D.2.5 Questions for Commercial and Business Information Technologists (e.g., MIS Support, Chief Information Officers)

  1. What will every worker need to know about information technology in order to make effective use of the capabilities it enables? It might be useful to distinguish between information technology skills (i.e., "facility with a specific computational tool or artifact such as a spreadsheet") and knowledge (i.e., "knowledge of programming," though not necessarily knowledge of a specific programming language). Please describe each element of this required knowledge and these required skills.
  2. The generic competencies underlying the workplace of the 21st century are generally thought to include project planning, budgeting and scheduling, using/communicating/organizing information, understanding/monitoring systems, and interpersonal skills. In your view, how should workers use computers and telecommunications technology in these five domains? (For example, today a person involved in planning might use spreadsheets, project planners, and flow charts. A person using and organizing information might use word processor or presentation software. A person exercising interpersonal skills might use decision support software.)
  3. What is the mix of general and specific knowledge of information technology that you expect to see in new employees? More specifically:
    • What specific artifacts (e.g., spreadsheets, word processors) do you need them to know about?
    • What ability to use new information technology do you expect or need them to have?
    • What conceptual knowledge is essential?
    • How does your answer change with the employee's seniority in the organization? Should these individuals acquire such knowledge and skills from in-house employer training, in formal or informal education, or in some other venue? Why?
    • What learning or educational experiences would enable the employees you support to cope with future technological changes and information technology tools with which they have no previous experience?

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