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Where is the IS Industry Headed?

P: n/a
Our university is doing some survey work to consider where the world
of IS is headed. Since most of those here work in that world, I'm
interested in your thoughts, especially if you think you have a good
feel for job skills needed now and job skills needed in the future.

The question is sort of two pronged.

First, where are IS jobs headed? Will there continue to be a
significant demand for programming skills? What type of analysis
skills (especially in terms of those that can be developed
academically) are important? Are the requirements changing -- will
things look different in the next five to ten years?

Second, what are the specific things you would think IS majors should
understand when leaving the university? Do you think any of those
things are going to change in the next 5-10 years?

Those are broad questions since I want to leave a lot of room for your
thoughts. I'd like to have some idea of what your role is in your
business and what type of business you are in if you answer (I know
some people don't like to give specifics on here and that's fine --
just "we are a manufacturing company, or I'm a private consultant" is
enough).

Lastly, I'd point out that I'm not interested in specific language
skills, etc. I'm not interested in starting another Sun/Microsoft war
or anything like that. Our philosophy is that even if we use Java/Sun
products for everything we do, you ought to be able to go into a shop
using Smalltalk or .Net or whatever and get up to speed quickly -- so
it's the broader concepts that I'm referring to.

I don't know whether I'll reply to all responses unless I'm looking
for clarification, but I promise I'll give all serious consideration.
Thanks for any ideas,

Marty McMahone
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Texas
Nov 15 '05 #1
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2 Replies


P: n/a
IS is heading to India and China. At least, development is, and a lot of
the maintenance work as well. We will see much more of a rise in complete
packaged solutions (peoplesoft, oracle, sap... ) as the packages get more
complete, and companies do a better job or resisting the temptation to blow
the budget by customizing everything under the hood. Outsourcing in
government circles will increase even further, as folks in the internal
shops retire, tax revenues fall, and budgets get squeezed, even with a
backlash against offshore outsourcing. Integration will save millions of
dollars by removing incompatible systems, but only if Americans understand
it and can deploy it.

People here need analysis skills. Someone has to collect requirements to
feed to India.
Someone has to test what comes back. Someone has to implement it and
support the transition.

People here need consulting skills: the ability to lead, to convince, to
educate, and to defer.
Basic people skills... not normally taught in University but it should be.

People here need to understand packages, in general and in specific. Teach
EAI and how to implement it. Teach ERP and CRM packages, and how to analyze
the situation, select the modules, create the gap analysis, create a
deployment strategy, and roll out a solution in phases. Teach integration
tools with legacy systems.

People here need to understand the principles of business in IT, regardless
of whether they are destined for business or government or academia.

--- Nick Malik
Solutions Architect in an IT Integration and Consulting Firm

"marty mcmahone" <mm********@hot.rr.com> wrote in message
news:cc****************@fe1.texas.rr.com...
Our university is doing some survey work to consider where the world
of IS is headed. Since most of those here work in that world, I'm
interested in your thoughts, especially if you think you have a good
feel for job skills needed now and job skills needed in the future.

The question is sort of two pronged.

First, where are IS jobs headed? Will there continue to be a
significant demand for programming skills? What type of analysis
skills (especially in terms of those that can be developed
academically) are important? Are the requirements changing -- will
things look different in the next five to ten years?

Second, what are the specific things you would think IS majors should
understand when leaving the university? Do you think any of those
things are going to change in the next 5-10 years?

Those are broad questions since I want to leave a lot of room for your
thoughts. I'd like to have some idea of what your role is in your
business and what type of business you are in if you answer (I know
some people don't like to give specifics on here and that's fine --
just "we are a manufacturing company, or I'm a private consultant" is
enough).

Lastly, I'd point out that I'm not interested in specific language
skills, etc. I'm not interested in starting another Sun/Microsoft war
or anything like that. Our philosophy is that even if we use Java/Sun
products for everything we do, you ought to be able to go into a shop
using Smalltalk or .Net or whatever and get up to speed quickly -- so
it's the broader concepts that I'm referring to.

I don't know whether I'll reply to all responses unless I'm looking
for clarification, but I promise I'll give all serious consideration.
Thanks for any ideas,

Marty McMahone
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Texas

Nov 15 '05 #2

P: n/a
Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

"Nick Malik" <ni*******@hotmail.nospam.com> wrote in message
news:2RlUb.228250$na.366547@attbi_s04...
People here need consulting skills: the ability to lead, to convince, to
educate, and to defer.
Basic people skills... not normally taught in University but it should be. People here need to understand the principles of business in IT, regardless of whether they are destined for business or government or academia.


We agree and require our IS majors to minor in business -- where we have a
leadership class that addresses people skills. If the classes weren't
required though, we'd have a tough time getting computer people to take
them. Our computer science majors often say the reason they chose CS over
IS is that they didn't want to have to minor in business. Hard to get 19
year olds to see the big picture sometimes.

Thanks again,
Marty
Nov 15 '05 #3

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