Tomorrow's Workforce Today: What is Required by Information Systems Graduates to Work in a Collaborative Information Systems Workplace?

Tomorrow's Workforce Today: What is Required by Information Systems Graduates to Work in a Collaborative Information Systems Workplace?

Kathy Lynch (University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia) and Julie Fisher (Monash University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-114-8.ch015
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Abstract

Over the last 100 years, technological advances have changed our lives in our homes and society and have continually impacted on the way we work, where we work, how we work, and with whom we work. Our work and workplace is changing through the use and reliance of information systems. It is therefore critical to develop information systems (IS) professionals who can manage the change but also have the skills to adapt to the changes. Within the IS development domain, the changing environment is driven by two key factors; collaboration and technology. An IS professional is one who designs, develops, and implements services and products for an organisation, and for the dissemination of information. Today the design and development of IS not only relies on the technical skills of the individual, but relies heavily on effective teams. The personal and interpersonal skills of people in the team have become just as important (and in some cases, more important) as the development of the IS. These personal and interpersonal skills are what is commonly coined the “nondiscipline skills,” “soft skills,” and in some arenas “emotional intelligence." The research reported in this chapter identified the needs of today’s IS workforce in terms of the nondiscipline skills required to work effectively in collaborative teams. The outcome of the research is a list of collaborative skills, identified from the literature and extended and confirmed by key IT industry professionals. The research identified that there are two sets of skills, individual skills and group skills that are important for our IS graduates to have obtained to work effectively in today’s information technology (IT) workforce. These results suggest that curriculum developers need to carefully consider how such skills can be taught to properly equip our graduates for tomorrow’s workforce.

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