Over the years, many curricula have been developed for various information and computing disciplines. However, the majority of these documents have concentrated on technologies and products - not on the concepts of data and information as a resource to be managed.

Emerging international law on acceptable information handling makes the case for better basic education in data resource management. The lack of attention to the information asset has been cited as one reason for a lack of understanding of the value of an organization's data to the overall performance of the company.

In my role as VP DAMA Foundation (DAMAF) Education Services, I started a multiyear initiative to support the educators of data management professionals. A full vision has been articulated by the DAMAF Education Committee. The Curriculum Framework outlines the concepts that are essential for developing a competency and certification in data resource management (DRM). This vision links the various components of a full delivery matrix of professional education, curriculum, job competencies, supporting texts, best practices and labor market statistics.

With a fully integrated vision, we have, for example, reference between the Curriculum and the Certification Program. As a result of this cross-reference, we anticipate that students will graduate "exam-ready" for the Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP) exam, which is sponsored by DAMA, passing at the "practitioner" level. Figure 1 shows the full vision with some of the major relations between elements noted.

Figure 1: The Framework

The Curriculum Framework may be used by guidance counselors, college faculty, employers or other professionals to advise students and others interested in this field. It is applicable to the needs of all levels of post-secondary education, from two-year colleges through graduate school programs in North America, along with professional development courses. The core topics also encompass those competency areas included in the certification exams for DRM professionals developed by DAMAF and given through the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP).

The approach taken by this DAMAF data management curriculum consists of the following sections:

  • List of education delivery channels based on the North American model.
  • The major academic concepts of a DRM curriculum framework and the clustering of topics to be delivered for courses.
  • The various approaches for delivery of those concepts in North American institutions of higher education.
  • Implementation strategies of the curriculum framework.
  • The role of the curriculum framework in the CDMP program in the ICCP.

The Curriculum Framework was approved by DAMA International and the DAMA International Foundation Conference in December 2004.

Making Gains 2005

  • The CDMP has gained acceptance and we are beginning to see job ads requiring the designation.
  • "Early adopter" colleges and universities in North America are reviewing their curriculum against the DAMAF curriculum.

This curriculum development is of a continuing nature. We are interested in hearing from data management professionals and educators in DRM about topics or delivery channels, and the flexibility of this curriculum.
A communications plan is now being executed, including soliciting feedback and inquiries that should be directed to: VP_Education_Services@DAMA.org.

You may find more information on DAMA chapters as well as this Curriculum (free of charge) at www.dama.org

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