Data and Process Modelling: Investigating the Gap Between Education and Industry Expectations in New Zealand
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System Analysis and Design is a core course that is normally taught in the second year of the undergraduate Information System/Information Technology/Computing curriculum. It is an essential course that prepares students for the workplace by incorporating key concepts related to requirements elicitation, use of relevant modelling tools and techniques, and skills such as communication, team building, and time management. While research exists on understanding the teaching and learning aspects of Systems Analysis and Design, and also on the skills and development practices required in the workplace, there is limited research on investigating the gap between the two (i.e. academia and industry). In particular, to the best of this researcher’s knowledge, there is insufficient information on this gap in New Zealand. Therefore, the main objective of this research is to investigate the gap between what content is being currently taught in a typical System Analysis and Design undergraduate course in New Zealand, and the needs and expectations of the industry. Fifteen semi structured interviews were conducted with ten industry practitioners (business analysts, system analysts, and project managers) and five academic professionals involved in teaching and delivering an undergraduate System Analysis and Design course. Interviewing university teachers gave the researcher an insight into the content taught at different universities, and participants from industry provided an insight into the prevailing practices in the software industry of New Zealand and their expectations of graduates. Data was analysed using content analysis. The findings highlight some key differences between what is taught in universities and what is currently done in practice, such as methodologies, tools and techniques of System Analysis and Design. This may provide valuable insights into the expectations of relevant stakeholders (teaching teams and IT professionals) from both fields i.e., universities and the software industry in New Zealand.