UBC Theses and Dissertations
An analysis of skill requirements in data processing environments Mantha, Robert William
The purpose of this study was to examine the skills deemed to be useful to data processing managers and to systems analysts in data processing environments of varying levels of maturity. The subjects of the study were 35 data processing managers and 50 systems analysts from a sample of 35 companies of varying size and of varying experience with electronic data processing (EDP). The research method used to gather the data was the mail questionnaire. Two questionnaires were developed: one to measure an EDP organization's relative maturity in terms of data processing, and one to measure EDP practitioners perceived usefulness of 99 data processing skills in terms of their own job position. The results obtained indicate that data processing managers and systems analysts of both more and less mature organizations perceived generalist skills as being more useful than specialist skills. In particular, people, organization and society skills were perceived to be the most useful to data processing managers, whereas people, organizations and system skills were perceived to be the most useful to systems analysts. Model and computer skills were perceived to be the least useful to both groups of practitioners. Data processing managers of more mature organizations perceived people and society skills to be more useful than did their counterparts in less mature organizations. Finally, generalist skills were perceived to be more useful to data processing managers than to systems analysts, whereas specialist skills were perceived to be more useful to systems analysts than to data processing managers. The implication of this study on university curricula in information systems is that universities should prepare their information systems graduates to solve people and organization problems rather than technical problems. However, it was pointed out in this study that a good technical background is necessary to function effectively as an EDP practitioner in the data processing community.
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