On Engaging Undergraduate Business Students with Computational Thinking to Speed up Closing the Skils Gap

ID: 52685 Type: Brief Paper
  1. Manying Qiu, Virginia State University, United States
  2. Yaquan Xu, Georgia Gwinnett College, United States
  3. Emmanuel Omojokun, Virginia State University, United States

Tuesday, March 27 4:15-4:35 PM Location: Wright View on map

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Abstract: Technology is changing the business landscape, but the skills gap remains. Computational thinking has gained more attention when “Accelerating technological advances and monumental societal demands force us to revisit the most basic scientific questions of computing” (Wing, 2008). In this paper we compare two groups of undergraduate students’ computational thinking abilities from different academic backgrounds, namely – business majors and information technology majors. SAP ERP hands-on case studies are used for this comparative experiment. The student survey results show that the students of both majors realize that learning SAP software can lead to higher-paying jobs and they feel confident about their competitiveness in the job market, but the students with a stronger technical background can have a better understanding of process implementation with SAP. The survey results suggest that business faculty may educate themselves on how to engage the students with computational thinking skills to strengthen their competitive advantage. Keywords: computational thinking, digital transformation, skills gap, skilled workforce.

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