Descriptive – describes what exists – our
   study fits here
   What exists
       Longenecker & Feinstein (1989)
       Gill and Hu (1999) looked at changes
   AACSB school curricula
       Chen, Danesh, Willhardt, 1991
       Heinrichs and Banerjee (2002)
       Kung, Yang and Zhang (2006)
   Comparisons to model curricula
       MacKinnon, 2003
       Williams and Pomykalski (2006)



                                               12/10/2011   5
   Curriculum with diversity
    Broad spectrum of knowledge and skills –
   Curriculum with specificity
    Concentrations in one or more subfields
    Career track model falls within this part of the
     spectrum
    Other names for career tracks:
     options, emphases, concentrations, specializations,
     specialties, paths, certificates, clusters, support
     areas



                                            12/10/2011     6
   “Generic IS curriculum is outdated” (Lee,
    Trauth and Farwell (1995, p. 333)
   “Single career track” IS professional is
    “outdated” (Lightfoot, 1999)
   Specialization occurs in graduate programs
    (Ehie, 2002)
   No relationship between IS course
    specialization and initial full-time job
    placement and starting salary (Ross, et. al
    2004)


                                      12/10/2011   7
   Between February and May, 2009, Drew
    reviewed curricula of 450 U.S. business
    schools with baccalaureate IS programs
    http://www.univsource.com/bus.htm
   He looked at every school’s website to
    identify those with career tracks or
    specializations
    Built a database
    Analyzed his findings




                                         12/10/2011   8
  110 /450 (24.5%) had career tracks or
   specializations
  No standardized way to name career tracks
  No standard way to define what courses
   belong in a career track
  No standard way to define how many courses
   make up a track
• During our analysis, we clustered them into
   categories based on names and what courses
   they included


                                  12/10/2011    9
   IS Fields: Information Systems, Information
    Technology, Computer Information Systems,
    Management Information Systems
   IS subfields: Networking, Decision Support
    Systems
   Referent disciplines: Accounting Information
    Systems
   Job names: Business analyst




                                       12/10/2011   10
   Track curriculum varied in size:
    defined from beginning to end
    Could be 2 to 5 courses beyond a common core
    Could be very similar to other tracks within the
     same program (sometimes one class
     differentiated two tracks)
    Could involve other programs (e.g., accounting)
    Could be defined by student and an advisor




                                           12/10/2011   11
   First, based on Track name
   Then looked at courses listed for career
    tracks (since different schools defined this
    differently) if we were unsure
   Then classified them into groups – tried to hit
    right granularity




                                        12/10/2011    12
Category                    Number   Category                        Number
IS Disciplines                75     Information Management            17
(CIS/CS/IT/MIS)                      –data + another word
Web Technologies /            44     (warehousing, structures,
E-commerce                           mining, database
                                     management, etc.)
Applications                  42
Development                          Business Systems                  13
                                     Analysis
Networking &                  33
Telecommunications                   Specialized IS / Studies          14
                                     (education, human
Information Assurance         28     factors, consulting,
Business Functional           24     spatial systems, etc.)
Applications (Accounting,            End user support                  8
Administration, ERP,                 /training
Finance, Operations
Management)                          Decision Support                  8



                                                        12/10/2011            13
Number of Tracks   Frequency of   % of total
                     Programs
       1               11           10.0%
       2               55           50.0%
       3               23           20.9%
       5                5            4.5%
       6                3            2.2%
       7                2            1.8%
     8 or 9             0              0
      10                1            0.9%
    TOTAL              110          100%




                                  12/10/2011   14
   Most schools (80.9%) with tracks have 1 to 3
    Probably due to resources and complexity
   Track naming is idiosyncratic – we assume it
    is a faculty decision, probably influenced by:
    Subfields in which they specialize –
     In older subfields, track names vary less
     In newer subfields, more variation for similar tracks
    Names attractive to prospective employers
    Representation of faculty areas of expertise
    Schools seem to update tracks in line with new
     technologies and opportunities for jobs.


                                                12/10/2011    15
   No consistent track structure among these
    programs
    Tracks with same name at 2 schools may vary widely
    Highly structured (no choices) to highly flexible
     (determined by student and advisor)
    May be interdisciplinary in nature or not
    2 tracks in same program may have courses that are
     mutually exclusive or may vary by only one course
    IS programs within business schools they may be
     partnered with referent disciplines, which influences
     curriculum offerings.


                                            12/10/2011       16
   7 categories represent standards in IS field – well
    established
    Applications Development, IS Disciplines, Systems /
     Business Analysis, Networking / Telecommunications,
     Information Management, Decision Support, End-user
     computing – note the last two are dwindling.
   2 categories represent more recent IT areas
    Web Development / E-Commerce
    Information Assurance
   Business Functional Applications category
     stresses individual business functional areas
   Specialized Information Systems / Studies
    a catchall category


                                                 12/10/2011   17
   Programs reviewing their career tracks should
    continue to scan the environment and the
    career opportunities available to students
   The newest model curriculum task force is
    working in the area of a career track model
    curriculum – their findings and
    recommendations may influence future career
    tracks.




                                      12/10/2011    18
   Longitudinal review in 2 years to see what is
    changing, especially in this period of
    uncertainty
   Compare characteristics of schools with
    career tracks with those that do not
   Compare existing tracks with model curricula,
    especially when new model with career
    specializations is in place




                           Hwang & Soe, ISECON, 2009   12/10/2011   19
   Comments?
   Ideas?




                Hwang & Soe, ISECON, 2009   12/10/2011   20

				
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